Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Candle Light Vigil at GPO marks 30th Anniversary of End of Hunger Strike

Republican Sinn Féin marked the 30th anniversary of the ending of the hunger strikes in the H Blocks of Long Kesh with a candle light vigil at the GPO in O’Connell St in Dublin on October 5.

Addressing the crowd the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said that the hunger striker was not simply in pursuit of political status. “Bobby Sands and his comrades gave their lives that the All-Ireland Republic might live. These young Irishmen were willing to give their lives that their children might live in a New Ireland. 30 years later the fact that there are young Irishmen in Maghaberry prison locked in a struggle for political status tells us that nothing has changed. Ireland still suffers British occupation and partition. Here in the 26-Counties the people are being sold out to the new imperialists of the EU/ECB and IMF. The most fitting monument we can erect to the martyrs of 1981 is to bring about that All-Ireland Federal Democratic Socialist Republic.” He concluded by quoting from the statement issued by the Republican POWs: “There were several reasons given by our comrades for going on hunger-strike. One was because we had no choice and no other means of securing a principled solution to the four-year protest.

“Another, and of fundamental importance, was to advance the Irish people's right to liberty. We believe that the age-old struggle for Irish self-determination and freedom has been immeasurably advanced by this hunger-strike and therefore we claim a massive political victory. The hunger-strikers, by their selflessness, have politicised a very substantial section of the Irish nation and exposed the shallow, unprincipled nature of the Irish partitions bloc.

“Our comrades have lit with their very lives an eternal beacon which will inspire this nation and people to rise and crush oppression forever and his nation can be proud that it produced such a quality of man hood.

“We pay a special tribute to the families of our dead comrades. You have suffered greatly and with immense dignity. Your loved ones, our comrades and friends, were and would be very proud of you for standing by them. No tribute is to great.

“Also, we give a special mention to those families who could not bear to watch their loved ones die in pain and agony. We prisoners understand the pressure you were under and stand by you.

“We thank the National H-Block/Armagh Committee, the H-Block movement, the nationalist people of Ireland, and all those who championed our cause abroad, we are indebted to you and ask you to continue your good work on our behalf.

“Lastly we reaffirm our commitment to the achievement of the five demands by whatever means we believe necessary and expedient. We rule nothing out.

“Under no circumstances are we going to devalue the memory of our dead comrades by submitting ourselves to a dehumanising and degrading régime.”

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"We of Republican Sinn Féin are the nucleus, which represents what Emmet represented,
the soul of Ireland,the prophetic shock minority, those who are neither purchased nor intimidated."

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