Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald, Councillor Larry O'Toole and Sean Crowe TD will join republicans across Dublin city today for a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands after 66 days on hunger strike. Dublin Sinn Féin will hold a vigil at the GPO on O'Connell Street at 1.30pm and vigils will also take place across Dublin city and county this evening. Dublin Councillor Larry O'Toole has invited Dubliners to attend these events and remember Bobby Sands and the 1981 Hunger Strikers.
Speaking in Dublin this morning Councillor Larry O'Toole said:
"Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands after 66 days on hunger strike and throughout Ireland people will gather to remember the courage and sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers.
"For eight long months in 1981 the world witnessed extraordinary scenes as Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Patsy O'Hara, Raymond McCreesh, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Tom McElwee and Michael Devine died slow, agonizing deaths on Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.
"The conditions which led to the Hunger Strikes were created when the British government, supported by the Irish government, tried to criminalise Irish republicans. But the republican prisoners - young women in Armagh jail and young men in the H-Blocks - refused to be criminalised. And in extraordinary circumstances they took on the might of the British state.
"In the course of their protest the hunger strikers smashed British policy. Their legacy is still unfolding and their idealism remains as an example to the rest of us.
"Twenty five years ago, while the establishment sat in silence, Dublin city centre came to a standstill as people learned of the death of Bobby Sands. Thousands of Dubliners stopped work, young people walked out of school, many businesses closed and tens of thousands took to the streets.
"I want to invite people across Dublin to attend commemorations across Dublin today to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands." ENDS
In Dublin, Sinn Féin will hold a vigil outside the GPO on O'Connell Street at 1.30pm. Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald and Councillor Larry O'Toole will be available to speak to media at the event.
This evening between 5.30pm and 6.30pm Sinn Féin will hold a series of vigils on Drimnagh Road, Dolphin's Barn Bridge , Balbriggan Main Street and Neilstown Road.
South Dublin Sinn Féin will hold a black flag vigil at the Luas Bridge in Dundrum at 6pm.
Vigil 7pm Donaghmede Shopping Centre