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London conference to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike

14 June, 2011



Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has announced that, as part of the events taking place to mark the 30th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes, Sinn Fein will be hosting a major half-day conference this Saturday 18th June in London, at the city’s Irish Centre in Camden.

Speakers at the event willinclude ‘Bik’ McFarlane (leader of the republican prisoners during the hunger strikes); Jennifer McCann MLA (Sinn Fein Assembly member & former republican prisoner); Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun, (a former member of the National Anti-H Block/Armagh Committee); former Labour MP’s Tony Benn & Kevin McNamara; Roy Greenslade (writer and journalist); historian and writer Prof Christine Kineally; Ronnie Kasrils (former minister in Nelson Mandela’s ANC government), and Francis Wurtz, former French MEP, who was present at Bobby Sands’ funeral.

Mr Doherty said

“This will be a major conference, to recall and discuss one of the most significant events in recent Irish history. The hunger strike shaped the course of Irish politics. Bobby Sand’s election in Fermanagh South Tyrone in the Westminster election of April 1981, and of Kieran Doherty in Cavan Monaghan and Paddy Agnew in Louth in the June 81 general election in the south, were watershed moments. It has needed the intervening decades to understand the extent to which the courage and sacrifice of the ten men who died on hunger strike changed modern Irish history”.

Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann, who will be speaking at the event said "I'm delighted to be travelling to London to take part in this conference. Thirty years have passed since the deaths of Bobby and his nine comrades, and it is great to see the interest there has been in the run-up to this event, especially from many young people who were not even born at the time. Much has changed in the period since 1981, then I was a young prisoner in Armagh Gaol, now I am the Sinn Fein chief whip in the northern Assembly, but the struggle I am in involved in now is for the same objectives as it was all those years ago.

As the political process continues to move forward, alongside the continuing debate on Irish unity, the conference comes at an important juncture as the relationship between Britain and Ireland enters a new phase”.

 

CONFERENCE: `1981-A TURNING POINT IN IRISH HISTORY’. SAT 18 JUNE, LONDON IRISH CENTRE, MURRAY STREET, LONDON NW1. 1pm-5.30pm

REGISTRATION (to cover conference costs): £5 waged £3 unwaged (payable to 1981 London Conference), BY POST: PO Box 65845, London EC1P 1LS.

OR BY EMAIL: [email protected]

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=11269777214326

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