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Martin McGuinness urges support for Francis Hughes events

12 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Mid-Ulster Martin McGuinness today urged people to attend the weekend events to commemorate the sacrifice of legendary IRA Volunteer Francis Hughes who died this day 25 years ago on Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Twenty five years ago today Francis Hughes one of the most fearless and courageous IRA Volunteers to emerge out of the current phase in the Republican Struggle lost his life after 59 days on Hunger Strike in Long Kesh.

"The sacrifice of Francis Hughes and the other H-Block Hunger Strikers remains with all of us to this day. I remember travelling to Bellaghy to give the oration at the graveside of Francis Hughes. I recall the RUC disrupting the funeral. I also recall the dignity displayed by the Hughes family and by those republicans from throughout Ireland and beyond who had gathered in South Derry in the face of their provocation.

"On Sunday twenty five years on I will travel to Bellaghy graveyard to join again with the Hughes family as the MP for Mid-Ulster. Our struggle has changed greatly since the difficult summer of 1981 but we remain committed to our republican goals and we remain committed to delivering the sort of society which is demanded by the sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers.

"I would encourage people to get involved in the events this weekend and indeed throughout the year as we seek to remember our comrades who died in 1981 and build the sort of Ireland which is peaceful, free, united and democratic." ENDS

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