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Republicans to mark 25th anniversary of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell

7 July, 2006


Tomorrow Saturday 8th July marks the 25th Anniversary of the death on Hunger Strike of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell. Republicans across Ireland will be marking the Anniversary with a series of commemorative events.

Former Long Kesh Hunger Striker and Foyle Assembly member Raymond McCartney today encouraged Republicans to take part in the events.

Mr McCartney said:

"This weekend Republicans will gather across Ireland to remember with pride Belfast IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell who died on July 8th 1981 after 61 days on Hunger Strike. Joe was the fifth man to die and was followed shortly after by Tyrone IRA Volunteer Martin Hurson. I would encourage people to attend the events and take part in the debates and discussions.

"Joe was married man with two young children and we remember also his family this weekend as we gather to mark his death. We will also recall the murder by the RUC of Nora McCabe by a plastic bullet and killing of a 16 year old Fian John Dempsey by the British Army, both killed in the hours after Joe‚s death was announced on the streets of West Belfast.

"Joe stood as a candidate in the 26 county elections in Sligo/Leitrim and his anniversary will be marked in those counties this weekend also. At his graveside the former Sinn Féin TD for that constituency John Joe McGirl declared that the memorial we had to build for Joe McDonnell was the freedom and unity of the Irish people. That remains our goal as we seek to learn the lessons of 1981 and advance our struggle in the times ahead."ENDS

The main events taking place across Ireland are:

Belfast:

Friday 7th July

Tar Anal - Launch of Commemorative Blanket, designed by Eilish Reilly (sister of Joe McDonnell)

Saturday 8th July

2pm White Line Pickets across nationalist areas of the city

3.30pm Roddy McCorley club - ŒThe Life and Times of Joe McDonnell‚ - Talk and celebration of the life of Joe McDonnell involving family members, former POWs and other friends and comrades.

Derry

Saturday 8th July

1pm - H-Block monument Rossville Street - Wreath laying ceremony

Dublin

Saturday 8th July

3.30pm - Rally outside the GPO

Pickets across Dublin City and County in the morning

Cork

Friday 7th July

12noon - 10pm - H-Block exhibition - Metropole Hotel, Cork City

Saturday 8th July

H- Block Exhibition, Bantry Bay Hotel, Bantry from 5pm

8pm - Commemoration, Wolfe Tone Square, Bantry.

Sunday 9th July

2pm - commemoration - assemble Barrack St. for march to St, Finbar\s cemetery.

Speaker Joe Austin

Leitrim

Sunday 9th July

6.30pm - Hunger Strike Memorial unveiled, Drumkeeran

Sligo

Saturday 8th July

2pm Vigil - O‚Connell St., Sligo

Meath

Saturday 8th July

Commemoration - 2pm - 3.30pm - Market Street, Trim

Mayo

Saturday 8th July

3pm - vigil - Westport

Waterford

Saturday 8th July

2pm March and Rally, Dungarvan. Speakers David Cullinane, Toireasa Ferris and Jim McVeigh

Wicklow

Saturday 8th July

1pm - march, assembly Wicklow vale shops.

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