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Republicans gather to mark 25th anniversary of the death on hunger strike of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell

8 July, 2006

Republicans are gathering across Ireland  today, Saturday 8th July, to mark the 25th anniversary of the death after 61 days on hunger strike of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell.  Events are taking place in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Cork, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow. 


Speaking in Dublin this afternoon where a rally is taking place at the GPO Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan said:

"Republicans are gathering across Ireland today to remember Belfastman Joe McDonnell who died 25 years ago after 61 days on Hunger Strike. Joe, who was married with two young children, was the fifth man to die on the 1981 Hunger Strike and was followed shortly after by Tyrone IRA Volunteer Martin Hurson.

"Joe stood as a candidate in the 1981 General Election in the constituency of Sligo/Leitrim and he received massive support, coming within a handful of votes of getting elected. 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 the cause of Irish independence in the times ahead."ENDS


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