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Ó Caoláin pays tribute to Hunger Striker Kieran Doherty TD

1 August, 2006


The Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Caoimhghin Ó Caolain has today paid tribute to Kieran Doherty who died on hunger strike 25 years ago on August 2, 1981. Doherty was elected as a TD for the same constituency in the general election of June 1981 when he received 9,121 votes.

Deputy Ó Caolain said, "It is with both sadness and pride that I recall my predecessor Kieran Doherty who was elected during the heroic hunger strike of 1981. I was proud to have helped, along with hundreds of others, in securing his election and I am proud to have inherited Kieran's seat as a republican representative for this constituency.

"Kieran was elected despite the incredible hostility shown by the political establishment and media in this state towards his and his comrades' reasonable demands, not to mention the massive campaign of harassment of hunger strike activists by the Garda Special Branch. On June 11 1981 republican Ireland gave its answer with a huge vote for hunger striker candidates and other supporters of the prison struggle. It was a decisive step in the broadening of the battlefield to secure Irish freedom, a battle that is not yet won, but whose eventual success was brought closer by the courage and dedication of Kieran and his comrades in the H Blocks.

"Tomorrow, the Sinn Féin team in Leinster House and activists throughout Cavan- Monaghan, will be commemorating Kieran's election and his tragic death both outside the Dáil and at various locations in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency. It will be both a time for reflecting on the sacrifice of Kieran and his comrades, and to re-dedicate ourselves to the achievement of the goals which motivated Kieran and the other hunger strikers. That goal remains the achievement of an All Ireland Republic and the creation of a national parliament in which the representatives of all the Irish people will sit together as equals." ENDS

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