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Crowe pays tribute to Thomas McElwee

8 August, 2006


Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has paid tribute to hunger striker Thomas McElwee who died twenty-five years ago today after sixty-two days on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.  Speaking today Deputy Crowe said, Tom McElwee “followed his friend, comrade and cousin Francis Hughes in paying the ultimate sacrifice in defiance of the British policy of criminalisation of the struggle for the freedom of Ireland.”

He said, “Thomas McElwee died at 11.30 a.m. on Saturday, August 8th 1981 after 62 days of slow agonising hunger strike.

“Tom and his cousin, Francis Hughes where two dedicated republicans from the small South Derry village of Bellaghy, who were close friends in their boyhood years and who later fought side by side in the towns and fields of South Derry for the freedom of their country.  So it came as no surprise to family and friends of Thomas when he followed his friend, comrade and cousin Francis Hughes in paying the ultimate sacrifice in defiance of the British policy of criminalisation of the struggle for the freedom of Ireland. 

“Republicans throughout the thirty-two counties of Ireland will gather today to remember our fallen comrade with pride.” ENDS

Note: Dublin republicans will gather at the GPO on O’Connell Street today at 12:30pm to hold a black flag vigil in memory of Thomas McElwee.

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