Function marks hunger-strike anniversary
A special function to mark the anniversary of the H-Block hunger-strikes was held in Clontibret on 27 October - 20 years to the day since the start of the first hunger-strike in 1980. The function was held in the Braeside Ballroom.
Special guests were the Green family from Lurgan, Co. Armagh. Leo Green was on the first hunger-strike and he recalled his experience. He said that the tremendous commitment to freedom, justice and peace shown at that time by republican prisoners continued today with many former prisoners like himself centrally involved in ongoing political developments. He urged unity among all republicans to ensure the success of Sinn Féin's strategy. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin made a presentation to the Green family which was accepted by Lawrence Green. The Sinn Féin TD recalled the period when he was a member of the National H-Block/Armagh Committee and election agent for hunger-striker and TD Kieran Doherty. He said that it was ``the selflessness and courage of the men and women republican prisoners during the hunger-strike period which inspired me, in common with many others, to commit ourselves to the struggle for Irish freedom''.
The Clontibret function was the first of a series of events marking the 20th anniversary of the hunger-strikes which will continue through 2000 and 2001.