Republican News · Thursday 15 June 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Presentation to Hunger Striker

Speaking in County Louth last Friday night at a presentation function for Sean McKenna who was 53 days on hunger strike in 1980, South Derry Mid-Ulster Assembly member John Kelly opened his address to the overflowing crowd gathered for the occasion by quoting from W.B. Yeats' The King's Threshold:

``King: He has chosen death; refusing to eat or drink. That he may bring disgrace upon me; for there is a custom, an old and foolish custom; That if a man be wronged, or think that he is wronged, And starve upon another's threshold till he die, The common people for all time to come will raise a heavy cry against that threshold, Even though it be the king's.''

Said Kelly: ``The Republican Movement has endured, the republican families have endured, and will continue to endure in this present phase of the struggle.'' He paid tribute to all those Irish republicans who took part in hunger strikes for justice this century.

``But we, all of us, have an onerous and awesome responsibility placed upon us by the sacrifice of the hunger strikers,'' he continued. ``We have placed upon us the responsibility to be the custodians of that sacrifice. We have placed upon us the responsibility be their proxies in this phase of the struggle.

``Bobby Sands and his comrades kept faith with the republic; we must keep faith with them.''

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