Commemoration event for 40th anniversary of Hunger Strikes

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Galway Daily news Commemoration event for 40th anniversary of Hunger Strikes

Sinn Féin are planning to hold a commemoration event for the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes in Galway City today.

A public event marking the anniversary of the hunger strikes by prisoners of H Block at HM Prison Maze will take place at the Liam Mellows statue in Eyre Square.

The event will include readings of some poems by Bobby Sands, a wreath laying, and a speech by Louis O’Hara of Sinn Féin in Galway.

The 1981 hunger strikes were  carried out to protest the British government’s decision to reclassify paramilitary prisoners as civilians rather than de facto prisoners of war.

The strikes began on March 1, 1981 with Bobby Sands, and more prisoners joined in on a staggered basis.

They were called off on October 3, following the deaths of ten of the strikers, when several concessions were made by the James Prior, the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The event will also mark the half-centenary anniversary of the introduction of internment in Northern Ireland.