Launch of ‘On the Blanket’ book to be held in Gort

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The south Galway launch of Eoghan ‘Gino’ Mac Cormaic’s book On the Blanket will be held at Harte’s Bar in Gort on Thursday 30 March.

Eoghan will be in conversation with Louis O’Hara and will read from his book and reflect on his time in the H-Blocks and on the blanket and no-wash protests and there will also be a Q&A with the audience.

The event will begin at 8pm, and music will be provided on the evening by Pat O’Neill.

Eoghan Mac Cormaic was arrested at the age of 20 in 1976 and spent the next fifteen years in prison in the H Blocks of Long Kesh before moving to Galway in 1991.

Along with many others in the H-Blocks and in Armagh Women’s Prison, he began a prison protest to win back Special Category Status being denied them in 1976.

What developed became known as the Blanket Protest, an almost unbelievable set of prison conditions and protest which would eventually lead to the death of ten republican prisoners on hunger strike in 1981.

Mac Cormaic spent a total of 1,960 days on ‘the Blanket’ and no-work protest, and his story details – often in a wry and humorous way – the life endured by the 350 men and women who faced down this major British policy and eventually won their demands.

For anyone wanting to learn what life was like in the protest wings and indeed to understand the causes and motivations of those on protest, this book is a must-read and this public event a unique opportunity to hear a first-hand account of those historic days between 1976 and 1981.