30th Anniversary of the Irish Hunger Strike for Freedom

The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ New York State board held a solemn ceremony in East Durham on April 30, 2011, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Irish Hunger Strike for Freedom, which in 1981 resulted in the agonizing death of 10 political prisoners, who chose to starve in the H-Block of Long Kesh rather than allow the British government to classify them as criminals.

The commemoration was performed at the AOH state board’s annual spring meeting in the Catskills Mountains, NY, at the direction of AOH NYS President Charles “Chip” McLean.

With all Hibernians standing, National AOH Historian Michael McCormack presented a moving tribute to the Irish heroes, and named each man whose death had the consequence of thwarting British plans to criminalize the acts of the Irish Republican prisoners: Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Ray McCreesh, Patsy O’Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Tom McElwee, Kieran Doherty and Mickey Devine.

Tim Myles, the AOH NYS Freedom For All Ireland chairman, announced an ongoing fund-raising raffle of a signed poster commemorating Bloody Sunday.