On This Day

May 11, 2009 · Print This Article

Twenty-eight years ago, on 12th May, 1981, 25-year-old IRA Volunteer Francis Hughes from Bellaghy, South Derry, died after fifty nine days on hunger strike. At the time of his arrest in March 1978, after a gun battle with the SAS, Francis was the most wanted man in the North. At his trial he was sentenced to 83 years imprisonment. He was on the 1980 hunger strike which ended on December 18th without the loss of life. He was the second prisoner to join the 1981 hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh, on 15th March, two weeks after Bobby Sands began his. Francis is laid to rest in Bellaghy, alongside his cousin Thomas McElwee who was also to die on hunger strike three months later.

The American city of Boston renamed the street the British consulate is on to Francis Hughes Street. He is also commemorated on the Irish Martyrs Memorial at Waverley Cemetery in Sydney, Australia.


4 Responses to “On This Day”

  1. Newt Crocker on May 14th, 2009 4:28 pm

    “Lest we forget”; not ever.

  2. Margaret Wernerspach on May 14th, 2009 9:07 pm

    I love that the city of Boston renamed the street, where the British Consulate is on, to Frances Hughes Street. Yes!!!!!
    R.I.P. Frances

  3. terry mcgowan on May 19th, 2009 11:15 am

    god bless you francis hughes rip……..

  4. Paul Flatley on May 20th, 2009 9:28 am

    Dia dhuit,

    I saw Brendan McFarlane at the Hunger screening a few days ago, and he was so friendly and informative. The struggle has now moved into a political phase, but the volunteers who died should never be forgotten, whether it be in song, poetry, speech, writing, film, to reply to Luke Kelly’s song ‘For What died the sons of Roisin?’ I answer for the spirit of freedom.

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