Hunger Strikers Face Trial

The trial has begun of 20 of the 34 Chilean Mapuche prisoners who staged a long hunger strike to oppose the application of the anti-terrorist law in their cases. In a system reminiscent of the British use of internment-by-remand and the use of supergrasses Mapuche prisoners can be held in prison for up to two years without a formal charge. When they are tried in a court, it’s the military court, which has a reputation for being brutal, not the civilian court. They can also be sent to prison based on the testimonies of anonymous sources.

For more details see ‘Mapuche: Chile’s Media Favors Fluff Over Grit’


30ú Comóradh

Events to commemorate the 30th anniversaries of the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes continue next Wednesday in Belfast. On December 1st 1980 three women prisoners in Armagh Jail joined seven hunger strikers from the H-Blocks in an escalation of the protest demanding political status.

The three were Mary Doyle, Máiréad Farrell [later assassinated by the SAS in Gibraltar] and Margaret [Máiréad] Nugent.

In St Mary’s University College, beginning at 7pm, there will be a short play, the showing of a film, followed by a panel discussion which will include Mary Doyle, Raymond McCartney [1980 hunger striker] and Pat Sheehan [1981 hunger striker, and recently selected as an Assembly member to replace Gerry Adams], chaired by Fergus Ó hir [formerly, National Smash H-Block/Armagh Committee].


“We are prepared to fast to death, if necessary, but our love for justice and our country will live forever” – Máiréad Farrell, Máiréad Nugent, Mary Doyle, Armagh Prison, 1st December, 1980

McSwiney Commemorated

This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the deaths of former Lord Mayors of Cork, Tomás MacCurtain and Terence McSwiney. It is also the 90th Anniversary of the Burning of Cork. The events of 1920 are important in a national context, but carry even greater significance in terms of the civic and political history of Cork. A programme of civic events – titled ‘Enduring the Most’ – has been running all this week. It was while on hunger strike to the death that McSwiney famously said: “Triumph is not to those who can inflict most, but to those who can endure most.”

All the individual elements of the programme are open to the public. Here are the details for the remaining events:

11th November: 11.00 – 15.00  City Archives and Cork Museum Exhibition open to the public & Continuous Screening of films by Scoil Oilibhéir in Millennium Hall Foyer.

12.30 – 13.30  Talk by Gerry White, Historian: “McCurtain and McSwiney and The Formation of the Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers.”

12th November: 11.00 – 15.00   City Archives and Cork Museum Exhibition open to the public & Continuous Screening of films by Scoil Oilibhéir in Millennium Hall Foyer. 

12.00 – 13.00  Talk By John Borgonovo, Historian: “Tans, Terror and the Burning of Cork”

13.00 – 14.00 Talk By Pat Poland, Historian: “The Fire Services and the Burning of Cork”

14th November: 10.30 a.m.   Bishop Buckley to celebrate Mass in North Cathedral, from where Lord Mayors McSwiney and MacCurtain were buried.

17th November:

7.00 p.m.   The Lord Mayor is to launch an exhibition “Rising from the Ashes: the burning of Cork’s Carnegie Library and the rebuilding of its Collections”, in the Central Library and is to launch a book of the same name by Thomas McCarthy.