A print bearing a quote from Bobby Sands was unveiled in Belfast City Hall last Thursday, 8th December, by the former IRA leader of the blanket men, Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane. The print is a copy of a canvass painted by muralist and former republican POW Gerry ‘Mo Chara’ Kelly in New York and which hangs on the city-facing wall of the Falls Library. Among those present were Joe McDonnell’s sister, Maura, and Kieran Doherty’s brother, Michael.

Brendan described the families of the hunger strikers as amongst the most courageous people he had ever met, praising their steadfastness and commitment.

The leader of the Sinn Féin group on Belfast Council, Jim McVeigh, spoke of the pride and respect that republicans have for the H-Block martyrs and their families. He said that it was important that City Hall reflected the changing face of politics in Belfast by displaying republican imagery.

“The City Hall needs to reflect the aspirations and views of the nationalist electorate of the city and we will play our part by honouring the hunger strikers who are held in the highest of esteem by our people”. (Photos by Peadar Whelan)