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.