COMRADES - THEY DID NOT FLINCH…
Irish-American writer Tim O’Grady reviews the recently published book by An Fhuiseog, The Comrades, tributes to the hunger strikers by former prisoners, which is on sale through republican outlets in Dublin and Belfast.
IT IS DIFFICULT to approach this book as a commentator, difficult not to feel intrusive, unqualified. Everyone in it, the writers and their subjects, lay their lives on the line. The twelve hunger strikers lost theirs, as did many others mentioned. They are all a breed apart. Maybe they were themselves extraordinary, maybe it was their time. Maybe and most likely both. Their nerve, their will, modesty and unity of purpose are not quite imaginable to one who was not there and did not do as they did. They are beyond.
The book is black. On its back is a green map of Britain and Ireland marked only with the names of prisons that held republicans.
On its front are clasped hands representing the spirit that gave rise to its title, The Comrades, along with a list of its contributors, each of whom has written a short essay of reminiscence about one of the twelve republican hunger strikers who died since the conflict in the North broke out, starting with Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg and ending with Mickey Devine. Each of the writers was a Volunteer who did time as a POW.
Continuing reading here.....