Former Hunger Striker to Attend Commemoration in Springfield (MA).
Today Springfield (MA) will mark the 40th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike with a series of events.
Former Hunger Striker, Pat Sheehan went 55 days without food as part of the protest that claimed the lives of 10 of his comrades in Long Kesh Prison.
Now a Sinn Féin Member of Assembly in the North of Ireland, Sheehan will join Rep. Richard Neal and Mayor Domenic J. Sarno for a commemoration at the Rose Garden in Forest Park at 11 a.m.
Further events will follow throughout the day. If you can, call into the commemoration and show your support.
Speaking to Jim Kinney 0f Maslivemedia, Pat Sheehan said,
“Irish Republicans would not be in the position they are in without the hunger strikes of 1981. And we are immeasurably stronger now than we were then,”
“We are within touching distance of that Holy Grail (of Irish Unity) for which they died,” Sheehan said. “We just need this last push, these next few years and we’ll be over the line.”
In the same article Rep. Neal agreed with Sheehan that prospects for a united Ireland are better now than at any time. The reason, he said, is the Good Friday Agreement, which forced all sides to give up something: the Republic of Ireland gave up a constitutional claim to North Ireland and the British gave up the border.
“It gives people a reason to live for Ireland rather than to have to die for Ireland,” Neal said.
Sheehan thanked Rep. Neal for his work as Chair of the Congressional Friends of Ireland and support in protecting the Good Friday Peace Agreement.
“I think that he has been a very important figure in more recent times with regard to Brexit,” Sheehan said.
“He’s told the British bluntly that if they do anything that undermines the Good Friday Agreement, they won’t get a trade agreement,” Sheehan said. “That’s a very powerful weapon to be able to wield, I think.”
The full article was posted on Masslivemedia by Jim Kinney. See link below