Remembering Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara.
On this day Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara died on hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison. Both survived for 61 days without food.
We remember the courage and determination of two Irish patriots.
The twenty-four-year-old from Camlough in South Armagh was described as a quiet, good-natured, and discreet republican.
Captured in June 1976, and sentenced in March 1977, when he refused to recognize the court, Raymond would have been due for release in around two years' had he not embarked on his principled protest for political status, which led him, ultimately, to hunger strike.
Raymond’s resolve was clear when he wrote a note to his comrade and fellow prisoner Paddy Quinn. Before being moved to the prison hospital Raymond finished his note simply saying. “Ta seans ann go mbeidh me abhaile rombat a chara” which means: There is a chance that I’ll be home before you, my friend!”
The determined and courageous twenty-three-year-old Derryman was the former leader of the Irish National Liberation Army in the H-Blocks.
From a young age, Patsy was harassed, arrested, and interned for his political beliefs.
Writing shortly before the hunger strike began, Patsy O’Hara grimly declared: “We stand for the freedom of the Irish nation so that future generations will enjoy the prosperity they rightly deserve, free from foreign interference, oppression, and exploitation. The real criminals are the British imperialists who have thrived on the blood and sweat of generations of Irish men.
For more information on the 1981 Hunger Strikers check out Bobby Sands Trust | Bobby Sands Trust