Hundreds attend launch
Ógra Shinn Féin formally launched their recent publication looking at the hunger strike of 1981 on Saturday 12th August. Awaiting the Lark is a collection of personal memories, recollections and accounts from different republicans about the Hunger Strike of 1981 and was launched in the Felons club in West Belfast. Hundreds of people attended the launch, mostly youth.
Raymond McCartney MLA, Dominic Adams, Michelle Gildernew MP and Seanna Walsh performed the launch.
Many of the people who have written for the book were also in attendance.
Colm O’Neill of Ógra Shinn Féin chaired the event while Barry McNally explained the background of the book. Following this Michelle Gildernew Dominic Adams and Raymond McCartney read their extracts from the book. Seanna Walsh then stepped forward to give a brief overview of the prison struggle and in particular the 1981 hunger strike.
A musician was also in attendance and played many songs reflecting on the events surrounded the participants and the hunger strike of 1981. The event then concluded with Amhrán na bhFiann.
Many known republicans have written for the book including former blanket man and hunger-striker Raymond McCartney, former Mayor of Tralee Toireasa Ferris and the current MP for Fermanagh / South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew. Bobby Sands held that same seat in 1981 when the people of Fermanagh/ south Tyrone elected them as their MP. The Book deals with hunger strikes in Crumlin Road jail in the 1970s and Long Kesh in 1980, but deals mainly with the 1981 Hunger Strike and looks at the hunger strike from a youthful perspective.