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6747Patsy O'Hara: Fallen Comrade of the IRSM

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  • Danielle Ni Dhighe
    May 20, 2013
      Fallen Comrade of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

      Patsy O'Hara
      Volunteer - Irish National Liberation Army
      Died on Hunger Strike on 21 May 1981

      Patsy O'Hara was born on 11 July 1957 in Derry City in Ireland's
      occupied six counties. The catalysts for his political activism were
      witnessing the violence against civil rights marchers in the late
      1960s and his presence at the Battle of the Bogside in August 1969.

      He joined the Official Irish Republican Army's youth wing in 1970 and
      Official Sinn Fein a year later. He was active with the Officials
      until 1973, when, in his own words, "it became apparent that they were
      firmly on the path to reformism and had abandoned the national

      The year after resigning from the Officials, he was interned in Long
      Kesh prison camp for six months. After his release in 1975, he joined
      the INLA and the Irish Republican Socialist Party.

      He resided in Dublin from 1977 to 1979, where he was active with the
      IRSP and served on its Ard-Chomhairle (National Executive).

      After returning to Derry in early 1979, he was arrested and charged
      with possession of a grenade. Sentenced to eight years in the H-Blocks
      of Long Kesh Prison, he participated in the blanket protests and
      became Officer Commanding of the INLA prisoners of war.

      He was the first INLA prisoner to go on hunger strike in 1981. 61 days
      later, at 11:29 pm, he became the first INLA prisoner to die on hunger
      strike. He was joined in death by a fellow hunger striker, the
      Provisional IRA's Raymond McCreesh. The two men joined the strike on
      the same day and died on the same day two months later.

      His funeral was the largest for any individual in the history of
      Derry, attended by thousands from all over Ireland.

      He died as he lived: a Republican Socialist. Remember him with honour
      and pride.


      "Let the fight go on!" - Patsy O'Hara

      "Organise now, tomorrow may be too late." - Patsy O'Hara
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