Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Thousands Remember the Hunger Strikers

On Sunday thousands of Irish Republicans came together to commemorate the memory of the 22 Republican hungerstrikers who gave their lives.

Several flute bands also took part including the Naomh Pádraig Independent Flute Band from Kilkeel, St Pats Independent RFB from Hamilton, Scotland, Carrickhill Independent RFB from Belfast and the Pride of Eireann RFB from Portadown.

The parade was twice attacked by loyalists in the city centre and then at Millfield, but this did not deter the Republicans from commemorating their fallen comrades.

When the parade reached Dunville park on the Falls Rd, the names of the 22 hunger strikers were read out and white doves were released, that was followed by Amhrán na bhFiann. This was a non-party political event and no political speeches were made.

There was a massive presence of heavily armed riot clad members of  the British Militia for the duration of the commemoration, there were also dozens of armoured landrovers and a helicopter which flew extremely low over the commemoration almost drowning out the noise of the flute bands.

The Carrickhill band then made their way home just like they have done many times over the years, but this time they were faced with a crowd of 200 loyalist bigots. The loyalists once again attacked the commemoration and those taking part in it. Bricks, bottles and lumps of concrete rained down on the marchers, this resulted in a few minor injuries with 1 band member being hospitalised, thankfully and to their credit the marchers remained peaceful and dignified.

This was the first Independent Hungerstrike commemoration and was a very successful event which is proven by the large numbers that attended.

Fair play to the organisers of this event, Its clear that Republicanism is constantly growing and people are once again taking to the streets

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