Raymond McCreesh Anniversary Commemorated

Newry Times News Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Community

Former Armagh blanket men pictured at the ‘1981’ launch earlier this year: Paddy Quinn, Seanie McGerrigan, Freddie Toal and Paddy Murphy along with Sinn Féin councillor Cathy Rafferty.

Last week marked the 31st anniversary of the death of Camlough man Raymond McCreesh on Hunger Strike in the H blocks of the Maze prison. To commemorate this anniversary the Fegan Quinn Sinn Féin Cumann Derramore arranged for Tony Devlin’s acclaimed ‘1981’ play to be performed in Carrickcruppen hall on Friday 19th May.

Those who attended the performance were treated to a roller coaster of emotion which, according to local councillor Pat McGinn, “was at times poignant, angry and even humorous, but which captured the energy of this period of our history.”

On the following day the Seamus Steel Sinn Féin Cumann, Camlough held a wreath laying ceremony at the Republican Plot in St Malachy’s Graveyard, Camlough, where Raymond McCreesh is buried.

MP Conor Murphy speaking at the ceremony said, “It is hard to believe that 31 years have passed since Raymond died on Hunger Strike. Although time moves on and we all go about our daily lives we never forget the sacrifice made by the hunger strikers and their families. Without men like Raymond McCreesh who were prepared to die for their principles POWs would have had to continue surviving in the unbearable conditions of the jails at that time.”

Murphy continued, “Even 31 years later the Irish hunger strikers of 1981 are still icons of struggle across the globe and at this time we send solidarity to those Palestinian prisoners who are currently on Hunger Strike. Last August Camlough hosted the national Hunger Strike Commemoration which saw 30,000 people converge on our village in memory of the ten men who gave their lives in 1981.”

“This year the commemoration will take place in Dungiven on the 5th August and I have no doubt that people from Camlough and across South Armagh will travel in their hundreds to again pay their respects to the memory of Raymond McCreesh and our other 9 stailceoirí ocrais. We will never forget their names,” he added.


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