On Saturday 2nd May 2015, at the GPO in Dublin, RSF held a rally to commemorate the 22 Irish republican hunger-strikers that died for their political beliefs between 1917 and 1981. The event was Chaired by Josephine Hayden (pictured, left) and a representative from Na Fianna Éireann and the RSF International Bureau also addressed the gathering.

‘Republican Rally’ – GPO, Dublin, 2nd May 2015.

Alan Byrne, NFE, speaking at the Rally in Dublin, 2-5-15 : he gave a history of the Sands family and outlined how and why Bobby Sands was ‘arrested’ by the British and the conditions he endured in prison.

Republican Sinn Féin International Relations Bureau spokesperson Dieter Blumenfeld at the GPO, Dublin, 2-5-15, who highlighted the conditions experienced today by Irish republican prisoners incarcerated by the British and Free State regimes.

The organisers had intended to hold the commemoration on the traffic isle facing the GPO but the non-stop torrential rain which, at times – in between very heavy showers, that is – was almost of a biblical nature, forced their hand into ‘setting up shop’ as best they could under the canopy of the GPO. The small stage unit, the speakers lectern and the heavy-duty outdoor electrical PA system had to be ‘returned to base’ as it was deemed unsafe to use same in that weather.

Despite the bad weather and the fact that the streets were practically empty (due to a bus strike) the organisers managed to distribute 1,000 leaflets (in ‘packs’ of various sizes) during their two-hour rally.

Placards showing all twenty-two hunger-strikers were carried by some, while others carried placards with individual photographs of some of the hunger-strikers.

One of the ’22 Men’ placards on view at the republican rally.

Two of the ‘individual’ placards carried on the day.

A young lad proudly displaying a placard of Raymond McCreesh, one of the 22 men.

Alan Byrne, Na Fianna Éireann, at the GPO rally.

The weather was bad, the crowds were sparse, but the atmosphere at the rally was solid and the reason for the event was genuine and properly reflected in the manner in which it was done. Those that made it their business to attend are to be congratulated as are the organisers. A full report and more pics will be carried in the May 2015 issue of ‘Saoirse’, which goes to print on Wednesday 13th of that month.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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