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Guthanna '81 | Voices of '81
The Irish Republican community reflect on the 1981 Hunger Strike. Caitheann an pobal Poblachtánach in Éirinn súil siar ar Stailc Ocrais 1981.
Oct 3, 2021
'The End' - Laurence McKeown & Pat Sheehan
Laurence McKeown and Pat Sheehan both took part in the 1981 Hunger Strike. In this concluding episode of the Guthanna ’81 series, they reflect on their own experiences of the strike, on the impact the Hunger Strike had at the time and on the legacy of their ten comrades who paid the ultimate sacrifice - a legacy that continues to inspire freedom loving people the world over.
Sep 26, 2021
'Support from the States' - Ted Howell
Ted Howell, a Republican strategist and lifelong activist from Belfast, talks in this podcast about the context in which the 1981 Hunger Strike came about and the critical support that came from the United States during that time, continuing a historic tradition of solidarity for Irish freedom from across the Atlantic.
Sep 19, 2021
'The 1981 Escape' - Joe Doherty
Joe Doherty was one of eight escapees from Crumlin Road Gaol in June 1981. In this podcast, he explains the escape, the impact that time had on him personally and how it gave the prisoners’ spirits a much needed lift during a very dark time.
Sep 12, 2021
'Across the Irish Sea' - Sue O'Halloran
Sue O’Halloran was a Sinn Féin activist in London in the 1970s and 80s. In this episode of Guthanna ’81, she reflects on her activism at that time, on the impact of the Hunger Strike on the attitudes on the ground in England and on the apathy that existed around what was happening in the north at that time.
Sep 5, 2021
'Tionchar na Gaeilge' - Pilib Ó Ruanaidh
Labhraíonn Pilib Ó Ruanaidh fá thionchar na Gaeilge ar na príosúnaigh sna Blocanna-H agus an saoirse a thug an teanga dóibh agus iad faoi ghlas. Déanann sé tagairt chomh maith ar an tionchar a bhí ag pobal na n-iarchimí ar fhorbairt na teanga ó shin – tionchar nach beag atá go fóill le feiceáil inniu.
Aug 29, 2021
'Life on the Outside' - Monica Culbert
When Monica Culbert’s husband was sentenced to life imprisonment, her life, and the life of their two young sons, changed completely. In this episode, she talks about being the wife of a political prisoner, about trying to maintain a sense of normality for their children and about the community solidarity that helped her, and many others, through the hard times.
Aug 22, 2021
'Hunger Strikes in Ireland' - Martin Ferris
Martin Ferris, a former Sinn Féin TD from County Kerry, was an IRA prisoner in Port Laoise Gaol in 1981, having spent 47 days on Hunger Strike himself in 1977. In this episode, he reflects on the tradition of Hunger Strike in the campaign for Irish freedom and the continuous failure of the British Government to criminalise that struggle.
Aug 15, 2021
'Michael Devine' - Eoghan 'Gino' Mac Cormaic
Eoghan ‘Gino’ McCormaic was in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh with Michael Devine. Michael, who died on 20th August 1981, was the last of the Hunger Strikers to die. In this podcast, we hear about ‘Red Mick’, as he was known, his politics and the circumstances that motivated him to join the armed struggle.
Aug 8, 2021
'Thomas McElwee' - Chris Glackin
Chris Glackin was a childhood friend of Thomas McElwee, the ninth Hunger Striker to die in 1981. They grew up in Bellaghy in south Derry, attending primary and secondary school together. He reflects here on the young man he knew who liked working at cars, who had a quick wit and humour and who enjoyed Sundays out on bicycles with his friends, before being imprisoned at the young age of 18.
Aug 1, 2021
'Kieran Doherty' - John Pickering
John Pickering, a former Hunger Striker himself, grew up in Andersonstown along with Kieran Doherty. In this episode, he talks about growing up as the conflict broke out, their time in gaol and Kieran’s strength in his beliefs as he went on Hunger Strike.
Jul 25, 2021
'Kevin Lynch' - Jake Mac Siacais
Jake Mac Siacais, a former Blanketman, was in jail with Kevin Lynch in both Crumlin Road Gaol and the H-Blocks. Both on the same wing in H-3, Jake recalls Kevin’s quiet determination, his passion for the GAA and his grá for the Irish language.
Jul 18, 2021
'Lean ar aghaigh - Carry on' - Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams, former President of Sinn Féin, was a key player in the Sinn Féin leadership at the time of the 1981 Hunger Strike. In this podcast, he recalls his visit to the H-Block prison hospital in July of that year and his meeting with the Hunger Strikers. He talks about his awe at the courage and strength of the men, their determination to continue until they had achieved their demands, meeting some of the relatives who were there with their loved ones and his meeting with Kieran Doherty.
Jul 11, 2021
'Martin Hurson' - Nuala McKernan-Donnelly
Nuala McKernan-Donnelly, from East Tyrone, has written a soon to be published book on the life of Martin Hurson on behalf of the Tyrone Sinn Féin Commemoration Committee. In this podcast, she shares what she has learned about Martin's life growing up in Cappagh, Co. Tyrone, his role in the Republican movement and the legacy he left behind when he gave his life on Hunger Strike in 1981.
Jul 4, 2021
'Joe McDonnell' - Jaz McCann
Jaz McCann, a teacher, author and former blanketman, was a close friend of Joe McDonnell. He reflects here on the man he knew and the strange and turbulent times in which they lived.
Jun 27, 2021
'If you fall, another friend will arise' - Aude Catala
French barrister, Aude Catala, was a student of just 15 years old when she first visited Belfast during the Hunger Strike in 1981. In this podcast she talks about the international support that existed for the Hunger Strikers and the impact that time had on her life.
Jun 20, 2021
'Plastic Bullets' - Bernadette & Elizabeth Livingstone
Julie Livingstone was fourteen years old in 1981 when she was shot by a plastic bullet, dying the next day as a result of her injuries. She was one of seventeen people killed during the course of the conflict by plastic bullets, eight of whom were children. Two of her sisters, Bernadette and Elizabeth, recall their memories of that year and the events that followed.
Jun 13, 2021
'Youth Against H-Block and Armagh' - Michael McVeigh
Michael McVeigh, from the Short Strand in Belfast, was a member of the original ‘Youth Against H-Block and Armagh’ committee which was founded to encourage young people to voice their opposition to the prison regime at the time of the 1980 and 1981 Hunger Strikes.
Jun 6, 2021
'Shaking the System' - Mary-Lou McDonald
Uachtarán Shinn Féin, Mary-Lou McDonald, was a young teenager in Dublin during the time of the 1981 Hunger Strike. She speaks in this episode about her earliest memories hearing about Bobby Sands’ death, to this year of reflection four decades on and about how the Hunger Strikers' aim of a united Ireland is now closer than ever before.
May 30, 2021
'Raymond McCreesh' - Pat McGinn
Pat McGinn, from Camlough in South Armagh, was a childhood friend of Raymond McCreesh. In this episode of Guthanna ’81, he reflects on their experiences growing up together, on the strong Republican history of that area and on the impact the Hunger Strike had on the families of those involved.
May 23, 2021
'Patsy O'Hara' - Séanna Walsh
Patsy O’Hara., from Derry city, was only 23 years old when he died on Hunger Strike. Former blanketman, Séanna Walsh, recalls his memories of a determined young man who stood true to his beliefs and defied the criminalisation process in the north.
May 16, 2021
'90 Miles from Dublin Town' - Andrée Murphy
Andrée Murphy, Deputy Director of Relatives for Justice, was a 10 year old living in Dublin during the 1981 Hunger Strike. In this podcast, she reflects on the pivotal impact the Hunger Strike had on southern politics and how the determination and courage of the Hunger Strikers inspired young Republicans across Ireland in the years that followed.
May 9, 2021
'Francis Hughes' - Peter Bateson
Life long Republican activist from South Derry, Peter Bateson, was a friend and comrade of Hunger Striker, Francis Hughes. In this episode, he reflects on his friendship with Francis, on his strength of resolve in challenging times and on his legacy today.
May 2, 2021
'After the Election' - Owen Carron
Bobby Sands’ election agent, Owen Carron, speaks on this episode of Guthanna ’81 about the period after the historic 1981 election, the death of Bobby Sands on 5th May and the hugely significant impact of that period on politics across Ireland.
Apr 25, 2021
'The Role of the Catholic Church' - Fr Joe McVeigh
Fermanagh-based priest, Father Joe McVeigh, is a life-long civil rights activist and Republican. In this episode, he looks back on the role of the Catholic Church during the time of the prison protests in the late-1970s, into the turbulent era of the 1980 and 1981 Hunger Strikes.
Apr 18, 2021
'Negotiations' - Danny Morrison
Danny Morrison was a key negotiator between the Republican Movement and the British Government during the 1980 and 1981 Hunger Strikes. In this podcast, he looks back on those discussions, reflecting on the intricacies of the process and on the resolution of the Hunger Strikers as they fought for their demands.
Apr 11, 2021
'Bobby Sands MP - The 1981 By-Election' - Francie Molloy
Francie Molloy, currently the Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster, was heavily involved in the campaign to elect Bobby Sands as MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the historic and groundbreaking 1981 by-election. In this episode, Francie reflects on that campaign, the unity of purpose it created within the community and the legacy of Bobby Sands’ election.
Apr 4, 2021
'Easter in the Gaols' - Gerry McConville & Breige Brownlee
Gerry McConville is a former Republican prisoner who took part in the blanket protest. He is currently involved in community development and political activism. Breige Brownlee is a former POW, Sinn Féin councillor and community activist who is currently employed in the arts industry. In this podcast, they discuss their memories of Easter in gaol and the importance of marking that key date in the Republican calendar, regardless of the situation in which they found themselves.
Mar 28, 2021
'The Secret Communication Network' - Andrea Connolly
Andrea Connolly is a lifelong community activist and was a member of the Relatives Action Committee. She was a key part of the communication network that allowed information to flow in and out of the H Blocks and Armagh Gaol during the prison protests in the 1970s and 80s. In this podcast, she explains the process of communication and the vital role it played in maintaining morale, not only for the prisoners on the inside, but for their families on the outside.
Mar 21, 2021
'The Visitor Journey' - Mary Nelis
Mary Nelis, from the Bogside in Derry is a lifelong community activist and was a leading campaigner with the Relatives’ Action Committee during the prison protest. She had two sons imprisoned in the H-Blocks during the Blanket Protest. In this episode, she recounts her memories of visiting Long Kesh and of seeing her sons experience the brutal regime in the prison at that time.
Mar 14, 2021
'Songs and Stories in the Blocks' - Colm Scullion
Colm Scullion, former blanketman and a cell mate of Bobby Sands, recalls the songs and stories from within the H-Blocks during the protest and the Hunger Strikes. In this episode, he looks back on the craic and camaraderie that sustained the prisoners during those dark and challenging days.
Mar 7, 2021
'In Armagh Gaol' - Síle Darragh
Síle Darragh was Officer Commanding (O/C) of the prisoners in Armagh Gaol during both the 1980 and 1981 Hunger Strikes. She looks back on her memories of that period, the communication that existed between the prisoners in Armagh and Long Kesh and the strength of the community that stood behind them.
Feb 28, 2021
'In the H-Blocks' - Bik McFarlane
Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane was Officer Commanding (O/C) of the H-Block prisoners during the 1981 Hunger Strike. In this podcast, Bik reflects on the events surrounding the '81 Hunger Strike and gives an insight into what things were like within the H-Blocks during this time.
Feb 22, 2021
Guthanna '81 | Voices of '81
The Irish Republican community reflects on the 1981 Hunger Strike. Caitheann an pobal Poblachtánach in Éirinn súil siar ar Stailc Ocrais 1981.