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Ten Brave Men Our Common Bond

Thomas Dixie Elliot argues that Sinn Fein is exploiting the efforts of the hunger strikers for opportunist ends. Dixie Elliot took part in the H-Blocks blanket protest that resulted in the hunger strikes.

"We are where we are today because of Bobby Sands & his election. He opened another site of struggle for Republicans" - Pat Sheehan SF

"I don't believe the peace process would have been possible had it not been for the sacrifice of the 10 men in 1981. It was a game changer for the struggle - it enhanced the whole concept of the Republican struggle."  - Seamus Browne SF

This is just an example of the many comments made by Adamsite Sinn Féiners over recent days. All are an attempt to rob our Dead Comrades of the ideals for which they died and align them with the Collaborationist.

Correct me if I'm wrong but Sinn Féin usually holds it's Hunger Strike Commemoration in August and it alternates each year in regards to the area in which it's held. Yet only a few years after it was held in Derry it's back again now in May and just days before an election.

We all need to examine our consciences and by that I mean Republicans, regardless of what group we belong to or even if we belong to no grouping.

Yes we might have our political differences but these Ten Brave Men are our common bond. Surely on one day of the year we can cast our differences aside and come together as we do annually on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday to remember them? We need to give these men back the dignity taken by those who have sold out on everything they died for.

Those men shared a common bond in the Hell Blocks, they shared the same dismay when they heard comrades being beaten by the screw, they were starved together and forced to eat contaminated food. They endured all this and more then they stepped forward and died together on Hunger Strike. Not for peace nor a place at the table but for a 32 County Socialist Republic. 

Micky Devine was an INLA Volunteer and coming to the end of his life he told fellow Hunger Striker IRA Volunteer Pat Beag McGeown that he believed the Hunger Strike should end after his death. Pat said 'why not end it now?' To which Micky replied, 'because I don't want to be the one who ended it.' Pat later said in an interview that it got to the stage whereas men were dying because they didn't want to let down those who died before them.

Big Tom McElwee told Pat that Bik McFarlane should step down because as he put it, if we don't know what we want how will the Brits know? This was in regard to the fact the men didn't know what was going on.

These are not my words nor the words of Richard O'Rawe but the words of Pat Beag himself in an interview with the Spanish Academic Rogelio Alonso who used them in his book The IRA and Armed Struggle. Pat was a member of Sinn Féin until his death.

Those were men in different organisations, who like the men and women in 1916, fought together and died together despite their political differences.  

We own them at least our unity even for only one day each year otherwise we abandon them to the political expedience of the Collaborationist. 

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Anthony McIntyre

Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher

1 comment to ''Ten Brave Men Our Common Bond"

  1. People were led to believe politics was assisting the cutting edge of the IRA. It was never a populist decision for any one to join any paramilitary grouping. As it turned out those leading the political wing had ideas of personal glory and wealth. The dead and ruined were but expendable cast aways benefitting their 'elevation' to constitutionalism. They became popular by betraying the selfless fighters.


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