Vol. Martin Hurson Annual Commemoration Upcoming In Galbally

The 1916 Societies will commemorate H Block hunger striker, IRA Volunteer Martin Hurson  next Monday.

‘Among the hills of green Tyrone an Irish Soldier lies;
The youthful Martin Hurson who for Ireland gave his life.
To uphold his country’s dignity he followed Bobby Sands,
On Hungerstrike for human rights in death he took his stand’

Martin Hurson was born on 13th September 1956, the second youngest in a family of nine. His parents, Johnnie and Mary Ann Hurson, raised the family on a small farm on the outskirts of Cappagh. He went to Crosscavanagh Primary School in Galbally and then onto St. Patrick’s, Dungannon. His mother Mary Ann died suddenly in 1970 when Martin was 14.

When Martin left school he got work as an apprentice fitter in TJ McKenna’s, a local firm, before going to England for a few months, coming home in 1973. As Martin started to socialise more, the crown forces constantly harassed him. He received beatings in Pomeroy, where his girlfriend Bernadette lived, and like many other young lads from the area he grew to resent foreign forces in Ireland and joined the IRA. Martin was an ordinary young man trying to wage war. He was very discreet and his family were never aware of his involvement. He was always ready to do what was needed and was involved in many operations.

In 1976 he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to kill and membership of the IRA. Sentenced to 20 years, he immediately joined the Blanket Protest in Long Kesh. In December 1980 he joined the first Hungerstrike, which was to end before Christmas. On 29th May he joined the Hungerstrike of 1981. During his 46 days his favourite phrase was ‘no problem’. As he grew weaker his family and supporters attended protests all over the country. He was very determined not to give in and made his family promise not to let him down.

On Monday 13th July 1981 at 4am, Martin died in Long Kesh, with Fr. Murphy and his brother Brendan at his bedside. His father was at the prison gate with Bernadette, the prison authorities refusing her entry and mocking her request to see him. Martin went to his death knowing he had given his life that others may have a better life and one day a free and peaceful land. Volunteer Martin Hurson is buried in Galbally, at home again among friends.

On Monday 13th July the PH Pearse Society Galbally-Cappagh are holding their Annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Grave of Volunteer Martin Hurson – everyone welcome. East Tyrone Remembers

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