Famine Horror – Bobby Sands Hunger Strike – Martin O’Neill at Today in Irish History

March 1: TODAY in Irish History:

** ** **

bobby sands mural

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

** ** **

.

1847: Horrific Report on Irish Famine

irish famine image

Lord Dufferin (at the time a twenty-one year old student at Oxford) and the Hon G.G. Boyle publish a report on the famine in the Skibbereen, Co. Cork area.

“The scenes we have witnessed during our short stay at Skibbereen, equal anything that has been recorded by history, or could be conceived by the imagination. Famine, typhus fever, dysentery, and a disease hitherto unknown, are sweeping away the whole population.”

“(We) sent out for an immense basket-full of loaves, intending to distribute them to the occasional starving beings we were sure to meet with by the way; but some of the people of the town had learnt our intention, and collected in a great crowd under the window to the number of 100 or 200, mostly women. It was a frightful sight to see those pale eager faces staring up at us, uttering all manner of entreaties. Of course there was no hope of carrying off the bread, indeed it would have been cruel to have made the attempt; the only question was, how to divide it. At first we sent it down to the door, but the rush was so great, that that scheme became impracticable; and it only remained, to throw it out of the window. One can never forget what followed; the fighting, the screaming, the swaying to and fro of the human mass, as it rushed in the direction of some morsel, the entreaties and gestures by which each one sought to attract our attention to herself, and above all the insatiable expression of the crowd as it remained unsatisfied and undiminished at the exhaustion of our loaves– for what were they among so many!”

.

Lord Dufferin in later life

Lord Dufferin in later life

.

READ:  Narrative of a Journey: From Oxford to Skibbereen.

.

1869:   Field Marshal Hugh Gough

Death of Limerick born, 1st Viscount Gough. Gough fought in the French Revolutionary wars, the Penninsular wars and the first Anglo-Chinese War. 

Field Marshal Hugh Gough

.

** ** **

.

1952: Soccer Manager Martin O’Neill

Martin O’Neill, soccer player and soccer manager is born in Co. Derry.

 Sunderland Manager Martin O'Neill

.

O’Neill’s career included a very successful spell playing with Nottingham Forest when it won the European Cup in 1980. Perceived as one of the most astute soccer managers in the British game, he has had generally successful spells managing clubs including Leicester, Glasgow Celtic, Sunderland. A sometimes fiery, articulate player, as a manager  he is recognized for exceptional man-management and motivational skills.

.

** ** **

.

1981: Bobby Sands Starts Hunger Strike

bobby sands mural

Bobby Sands mural, Falls Road Belfast

IRA volunteer Bobby Sands commences his hunger strike at the Maze prison which would see him die 66 days later ensuring an eternal legacy in IRA and Nationalist history. In total, 10 IRA hunger strikers starved to death in their efforts to achieve political prisoner status from the government of an intransigent Margaret Thatcher.

The IRA played a very astute international campaign during the hunger strikes gaining widespread support and attention for their cause. The deaths of Sands and his colleagues was a massive boost for IRA recruitment. The support for the strike was evidenced by Sands winning the vacant House of Commons seat for MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in a by-election necessitated by the death of sitting MP Frank Maguire. In a hugely emotional campaign, Sands defeated Unionist candidate Harry West.

The demands of the prisoners included:

1.The right not to wear a prison uniform;

2.The right not to do prison work;

3.The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;

4.The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;

5.Full restoration of remission lost through the protest.

bobby sands mural

Bobby Sands mural, Falls Road Belfast

.

Britain never formally acceded to the strikers’ demands but three days after the hunger strikes finally came to an end on October 3, Ulster Secretary James Prior announced a number of concessions including the right to wear civilian clothes and the restoration of partial remission for those who obeyed prison rules for three months.

.

** ** **

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

___________________________________

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

   

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: