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One hundred thousand welcomes to you to my official blog of all things Irish from me, Diane Byrnes, host of the Echoes of Erin radio show on WEDO Radio 810AM.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Playlist - May 1

Today was a special program as we commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikes of 1981. Some text of the program is included here.

May 1, 2011 – PROGRAM # 1206
IRELAND REPORT with Patricia Sharkey, Donegal
Editor, Donegal Newsletter –


Ireland Report News Correspondents
Patricia Sharkey, Editor, Donegal Newsletter –

Brian Nolan, Barna, Co. Galway
Davy Kettyles, Enniskillen & Dublin
Maírtin O’Muilleoir,
Balmoral Sinn Féin Representative,

Belfast Media Group

Pittsburgh Irish Network,

May SPONSOR of The Ireland Report

Knights of Equity, Court 9, Pittsburgh

30th Anniversary Hunger Strikes of 1981

Over the decades many principled men and women have lost their lives in the fight for Irish freedom while on hunger strike. It has been used since 1916 by Irish Republicans in their struggle for freedom and social justice in Ireland. Patrick Daly first used it in a North Wales prison in 1916; Tom Ashe in 1917 was the first to die after being force fed by the authorities.
On October 25, 1920 Terrance MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork and an IRA man died in London’s Brixton Prison after 74 days on hunger strike. MacSwiney’s death shocked the world and turned public opinion against Britain.

Brothers of Ireland

by Don Sullivan
LP ‘Ourselves Alone’

In 1973-74 one of the most publicized hunger strikes occurred in England when four Irish Republican prisoners demanded transfer to a prison in Ireland. Dolores and Marian Price, Hugh Feeney and Gerard Kelly, were force fed for 200 days until the government agreed to transfer them.

Three Mayo men, Seán MacNeela died in Mountjoy prison on April 19, 1940; Michael Gaughan died in Parkhurst prison on June 3, 1974 and Frank Stagg died in Wakefield prison on February 12, 1976.

Michael Gaughan

by Kathleen Largey Thompson
LP ‘The Price of Justice’

Brave Frank Stagg

by Seamus Robinson
CD ‘Songs of Seamus Robinson’

Wishing the Brits Would Go Home

by The Men of No Property
LP ‘Ireland: The Final Struggle’

The British Government introduced internment August 9, 1971 in Northern Ireland against the advice of its military commander on. The decision to detain republican terrorist suspects without trial caused fury and unrest in Catholic communities. That August troops in Northern Ireland rounded up and jailed 342 men - the vast majority of them Catholics with alleged links to paramilitary organisations, and just a handful of Protestants.

The Men Behind the Wire

by Paddy McGuigan
LP ‘My Country My Songs and Me’

As is generally recognized, women banged garbage lids to warn their neighbors that British Troops and RUC officers were approaching.

Lid of Me Granny’s Bin by Blackthorn
CD ’25 Irish Republican Songs’

There are many defenders of Ireland, hear what this song has to say; it was rewritten after 1981.

Voices of Ireland by The Irish Balladeers
LP ‘The Last Barnsville Waltz’

Instrumental: Rights of Man by H-Block Prisoners
CD ‘Music from the Blocks’

On March 1, 1976 the British made an attempt to criminalize the prisoners and began to deny special category status to political prisoners. The Prisoners would have to wear prison uniforms and accept prison work assignments. The prisoners refused and were placed in a cell with only a blanket and denied all privileges ordinarily accorded prisoners. The blanketmen were locked up naked for 24 hours a day and subjected to total deprivation of exercise, fresh air, the company of other humans and reading material. When the prisoners came out to wash, they were beaten and humiliated by the guards and not allowed to wear their blankets.

H-Block Song by Francie Brolly
LP ‘H-Block’

90 Miles to Dublin by Christy Moore
CD ’10 CD Box Set, Lilac’

The Ireland Report with Patricia Sharkey

O’Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands

by Terry O’Neill & Bik McFarlane
CD ‘Something Inside So Strong’

Roll of Honor

by Vincent Gallagher
CD ‘Favorite Songs’

Forever On My Mind

by Christy Moore
LP ‘The Spirit of Freedom’

The Armagh Women by Christy Moore
CD ’10 CD Box

Set, Lilac’

Instrumental: Rights of Man

by H-Block Prisoners
CD ‘Music from the Blocks’


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