Dáithí Mac Bhurrais

Last night I found out that a former online friend of mine had slipped away from this life without my knowing it. I canny begin to tell you the sadness this has settled around my shoulders. I didna even know he was gone. This is because, for me, he had left earlier, and I had had to realise that people come into our lives like shooting stars. Their brilliance and warmth stays but a short time as they make their way through the sky. But we are forever changed by them. We are never the same again. Our hearts are filled with tiny sparks from their spirits that ignite great flames of passion and love. Then it is our job to go out into the world and be the light for others as well -- just as we have been taught.

Dáithí Mac Bhurrais, thank you for imparting to the world your fenian faith, and thank you for your friendship. And my thanks to your family for sharing you with all of us. You were truly a shooting star.


Families back inquiry into 1981 events

Letter to the Editor
Derry Journal
30 June 2009

We, the families of hunger-strikers, Patsy O'Hara and Michael Devine, support the call by former hunger-striker, Gerard Hodkins, for an independent republican inquiry into the 1981 hunger-strike.

We cannot understand why any republican would have anything to fear from such an inquiry, or why they would not support it.

The Gulladuff meeting between the Sinn Fein leadership and eight of the hunger strikers' families was very emotional, and we were not unaffected. However, at that meeting, the Sinn Fein delegation refused our request for an independent inquiry. Why?

We call on Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison, Bik McFarlane, and Richard O'Rawe to publicly support our call for an independent inquiry. We call on each of these principals to submit themselves to a judicial process, which would include not only witness evidence but cross-examination. Only then, and not before, will any of the hunger-striker families get to the truth about what happened to our loved ones.

Louise and Michael Og Devine,
Peggy and Tony O Hara.


Anderson 'disgusted' by hunger strike row

Derry Journal
30 June 2009

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA has said she is "disgusted" by what she described as republicans exploiting the grief of the families of the hunger strikers to attack her party.

Ms Anderson made her remarks during the annual Derry Volunteers Commemoration event in the City Cemetery on Sunday.

A crowd of up to 1,000 local republicans took part in the march from the Creggan shops to the republican monument in the City Cemetery.

Her comments come amid claims by former blanketman Richard O'Rawe that the deaths of six of the hunger strikers could have been prevented after a deal, which he claims was accepted by the IRA's jail leadership was rejected by the organisation's overall leadership.

The claim has been supported by the IRSP and several former prisoners who were in Long Kesh at the time but has been flatly rejected by Sinn Féin.

The families of most of the hunger strikers, including County Derry man, Kevin Lynch, issued a statement last week calling for an end to the controversy.

Speaking at Sunday's commemoration, Ms Anderson said: "I am disgusted that so many republicans are exploiting the grief of the families to attack us. In doing so they have got into bed with the right wing press. They should be ashamed of themselves. If they have any honour at all they will call a halt to their shameful actions."

Memory of the dead

The Foyle MLA also said Sinn Féin are continually motivated by the memory of dead IRA volunteers and added that the current political situation could not have been achieved without their efforts.

"Today republicans are wielding unprecedented political power in Ireland. It is the volunteer soldiers of the IRA who made all that possible," she said.

At the commemoration, the Roll of Honour was read by Tiernan Heaney, nephew of IRA member Denis Heaney, and the Roll of Remembrance was read by Aoife McNaught of Ógra Shinn Féin. Wreaths were laid on behalf of Sinn Féin, the Republican Graves Association, Ógra Sinn Féin, and Óglaigh na h'Éireann.

The National Anthem was sung by Sara Griffin.

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