July 1981


Uncovering the Truth About the 1981 Hunger Strike

Pádraic Wilson Hunger Strike Talk & Disco with Full Bar

NOTE: Text of Speech

H-Blocks former O/C to speak at Hunger Strike event in Whiterock
An Phoblacht, 13 August 2009

Padraic-WilsonLEADING Belfast republican Padraic Wilson is to speak at a Belfast Hunger Strike Commemoration night in the Whiterock Leisure Centre on Sunday, 16 August.

Padraic, from the Andersonstown area, has been involved in the republican struggle for almost 40 years.

The former Blanketman was in jail at the time of the 1981 Hunger Strikes and knew many of the Hunger Strikers personally.

Padraic’s republican involvement began in 1972 when he joined Fianna Éireann. In 1976, he was arrested and charged with possession of explosives and was remanded to Crumlin Road Jail.

He was sentenced to six years in 1977 and went straight on the Blanket, spending the period of the Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks.

Released in 1982, he became active again immediately and was Sinn Féin’s west Belfast organiser for a number of years in the 1980s.


Padraic was arrested again in 1989 but charges against him were dropped in 1990. While on bail he was again arrested in 1991 with Jim ‘Flash’ McVeigh and Tony O’Neill and sentenced to 24 years.

He was IRA Officer Commanding the H-Blocks from 1996 to 1999, during which a tunnel escape was narrowly averted and Republican prisoner Liam Averill escaped dressed as a woman.

Padraic was released to attend the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis and a number of briefings in the run-up to the 1998 Agreement.

hunger-strikeAfter being released in 1999 he became active again in Sinn Féin and currently holds the position of Director of International Affairs.

Doors open for the commemoration night in the Whiterock Leisure Centre at 7pm on Sunday 16 August and admission is £5.

Live music will be provided by Tuan folk, which will be followed by a disco.

There will be a full bar in place.

People are advised to come early to avoid disappointment.


Sourced from An Phoblacht

Category: 2009, An Phoblacht, Media


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A day-by-day account of the events of early July, 1981.

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