The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Hunger Strikers for Sale on Ebay


Breandán Ó Muirthile • 24 September 2006

You can buy the 1981 hunger strikers on ebay now - €250 for a job lot of ten, with Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan thrown in as sweeteners.

Don't worry about where your cash is going. It's heading straight into Sinn Fein's coffers to finance the latest strategic advance towards the Republic in next year's Dail elections. Any money left over from that will then, no doubt, be channelled into the party's forthcoming 'Snuggle up to a Peeler' campaign.

Browsing through the local freesheet newspaper here in west Dublin, I noticed an advert for the banner carried by the Shinners on their recent commemorative march past the GPO.

There they were, the faces of the 12 hunger strikers, almost all of them not even out of their 20s when they endured deaths better imagined than described. Below their images was the phrase 'Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann'. They certainly did.

Accompanying the picture was an article, clearly sent in by SF, explaining that the banner was now up for sale on ebay, with opening bids of €250 and all proceeds going to Cllr Felix Gallagher's 2007 election fund.

The hunger strikers, men who suffered greatly, both before and during their fasts, have been stripped of their humanity and turned into mere commodities to be sold to the highest bidder.

What next for Sinn Fein? Plastic statuettes of each of the hunger strikers with 'Made in China' stamped on the bottom?

None of us will ever know whether the hunger strikers would have supported what Sinn Fein has turned into. We do know, however, that several of the men's families have publicly distanced themselves from that party.

Three of the men were not even Provisionals. Yet SF shows no compunction about continuing to use the images of them to raise money for elections.

There is, I suppose, a certain cynical logic to it. After all, if, as former blanketman Richard O'Rawe claims, the lives of the Long Kesh men were casually sacrificed in order to win votes for Sinn Fein, it is only to be expected that the same party will have no qualms about exploiting their deaths for financial gain.


























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

25 September 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

DNA and Diplock: A Recipe for Injustice
Martin Galvin

Carrots and Sticks
Dr John Coulter

The Time of My Life
Ray McAreavey

Hunger Strikers for Sale on Ebay
Breandán Ó Muirthile

Strange Logic
Anthony McIntyre

Digging Up the Past
John Kennedy

The History of the Belfast Anti War Movement
Davy Carlin

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 11 & 12
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 13 & 14
Michael Gillespie

Lights Out
Anthony McIntyre

Papal in Glass Houses
Derick Perry

The GFA and Islam
Roy Johnston

Muhammad's Sword
Uri Avnery

We Are Not As Evolved As We Think
David Adams

Stone Me
John Kennedy

18 September 2006

Kick the Pope
Anthony McIntyre

When Saying Sorry Isn't Enough
David Adams

"The third camp is about real lives": Interview with Hamid Taqvaee
Maryam Namazie

John Kennedy

Sympathy for the Victims
Mick Hall

For The Victims of Britain's Holocaust in Ireland
Brian Halpin

Dreary Eden
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Legalize the Irish
Frank [Name Supplied]

Careful What You Wish For
Dr John Coulter

The Peace Process — A Children's Fantasy
Tom Luby

John Kennedy

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