Saturday, October 22, 2016

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Pat Sheehan Talking About 55 Days On Hunger Strike


Pat Sheehan who survived 55 days without food talks about the ending of the 1981 Republican hunger strikes



8 comments :

DaithiD said...

Bobby Sands wasnt a Sinn Fein MP.What success of Sinn Fein in 1981 could he possibly mean?

AM said...

Apart from the rubbish at the end about doing the same thing today as he was doing in 72, and a few other less salient matters, this is a good interview that captures much of what was going on at the time. I remember talking to Pat on what was Day 35 of his strike (if memory does not fail me) and he looked like a little bird that had just been hatched. So emaciated and physically frail. It was not a pleasant sight. Yet mentally he was very strong. How he explains it today given his current perspective is something else. I am really glad he survived.

DaithiD said...

There was this video recently of an IS bomber celebrating getting the keys to VBIED.There was almost a flippancy to it. I don't mean to draw a comparison to IS but to contrast the strength is must take to maintain a position,for 55 days in Pats case, when all your faculties are being seared away. Its so sad the hunger strikers abilities were manifested in such a situation and not something less self annihilating.

sean bres said...

To be honest - and I wasn't going to say as I wasn't sure why this was re-posted here - I also thought it a good interview. I would also say that many who remain in Sinn Fein genuinely do believe they are still engaged in the same struggle, although the language that 'we were pursuing change' as opposed to Irish Freedom betrays that they instinctively know this narrative has major flaws. Don't know Pat but enjoyed his interview and respect what he has done.

AM said...

Sean,

it was reposted here because of its value: a narrative from someone who was at the heart of matters at the time. It featured on a site that we frequently lift from ~ Organized Rage. I guess we just don't take the view that it shouldn't feature because we disagree with the speakers perspective. We carried an interview a while back with Philip Rooney who narrated what it was like to be on the wing with Bobby during his hunger strike. Another very important contribution to the historical narrative. I am glad people are listening to it for its historical value and not simply going on a rant because of Pat's current politics.

sean bres said...

Yeah I see that now and agree that that is the correct view to take on the matter - that it is still of worth and worth being carried here even though Pat is still with Sinn Fein. Fair play.

P Sl said...

I mean, it's an interesting account of his time on hunger strike, but I did find it got bogged down in revisionist rubbish in the end (didn't expect myself to sit through 15 minutes of this but I did). Too often, those aligned with SF get tied up in their own rhetoric which is why those who aren't part of the political machine often give the most sincere and authentic re-telling of events from that time. I'm not old enough to remember those very dark days.

Organized Rage said...

I carried this interview on Organized Rage because I felt it added to our knowledge about the hunger strike and the shere stamina of the members of Óglaigh na hÉireann in the jails. What Pat does and says today did not impact on that decision. There was another informative interview which Tommy McKearney gave about the impact on his body of his 1980 hunger strike.

I agree completely with AM these types of interviews contribute to the overall historical narrative and I was only to pleased the Quill carried it.