“I die proudly for my country and in the hope that my death will be sufficient to obtain the demands of my comrades.
Let there be no bitterness on my behalf but a determination to achieve the new Ireland for which I gladly die.
My loyalty and confidence is to the IRA and let those of you who are left, carry on the work and finish the fight.”
Irish Socialist Republicans from Anti Imperialist Action in South Wicklow held a vigil on Sunday, June 6th in Arklow to Remember IRA Volunteer Michael Gaughan who died on Hunger Strike in Parkhurst Prison, England, on June 3rd 1974.
Michael Gaughan came from rebel Béal an Átha in Co. Mayo and emigrated to London after he left school.
In London Michael joined the IRA’s England Brigade.
While on active service Michael was convicted of possession of a weapon and conspiracy to rob a bank.
Michael was imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs, Albany and Parkhurst prisons.
On March 31st 1974, Michael joined his comrades including Co. Mayo IRA Volunteer Frank Stagg on Hunger Strike.
The Hunger Strikers demands were –
End to solitary confinement.
Education instead of prison work.
Transfer to a prison in Ireland.
Michael Gaughan and his comrades were repeatedly force-fed during their Hunger Strikes. Force feeding involved shoving a wooden clamp into the prisoner’s mouth through which a tube was passed. Liquid food was then poured through the tube, often entering the victim’s windpipe.
Michael Gaughan died as a result of this barbaric treatment.
Thousands of people turned out to show their respects for Michael Gaughan in Kilburn, London.
Also in Dublin thousands lined the capital’s streets and across the country as Michael’s funeral made its way to the Republican Plot in Ballina, Co. Mayo.
Michael’s comrade Frank Stagg died on Hunger Strike on February 12, 1976 in Wakefield Prison.
Michael Gaughan died on Hunger Strike in Parkhurst Prison, England, on June 3, 1974, aged just 24yrs.
Remember Ireland’s Hunger Strikers!