Kevin Lynch Commemoration 2018
The IRSP gathered at St Patricks chapel in Dungiven today to remember INLA Hunger Striker Kevin Lynch on his 37th anniversary. Kevin Lynch died on the 1st August 1981 following 71 days on Hunger Strike.
IRSP members from across Ireland gathered at the graveyard for the wreath laying and speech that was delivered by IRSP Belfast Comhairle Ceantair Representative Michael Kelly. Michael spoke of the important revolutionary legacy that Kevin and the other 9 Hunger Strikers have left behind, a revolutionary legacy that the IRSP intend to carry on.
The IRSP would like to thank the family, comrades and friends of Kevin for attending today.
Kevin Lynch Main Oration, Dungiven 2018
”Welcome Comrades, friends, family members and supporters, as we gather to remember the courageous life of republican socialist revolutionary, INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch. The youngest of eight children, Kevin was 25 years old at the time of his death on the 1st of August 1981, after 71 tortuous days on Hunger Strike, cementing his name in the minds of working class people all over the world. Such bravery and commitment is seldom, unbelievable in the eyes of many, but to Kevin, it was the reality of life under the iron fist of a vicious regime. The struggling political prisoners of Ireland’s fight for national liberation concluded that such measures were necessary to bring to a head the disrespect, the beatings, the torture and the refusal to recognise legitimate guerilla fighters as just that. Kevin and his 9 brothers sacrificed their lives, times with their families, their futures; they gave up everything for us. For many young people of today, it is difficult to contemplate this. We didn’t live through the times Kevin, and many people here today did. The magnitude of their personal decisions when embarking upon and spearheading the fight against an aggressive military super-power isn’t emphasised enough. These gallant volunteers carried the weight of Ireland’s freedom struggle on their shoulders and faced down a goliath with nothing other than the passion and desire that they held within their hearts. Kevin Lynch was a man trapped in a cell, unarmed, without a cavalry and with few options to choose from, but he took Ireland’s case to the doorstep of the world. He forced shame on an establishment that screamed ‘criminals’ at every opportunity and the world followed. The courage of a small number of men and women in prisons throughout Ireland broke the British propaganda machine and rocked society to its core. We must remember the life that Kevin led. A life of struggle, of sacrifice; a life of pain and endurance, but also, a life of hope and inspiration that gives Downing Street nightmares to this very day. When millionaire British ministers look across the water to Ireland, or arrive here on corporate visits, the Hungerstrikers of 1981 will forever dominate their minds, for the Hungerstikers of the H-Blocks and their legacy will never desert. In Ireland today, tourists from places near and far, arrive in their droves to hear stories of INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch from Dungiven. This cannot be said of those that forced Kevin to his death, for they are names not worth a mention today as he watches over us. We will never forget him. “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”.