The Story behind the 1981 Hunger Striker’s Crucifix

In the midst of the 1981 Hunger Strike, Margaret Thatcher lobbied the Catholic church to declare the prisoner’s actions to be a form of suicide and so a ‘mortal sin’. Pope John Paul ordered his emissary to Ireland to present the Hunger Strikers with golden crucifixes on his behalf, to comfort them during their ordeal.

IRSM Hunger Striker Patsy O’Hara

A clear if subtle rebuff to Thatchers cynical attempts to destroy the morale of these brave martyrs. IRSM Volunteer Patsy O’Hara, in a beautiful gesture bequeathed his cross to his mother, in recognition of the suffering that she had gone through on his behalf and on behalf of Ireland.

Upon her passing the O’Hara family bequeathed it to the IRSM museum. A rounded symbol (if any where needed) of the revolutionary sincerity and commitment that exists amongst the Irish Republican Socialist family as a whole. Vinceremos!

The crucifix in the IRSM museum

The IRSM museum is situated in Chamberlain St, Derry and open Monday- Friday