A 61 day hunger strike
Joe McDonnell – a rebel of the Irish Republican Army, was born on Slate Street in Belfast. He studied at a Catholic school. In 1970 he married a girl named Goretti and moved to her sister’s house in Lenadune, the Protestant area of Belfast. The house itself, as well as the people had repeatedly been attacked by Protestants. During “Operation Demetrius”, McDonnell was arrested and sent to prison by a floating ship HMS Maidstone, and later transferred to the Maze. After his release, McDonnell joined the IRA unit, known as the Belfast Brigade.
Together with Bobby Sands, they organized the explosion in the building of a furniture factory Balmoral, throwing a firebomb. Then began a shootout with police and British regular units in which McDonnell and Sands, along with his accomplices were arrested. All were sentenced to 14 years in prison for terrorism and illegal possession of firearms.
In 1981, McDonnell supported the protest and took part in the preparation of the requirements of prisoners – the rights not to wear a prison uniform, do prison work, to communicate with other prisoners, have the right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week; demand pardon. The first strike wasn’t supported, but in 1981 there was a second hunger strike.
61 days after the start of the hunger strike McDonnell died, it happened on July 8, 1981. He was buried next to Bobby Sands at Milltown cemetery.
Joseph McDonnell, September 14, 1951 – July 8, 1981, who died during a hunger strike in prison in 1981 Mays. Thousands filled the streets – people came out to greet one of his sons, who died bravely resisting.