Maze Hungerstrikers

The 1981 hunger strike was the culmination of several protests, starting with the Blanket protest and continuing over 5 years. The momentous decision to take this action was taken by the prisoners themselves and backed up by the leadership outside the prison. Bobby Sands was the leader of the hunger strike and he showed great courage, determination and leadership in his actions which ultimately achieved what they wanted - the continuation of Political Status and rejection of British government policy of criminalising republican volunteers. 

The protest took place in the Maze prison, which was located just outside of Belfast.

Over the summer of 1981, ten hunger strikers died. Their names, affiliation, dates of death, and length of hunger strike are as follows:

Strike started
Date of death
Length of strike
Bobby SandsIRA1 March5 May66 days
Francis HughesIRA15 March12 May59 days
Raymond McCreeshIRA22 March21 May61 days
Patsy O'HaraINLA22 March21 May61 days
Joe McDonnellIRA8 May8 July61 days
Martin HursonIRA28 May13 July46 days
Kevin LynchINLA23 May1 August71 days
Kieran DohertyIRA22 May2 August73 days
Thomas McElweeIRA8 June8 August62 days
Michael DevineINLA22 June20 August60 days