A commemoration will be held in Letterkenny tomorrow to mark the 36th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands on hunger strike.

The vigil will take place at 7.30pm at the hunger strike monument at Glencar, Letterkenny.

Sinn Fein Cllr Gerry McMonagle said that there was added poignancy to this year’s event as over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike.

Cllr McMonagle said: "1981 was a particular sad year for Irish republicans as we watched Bobby Sands and nine of his comrades give their lives in the most brutal and tortuous way possible.

“Their courage and bravery sparked protests around the globe and put a spotlight on the brutality of the British occupation of Ireland.
“Thirty-six years later their sacrifice continues to inspire freedom struggles around the globe.

“However, as we mark Bobby’s anniversary, we are deeply concerned for the welfare of over 1000 hunger strikers in Palestine.

“They are protesting against the mass incarceration of the Palestinian people by the Israeli authorities and the serious deterioration of prison conditions. The prisoners are seeking basic demands, including access to books, newspapers and clothes, and the resumption of bi-monthly family visits.

"They are also seeking the installation of air conditioning in prisons where summer temperatures can regularly be over 40 degrees centigrade.

“There are approximately 6,500 political prisoners in Israeli jails, 300 are under the age of 18. 536 are held under administrative detention, which is essentially internment without trial.

“The conditions under which the prisoners are held are appalling. Torture has been documented.

"The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has reported the case of Arafat Jaradat who died six days after he was arrested by the Israelis in 2013. The post-mortem showed he had six broken bones in his spine, neck, arms, and leg. He died of cardiac arrest."

Cllr McMonagle concluded: “I would call on all the people of Donegal to join us tomorrow Friday, at 7.30pm at the Hunger Strike Memorial behind the Glencar Shops to remember Bobby and his comrades and send solitary to the people of Palestine, and particularly those who are on hunger strike.”

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