Republicans to mark 35th anniversary of Bellaghy hunger striker

Thomas McElwee

Thomas McElwee

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Hundreds of Republicans are expected in Bellaghy tomorrow for a commemoration ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of IRA man Thomas McElwee, who died on hunger strike 35 years ago.

The ceremony of commemoration will include a short historical re-enactment incorporating drama, and music as well as words from seminal moments in Ireland’s history as part of the 1916 Easter Rising cententary programme.

The parade which will include marching bands and the County Derry 1916 Re-enactors will assemble at 2.30pm sharp in the village at the junction with Gulladuff Road.

Sinn Féin Republican Youth are expected to have a strong contingent in the parade.

Mid Ulster Sinn Féin MLA, Ian Milne said: “ As the hunger -strikers were all young men, leaders and an inspiration to generations of Irish republicans and revolutionary peoples all over the world, it is important that young republicans get a chance to play their part in our commemoration for Thomas McElwee. They will be the new leaders down through the coming years who will take our revolutionary struggle to the next step.”