RIP Brendan Hughes

I was sad to hear that Brendan Hughes has died at the age of 59 in hospital. Brendan had been in poor health for some time, a common occurrence amongst ex-prisoners.

Brendan was a former OC of the Belfast Brigade and Brendan was also the OC at the time of the 1980 Hunger Strike.

Against the wishes of the Army Council Hughes and six others, including Sean McKenna who almost died, went on Hunger Strike for 53 days. The strike was only called off upon the intervention of Cardinal O'Fiaich when the Brits offered a compromise.

It was because of the bad faith of the Brits that led to the second Hunger Strike and the death of 10 of Ireland's sons.

Brendan was a close friend of Gerry Adams for a long time but when Brendan opposed the current direction of the Republican Movement the two fell apart. That for me shows the sad reality of what happens when two friends and comrades meet a fork in the road and have to travel on different roads.

Gerry Adams said he held Mr Hughes "in high esteem" and had been "a very good friend and comrade over many years of struggle".

"Brendan will be missed, not least by his family, but also by the wider republican family with whom he dedicated such a large part of his life in furtherance of Irish republican goals,"

Brendan was a life long Republican, his opposition to the current direction of the movement will never change that.

All Irish Republicans will remember this brave Volunteer of Oglaigh Na hÉireann for his life long commitment to Republican ideals.

I measc Laochra na nGael a bhfúil sé

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