Seven Stars

Fallen Comrade of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

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Kevin Lynch
Volunteer - Irish National Liberation Army
Died on Hunger Strike on 1 August 1981

Kevin Lynch was born on 25 May 1956 in the small village of Park in Co. Derry. He was raised in the nearby town of Dungiven, which was primarily a nationalist area but was garrisoned by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the British Army, thus he grew up experiencing the prejudice and sectarianism existing under such conditions.

He joined the INLA in August of 1976 and was arrested three months later during an RUC roundup of suspected INLA activists in Dungiven. He was charged with conspiring to disarm members of the RUC and the taking of 'legally held' shotguns.

He spent most of 1977 on remand in Crumlin Road Jail in Belfast, until December when he was convicted and sentenced to ten years in Long Kesh Prison. In prison he immediately joined the blanket protest against the loss of political prisoner status for republican activists.

He took part in the first hunger strike of 1980, saying "if they too everything else away, they'd never take my principles. I'll die before they take them from me."

The first hunger strike was called off before anyone died, but after the British government reneged on its promises, a second hunger strike was called in 1981. Ten men, including Lynch and two other INLA volunteers, died on the second strike.

While on the second strike, he stood as a candidate in the Irish general election from his prison cell, coming within 300 votes of winning a seat in Waterford.

He was 71 days on hunger strike, finally succumbing to death at 1 a.m. on 1 August 1981.

He died as he lived: a Republican Socialist. Remember him with honour and pride.

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