Chicago Remembers Hunger Strikers – Pádraig MacLochlainn delivers address at memorial in Gaelic Park

On Sunday, people from all over Chicago and the midwest gathered for a memorial remembering the hunger strikers of 1981.

Hosted by Chicago Clan na Gael, Sinn Féin TD for Donegal Pádraig MacLochlainn traveled to the event to deliver the keynote address.

Event organizer Vincent Casey said, “It was great to work with the folks at Gaelic Park and to host the memorial at the famine monument. Attendees came from all over Illinois, as well as from Wisconsin, Ohio, and Ireland to gather and remember the hunger strikers of 1981 at a powerful event.”

In his address to the crowd, Pádraig MacLochlainn said, in part,”The Good Friday Agreement provides a peaceful and democratic pathway to Irish Unity. It places the future in the hands of the people north and south. It provides for Unity Referendums and obliges the governments to act on their outcome.

“We, all of us in this room have the opportunity to build a new and united Ireland.

An opportunity denied to all who came before. No one needs to go to jail, to die or to be

injured.

“Irish unity can and will be delivered peacefully.

“We can be the generation to end partition.”

“Mary Lou McDonald is the first Sinn Féin President and the first woman to lead the

official opposition in the history of the state.

“Michelle O’Neill, the Sinn Féin Vice President, is the First Minister Elect in the North. The

absolute unionist majority is gone.

“In the local government elections in May of this year, candidates supporting Irish Unity

outpolled those supporting continued division and partition.

“Next year we are likely to fight British and Irish General elections as well as local and

European elections in the south.

“We are ambitious to lead governments, North and South in Ireland, a Sinn Féin First Minister and a Sinn Féin Taoiseach.

“Mary Lou and Michelle O’Neill standing shoulder to shoulder.

“We take nothing for granted.

“A Sinn Féin government in Dublin would plan, prepare, and persuade for Irish Unity. That is

what any Irish government should be doing. It is what this government should do.

“…We have our exiled children in America and we have the people on our side. We have

the determination of generations of Irish Republicans.

“We are unbroken and unbowed. We will see the rising of the moon and we will

build a new and united Ireland. For that is the truest tribute we can pay to our

hunger strikers.”