Hunger strikers ‘made a united Ireland less likely’

A parade was held in west Belfast on Sunday marking the 35th anniversary of the hunger strike
A parade was held in west Belfast on Sunday marking the 35th anniversary of the hunger strike

A Sinn Fein-led 35th anniversary ‘hunger strike’ parade in west Belfast on Sunday only underlined the fact that the 1980s campaign made a united Ireland “less likely”, it is claimed.

Innocent Victims United spokesman Kenny Donaldson was speaking after Sinn Fein activists from all over the island of Ireland gathered in west Belfast to mark the hunger strike campaign.

The republican parade from Barrack Street to Falls Park. Organisers were expecting 26 bands, 15,000 participants and 5,000 supporters.

Mr Donaldson said: “The trend coming through from the speeches at this event was that Sinn Fein/PIRA’s younger generation of elected representatives are speaking no differently to those who have gone before them and who used the bullet and the bomb to try to force their ‘ourselves alone’ agenda upon everyone else.”

He said that Irish terrorists and insurrectionists had a choice, “but those whose lives they extinguished had no choice”.

He added: “The activities of PIRA - including the hunger strike - have made the possibility of a united Ireland less likely, not more likely”.