Biography of Kevin Lynch is launched

Daily Ireland

Thousands of republicans mark anniversary of hunger striker’s death which occurs tomorrow

By Connla Young

Image Hosted by“A fascinating read” was how Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness described a new biography of the hunger striker Kevin Lynch at a book launch at the weekend.
Dozens of people turned up for the launch of Kevin Lynch and the Irish Hunger Strike at St Canice’s GAA club in the hunger striker’s home town of Dungiven, Co Derry, on Saturday.
The event was introduced by Limavady Sinn Féin councillor Cathal Hasson.
Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness was the guest speaker. He spoke of the importance of recording the individual stories of each of the ten hunger strikers of 1981. The senior republican also commended the author Aidan Hegarty on his work.
“This is a very important year for Irish republicans. It’s the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising and the 25th anniversary of the hunger strike.
“People who have studied 1916 know the focus is often placed on just a few of the leaders. That’s a mistake we should not make in terms of the Irish hunger strike.
“Bobby Sands led the hunger strike and was a writer himself and there’s a lot of attention placed on him. Each of the hunger strikers are as important as Bobby Sands and it’s right their stories are told by people who come from the same community.
“I read the book cover to cover and it is a fascinating read, a very easy read. Aidan Hegarty focuses on Paddy and Bridie Lynch and the families of the other hunger strikers and gives us an insight into what they went through.
“How would we know the pain and anguish they felt? The book is written from the perspective of Aidan Hegarty, an H-block activist and someone who was emotionally affected by the men’s deaths.
“The book is testimony to his integrity, commitment and desire to tell the story of the hunger strikers. I don’t have any doubt that people across the island who have an interest in history will have an interest in this book. This is a book which will be widely read and I will encourage people to buy it,” said Mr McGuinness.
Aidan Hegarty said he was honoured to have the chance to write the Kevin Lynch story.
“I wrote this book because it was something I wanted to do. I was privileged to write it, and it was always an ambition of mine to write it.
“When I went to Kevin’s sister Bridie Lynch, she said there was only one person who could write it and the rest of the family agreed. That was the incentive I needed.
“The book is dedicated to Paddy and Bridie Lynch. They are two people I have immense admiration for. It’s sad they are not here to pass judgment on the book themselves,” he said.
Kevin Lynch’s brother Gerald said his family was delighted with the book.
For more information on the book, write to or call (028/048) 7774 1127.
Meanwhile, in Dungiven yesterday, thousands of republicans gathered to mark Kevin Lynch’s 25th anniversary, which occurs tomorrow.
Martin McGuinness spoke of the sacrifice made by the Dungiven man and his nine comrades. Several senior Sinn Féin figures, including party leader Gerry Adams and MEP Bairbre de Brún, listened as their party colleague spoke about the events of 1981.
Hundreds of people also attended the official opening of Kevin Lynch Park yesterday afternoon. Gaelic Athletic Association president Nickey Brennan and Ulster Council chairman Michael Greenan were on hand to help with the opening, along with members of the Lynch family.
The occasion was marked by a challenge game between the Kevin Lynch senior hurling team and the former all-Ireland club champions James Stephens from Kilkenny.
A number of buses will travel from Dungiven for the national hunger strike rally taking place in Belfast on Sunday, August 13 For more information call Clíona or Caroline on (028) 7774 2488.

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