Survivors of the 1920 hunger strike commemorated in new book supported by Cork City Council 

Survivors of the 1920 hunger strike commemorated in new book supported by Cork City Council 

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh and his wife Stephanie with co-authors Clare Cronin and Conor Kenny and Helen McGonagle (right), Exec. Librarian at Cork City Council at the launch of 'The Nine Survivors: A Story of the 94-day Record Hunger Strike' in 1920 by co-authors Clare Cronin and Conor Kenny. Picture: Brian Lougheed

The forgotten century-old story of the survivors of a 94-day hunger strike in Cork Prison is told in a new book, published tomorrow.

Co-authored by first cousins Clare Cronin and Conor Kenny, The Nine Survivors: A Story of the 94-day Record Hunger Strike details their journey to commemorate nine brave men, four from Ballylanders, one from Limerick City, three from Tipperary and one from Cork, who had survived a twelve-week hunger strike in 1920.

Commenting at the launch, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh said that 1920 was "a year of profound importance in Ireland’s history".

"Our ancestors lived through a tumultuous year of escalating violence, tension, and distrust. 

"I am delighted that Cork City Council, is supporting this fascinating book as part of its 1920-2020 Centenary Commemoration Programme. 

Co-authors of 'The Nine Survivors: A Story of the 94-day Record Hunger Strike', Clare Cronin and Conor Kenny. Picture: Brian Lougheed
Co-authors of 'The Nine Survivors: A Story of the 94-day Record Hunger Strike', Clare Cronin and Conor Kenny. Picture: Brian Lougheed

"Cork City’s diverse Commemoration Programme aims to help us learn more about contemporary society - giving us a deeper understanding of how Irish society was shaped by our past. 

"Conor Kenny and Clare Cronin have done us a great service by bringing the story of the nine survivors to life," he continued. 

Mr Kenny, whose grandfather Joe (Joseph) Kenny was one of the original hunger strikers, said the book has been in the works since 2018.

"In and around the end of 2018, prompted by my first cousin Clare Cronin who co-wrote and researched this book, I decided to look for information on the Hunger Strike but found very little. 

"Not wanting to have these events lost to time, I took it on myself to seek out information from any lead I had and go out and talk to relatives of the 'forgotten nine hunger strikers', talk to historians and do detailed searches in old archives gleaning what I could to piece together these very important and near forgotten pieces of our history," he said.

The book will be available to purchase from tomorrow from the New Civic Offices at Cork City Hall.

Members of the public can call 021-4924378 to place an order.

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