Cork Hunger Strike 1920
On the 11th of August, a mass strike was once again initiated in Cork Jail, when 60 IRA members, most of whom were held without charge or trial, demanded reinstatement of political status and release. In the weeks that followed, the British released or transferred many of the 60 until only 11 were left. Three of these were Terence McSwiney, (Lord Mayor of Cork who had joined the strike on the 12th of August) Michael Fitzgerald, and Joseph Murphy. On the 16th of August, McSwiney was sentenced to 2 years but said his strike would continue, and he was deported to Brixton that very night. Following McSwiney’s death, the hunger strike in Cork Jail continued for a further three weeks, and following a request from Arthur Griffith, acting President of the Irish Republic, the remaining nine prisoners on hunger strike ended their fast on 12 November 1920.
Terence McSwiney died on 25 October 1920 after 74 days on hunger strike. His body was brought home for burial beside Tomás MacCurtain in the Republican plot in Saint Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork. Peter O’Donovan, brother of Con O’Donovan, which survived the Hunger Strike is seated at bottom right.