Remembering Michael Gaughan
The Irish Revolutionary Michael Gaughan died on Hunger Strike in Parkhurst Gaol on this day in 1974.
Michael Gaughan, the eldest of six children, was born in Ballina, County Mayo, on October 5th 1949.
Gaughan grew up at Healy Terrace and was educated at St Muredach's College, Ballina, and after finishing his schooling, he emigrated from Ireland to England in search of work.
While in London he joined the Irish Republican Army, In December 1971, he was sentenced at the Old Bailey to seven years imprisonment for his part in an IRA fundraising mission to rob a bank in North London.
Gaughan was initially imprisoned at Wormwood Scrubs, where he spent two years before being transferred to the top security Albany Gaol on the Isle of Wight.
While at Albany Gaol, Gaughan requested political status; this was refused, and he was then put in solitary confinement. Gaughan was later transferred to Parkhurst Gaol, where four of the Belfast Ten were on hunger strike for political status.
On March 31st 1974, Gaughan, along with Gerry Kelly, Paul Holme, Hugh Feeney and fellow Mayoman Frank Stagg, went on hunger strike to support the fight of Dolours and Marion Price to obtain political status and to be transferred to a Gaol in Ireland.
From April 22nd onwards Gaughan was force-fed, the last time he was force-fed was the night before his death on Sunday, June 2nd.
After a hunger strike that lasted 64 days, he died on Monday, June 3rd 1974, aged 24 years old.
Michael Gaughan was given a full Republican funeral in Ballina Co Mayo with 50,000 attendings.
"I die proudly for my country and in the hope that my death will be sufficient to obtain the demands of my comrades. Let there be no bitterness on my behalf, but a determination to achieve the new Ireland for which I gladly die. My loyalty and confidence is to the IRA and let those of you who are left carry on the work and finish the fight"