The above photograph shows a mural painted by 'the Bogside Artists'. The painting is based on the events of the Hunger Strike. The mural was unveiled on Tuesday 25 July 2000 and is situated on Rossville Street in the Bogside area of Derry.
The first of the two major hunger strikes began on 27 October 1980 and ended on 18 December 1980 after a period of 53 days. Raymond Mc Cartney, the main subject in the mural, was one of those who took part. Initally seven Republican prisoners in the H-blocks of the Maze Prison volunteered to go on hunger strike. They were followed on 1 December 1980 by 3 women prisoners in Armagh prison. A further 23 Republican prisoners joined the strike on 15 December 1980. The first hunger strike was called off when the prisoners thought that the government had conceded on the issue of political status. The entire episode together with the second hunger strike in 1981 when ten men, including Bobby Sands, lost their lives left an indelible scar on the Bogside psyche. Raymond Mc Cartney's face is emblazoned on many peoples minds to this day because his photograph smuggled out of 'the Maze' seemed to tell the whole story of the grief and suffering of the inmates. Being from Derry we felt this photograph would be the ideal focus for our mural. Also, being still alive he could act as a voice of authority for the period.
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