Hunger as Political Weapon
On October 25, 1920, the Republican Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, died after a seventy four-day hunger strike at Brixton Prison, England. His ordeal, witnessed throughout the world, brought a support never-before-seen for the Irish cause. Thus, his death marked a turning point in the Irish War of Independence and precipitated the English fall in Éireann. In deciding to starve to death, MacSwiney used his hunger as a political critique of the ruling powers in Ireland. Like thousands of men and women all through the 20th century, he changed his hunger for justice and freedom into a political weapon. The history of the hunger strike is a vast subject, and though in no doubt incomplete, this book will try to give an understanding of this form of protest - apparently - nonviolent through the telling of the life and death of one Irishman.