TRENTENNALE HUNGER STRIKE. INAUGURATA MOSTRA ALLA LINEN HALL LIBRARY DI BELFAST

Presente all’inaugurazione il vertice dello Sinn Fein. Minima l’opposizione unionista all’evento

1 Marzo 1981 – 1 Marzo 2011. A commemorare il trentennale dell’Hunger Strike 1981 – che vide come primo ‘martire’ Bobby Sands – una mostra presso la Linen Hall Library di Belfast.
Stranamente, le critiche all’evento sono giunte solo da un esponente DUP. Lord Browne, membro dell’Assembly e del comitato per la cultura, le arti e  il tempo libero, ha sollevato il dibbio sull’utilizzo della biblioteca per quello che ha descritto come una mostra “molto sensibile”.
“Una mostra come questa potrebbe risultare offensiva per le persone della comunità unionista e bisogna stare attenti, perché è un luogo pubblico”.
“Spetta agli amministratori della Linen Hall Library, ma penso chesi dovrebbe tenere in considerazione la sensibilità della gente.”
Pronta la risposta della direzione della biblioteca, che ha subito messo in chiaro che si è in presenza di un evento voluto dallo Sinn Fein.
“Siamo un campo neutro dedicato a fornire informazioni e  raccolte al popolo d’Irlanda, in primo luogo dell’Irlanda del Nord. La Linen Hall Library fa mostre per il pubblico che poi ragiona con la propria testa, ma questa è la mostra personale dello Sinn Fein”, ha dichiarato Brian Adgey.
L’inaugurazione ufficiale è spettata al Vice Primo Ministro Martin McGuinness, che ha definito la mostra “molto forte” e incentrata sul “rispetto” e la “diginità”, riconoscendo anche che i repubblicani non sono stati “gli unici che hanno sofferto”.
La vasta esposizione comprende manufatti e capi di abbigliamento indossati da alcuni dei 10 hunger strikers, morti nella loro battaglia per veder riconosciuto lo status di prigioniero politico.
La mostra sull’Hunger Strike 1981, sarà una mostra itinerante. Partita da Belfast, toccherà nell’arco del 2011, le città di Dublino, Ballymena ed Omagh.

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….dal Belfast Telegraph

Hunger strike 30th anniversary exhibition opens in Belfast (Belfast Telegraph)
Sinn Fein politicians from north and south gathered at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast yesterday to launch an exhibition commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike.
But in contrast to the bitterly polarised opinions in Northern Ireland at the time of the strike, there was only mild criticism of the display yesterday by one DUP MLA.
Lord Browne, a member of the Assembly’s culture, arts and leisure committee, questioned the use of the library for what he described as “a highly sensitive” exhibition.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness officially opened the exhibition on the hunger strike which he described as “one of the most seminal events in the history of the Troubles”.
Mr McGuinness said the display is a “very powerful” exhibition which was being held in a “very respectful and dignified” way, and he acknowledged that republicans were “not the only ones who have suffered”.
He was joined by Sinn Fein colleagues from the Assembly and newly-elected TDs Gerry Adams, for Louth, and Mary Lou McDonald, for Dublin Central.
The extensive exhibition includes artefacts and items of clothing worn by some of the 10 republicans who died at the Maze prison during the protest against the British authorities who denied the prisoners political status.
However, Lord Browne said the hunger strike remains a very sensitive issue.
“An exhibition like this could prove offensive to people from the unionist community and one should be careful, as it is a public place,” he said.
“It is up to the trustees of the Linen Hall Library, but I think they should take people’s sensitivities into consideration.”
Linen Hall Library director Brian Adgey said the exhibition was a private launch by Sinn Fein.
“We are a neutral venue dedicated to providing collections and information to the people of Ireland, primarily Northern Ireland. The Linen Hall library puts on its own exhibitions for the public to make up their own minds, but this is Sinn Fein’s own exhibition,” he said.
The hunger strike exhibition will tour Ireland throughout the 30th anniversary year.
It will move from Belfast to Dublin, then on to Ballymena and Omagh.
Background
The hunger strikes were a pivotal moment in the history of the Troubles, which led to republicans moving into the electoral process. Bobby Sands, a prisoner at the Maze, refused food on March 1, 1981. He was joined by other prisoners who were protesting in order to be given political prisoner status instead of being treated as criminals. Sands died after 66 days — he was one of 10 republicans who died. While on hunger strike, Sands stood for and won a seat at Westminster.

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