14 July 2015Peggy O’Hara, mother of Derry hunger striker Patsy O’Hara has passed away aged 88.
Mrs O’Hara’s son Patsy, a member of the INLA was amongst ten republican prisoners who died in Long Kesh on hunger strike in 1981. He died after 61 days.
Mrs O’Hara contested the Northern Ireland Assembly elections aged 76 in 2007.
At that time she was quoted as saying she would stand after Sinn Fein announced in that year they would hold a special Ard Fheis on policing in the north. Mrs O’Hara said she would put her name forward for the elections in memory of her son.
““Patsy would have been against this,” she said.
“I was there for years and years when Patsy got lifted and was taken out in his bare feet by the police.
“A lot of people, including young people, have the same opinion as me.
“No-one has come to me and asked me what I think of the policing debate.
“I am standing in memory of Patsy if the elections take place,” she told the Irish News in 2007.
The O’Hara family hailed from the Bishop Street area of Derry. Patsy O’Hara was interned in Long Kesh in 1974 and joined the INLA upon his release in 1975. He was subsequently arrested in Derry later that same year and held on remand for six months and for a further period of four months in 1976.
In May 1978, he was arrested in Dublin but was released hours later. He returned to Derry in 1979 and was arrested and later convicted of posession of a hand grenade and recieved an eight year jail term. At the beginning of the first hunger strike in 1980 he was officer commanding INLA prisoners in Long Kesh. He joined the 1981 hunger strike on March 22, 1981.