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The Hunger Strikes 40 Years On and more at the Linen Hall in March

Forty years ago Northern Ireland was deeply entrenched in another dark chapter of its history – the 1981 hunger strikes which ended with the death of ten republican prisoners. On 9 March, one of the strikers Tommy McKearney opens up about this tense time of the Troubles.

Also in March the Linen Hall celebrates International Women’s Day with a talk and writing session inspired by Mary Ann McCracken, one of the Library’s earliest female members and a noted campaigner for education and prison reform.

March event schedule:

International Women’s Day
“…to inspire the rest…”
A creative writing session inspired by the life and times of Mary Ann McCracken
Monday 8 March 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Online ZOOM event
Today we celebrate the remarkable life of Mary Ann McCracken (1770 – 1866), who campaigned for education, child welfare, prison reform and the abolition of the slave trade. She was also one of the earliest female members of the Linen Hall Library. We will read extracts from her letters and explore her Belfast life. Participants will be encouraged to respond with poetry or prose. Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

International Women’s Day
Mary Ann McCracken and the Influence of Mary Wollstonecraft
With Dr Myrtle Hill
Monday 8 March at 7.00pm
Online ZOOM event
Historian Dr Myrtle Hill explores the influences of women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft on Mary Ann McCracken, focusing on her book A Vindication of the Rights of Women, a copy of which is listed in the Linen Hall’s 1793 catalogue. Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Political Collection Series
The Hunger Strikes 40 Years On: A seminal event in Northern Ireland
With Tommy McKearney
Tuesday 9 March at 7.00pm
Online ZOOM Event
The deaths of 10 republication prisoners during the hunger strikes which ran from 1980 – 1981 caused international concern and remains a seminal event in Northern Ireland’s troubled history. The repercussions of the hunger strikes still reverberate today. Tommy McKearney, one of the strikers, opens up about this tense time in the ‘Troubles’.

Club Leabhar – Irish Language Reading Group
Saturday 13 March at 11.00am
Online ZOOM event
Speak Irish? Or want to brush up on your skills? Take part in our free Irish book club.
March’s title is Teach an Gheafta by Cathal Ó Searcaigh. To register contact: info@linenhall.com

Ulster’s Lesser Spotted Queer Protestant
With Dr. Richard O’Leary
In association with the Imagine Belfast Festival
Monday 22 March at 7.00pm
Live ZOOM event.
Ever heard of LSQP? Probably not. The Lesser Spotted Queer Protestant has been in existence for some time, but hidden by shy historians and denied by conservative Christians. Dr O’Leary, coordinator of NI’s LGBT Heritage Project, presents newly accessed archival material for a fascinating look at this group. 

A Century of Football Division in Ireland with Cormac Moore
In association with the Imagine Belfast Festival
Wednesday 24 March at 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Online ZOOM event
Leading historian Cormac Moore details the events and causes that led to the split in 1921 when Leinster seceded from the Irish Football Association (IFA) and formed the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

Linen Hall Reading Group
Thursday 25 March at 1.00pm
Online ZOOM event
The Linen Hall’s popular reading group meets via ZOOM. To attend the virtual group, please email info@linenhall.com. March’s title is Good Behaviour by Molly Keane.

The Linen Hall Library is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please keep an eye on our website and social networks for updated information. 

The Linen Hall Library’s social network channels can be found at: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. 

If you would like any additional information, please contact Rachel Wetherall, Head of Digital and Marketing Communications, on r.wetherall@linenhall.com.