Public interview with Laurence McKeown on memory, commemoration and dealing with the past

Venue: Aras Moyola Lecture Theatre at NUI Galway

Time: 3 March 2016 at 6.30pm

Members of the public are welcome to attend this free event.

To reserve your place, please visit:

Laurence McKeown, Hunger striker, former IRA member, author and playwright in conversation with Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, School of Political Science and Sociology. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the 1981 republican hunger strike and the centenary of the 1916 Rising. This public interview considers the link between these two events and the politics of memory and commemoration in Irish society, past and present. Laurence McKeown joined the IRA at the age of 17, was arrested in August 1976, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Maze Prison. He took part in the blanket and “no wash” protest and the 1981 hunger strike. Following the deaths of nine prisoners, McKeown’s family authorised medical intervention to save his life on the 70th day of his hunger strike. He completed a Bachelors degree in social science from the Open University while in prison, and subsequently obtained a PhD in Sociology from Queen’s University Belfast. He has written plays and two books about Irish Republican prisoners and co-wrote ‘H3’, a film about the 1981 hunger strike.

This event will follow a research symposium on “Power, Memory, Identity in (post)conflict societies”, focusing on the interplay between power and memory. The symposium will also take place on 3 March in room 333, Aras Moyola, NUI Galway. For more information about the symposium, please visit the research blog:

Both events have been organised by postgraduate students from the Power, Conflict and Ideologies research cluster of the School of Political Science and Sociology: Giada Lagana, Gary Hussey, Liam Farrell and Martin Javornicky


About niallodoc

Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway
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