Paddy Quinn (Irish republican)

Paddy Quinn (Irish republican)

Patrick Quinn ( _ga. Pádraic Ó Cuinn) (born, 1962, Belleeks, County Armagh, Northern Ireland) was a volunteer with the 1st Battalion, South Armagh Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who took part in the 1981 Irish hunger strike. [ [ Irish Hunger Strikes Chapter 41] ]

Early life

Quinn was born into a Catholic republican family and was the eldest child in a family of four boys and four girls born to Paddy and Catherine Quinn in Camlough, County Armagh. At the age of nine, Quinn's father died and, as the new head of the family, his mother relied heavily on Paddy for both emotional support and to help work their 32 acre farm in County Armagh.

Quinn's mother introduced him to Irish republicanism and told tales of when his uncle was shot by the Black and Tans during the Irish War of Independence.

The Quinn family were unable to maintain the farm after their father's death and moved to Newry, County Down in 1979. [ [ Remembering 1981: Two more join the Hunger Strike] ]

Active service

On 25 June 1976, Quinn along with his brother Séamus, Danny McGuinness and Raymond McCreesh planned to ambush a British Army patrol at the Mountain House Inn on the Newry-Newtownhamilton Road. They hijacked a "getaway" car from a farm in Sturgan but were observed moving into their ambush position. They prematurely opened fire on soldiers when they began moving in to investigate and the IRA member in the car drove off. The others tried to hide in a farmhouse but were surrounded.

After they failed to shoot their way out the local Catholic parish priest facilitated their surrender. [ [ Raymond McCreesh] ] [ [ McCreesh Biography from IRIS, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 1981] ]

On 2 March 1977, Quinn and Raymond McCreesh were convicted and sentenced to fourteen years in prison for attempted murder, possession of a rifle and ammunition and a further five years for IRA membership. [ [ Two Lives and Two Deaths for Ireland] ] [ [,,329424865-103588,00.html Guardian] ]


Quinn was sent to the H-Blocks of the Maze prison where he refused to wear a prison uniform, demanded political status and joined the blanket protest.

1981 Hunger Strike

Quinn joined the hunger strike on 15 June 1981. When he was close to death after 47 days his mother asked for medical help to save his life. Paddy Quinn and his mother both described what happened in interviews for a BBC documentary on the hunger strikes in 1993. He was the first hunger striker whose family intervened. [ [ 1981 Hunger Strike Survivors] .] [ [ The legacy of the hunger strikes] ] [ [ MESSAGES FROM A HUNGER STRIKE] ] [ [] "Timewatch:Hunger Strike - a Hidden History"(Otmoor Productions/BBC 1993.)]


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