Application submitted for memorial

The council has received an application for a 'memorial cross'.

Application submitted for memorial

Bellaghy natives Thomas McElwee and Francis Hughes died on hunger strike in 1981.

A council planning application has been submitted for a ‘Memorial Cross’ to remember two republican hunger strikers in a County Derry town.

The application comes after an online petition was launched in support of a monument to remember cousins Francis Hughes and Thomas McElwee in their native Bellaghy.

The online petition said there was a ‘duty to remember’ the two men.

“No monument currently exists. We seek to change that,” it read.

“As we approach the 40th anniversary of the historic 1981 Hunger Strikes next year, it is only right that a monument be erected in Bellaghy to the memory of Volunteers Francis Hughes and Thomas McElwee.”

A spokesperson for Mid Ulster District Council confirmed that an application had been made to the council.

“An application has been received today (18 June) for the proposed erection of a ‘Memorial Cross’ in Bellaghy and will now be processed,” they said.

Both Hughes and McElwee were members of the IRA and died on hunger strike in protest at the British government’s withdrawal of prisoners’ political status in 1981.

Francis Hughes was the second of the hunger strikers to die after 59 days, while Thomas McElwee was the ninth, after 62 days.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email or at any time.

Read more from Derry Now.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.