Days of Fear: The Diary of a 1920s Hunger Striker

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During the War of Independence Frank Gallagher was interned in Mountjoy where he took part in a mass hunger-strike of republican prisoners demanding political status. Gallagher's remarkable diary reveals his internal conflict during the hunger strike in April 1920. He describes a 'double personality', one half bent on self-preservation and the other on sacrifice. On the tenth day, he almost surrendered, but what kept him resolute was shame before his fellow hunger strikers. 'If there were an honorable way of escape, I should be glad...I'm afraid to die, and I'm going to die because I'm afraid not to...The papers will call me a hero and a martyr...a miserable, frightened fool, who hadn't the courage not to die.'