With Maggie Thatcher's death Monday, thoughts of many in the Irish community turn to her role in the deaths of the 10 hunger strikers in 1981. John McDonagh, co-host of WBAI's weekly show Radio Free Eireann, revealed to The New York Times yesterday that he would be organizing a 'celebration' of Thatcher's passing on Saturday, at Rocky Sullivan's, prominent Irish pub in Brooklyn. He's not the only one -- parties are on the boards in Derry and Belfast as well, according to The Guardian.

Left, Margaret Thatcher / PA Photo

In the interview, McDonagh called Thatcher an enemy to Irish people “because of the destruction she brought to Ireland with her policies — she always thought of Ireland as a colony and never a country.”

Arguably, McDonagh's response might represent one extreme, with the long list of Tory mourners at her memorial service representing the other, with a wide range of views between them.

Meanwhile, we have assembled some info to bring to bear on the discussion, including a reminiscence of the Summer of the Hunger Strikes by Black 47 front ... and a ballad about hunger striker Francis Hughes.

What's your take?

Tags: Hunger Strikes, Larry Kirwan, Thatcher

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Interesting comparison -- though Thatcher seemed to be largely a-religious no, while Cromwell felt God called him to his 'higher purpose,' however he understood that.

I believe Margaret Thatcher was a woman without a shred of decency or humanity .. a bitter, arrogant, pretentious, petty narcissist.  She, her persona perfectly reflected in the empty pomp and meaningless pageantry of her funeral, will be soon forgotten by British children whereas the courage and humble dignity of the 1981 Hunger Strikers will be honored for generations by the unyielding people described by Padraig Pearse in "The Rebel".

Patsy O'Hara .. Francis Hughes .. Michael Devine .. Bobby Sands .. and the others .. could they ever have imagined as their lives ebbed away that through their act of courage their honored memories would eclipse those of the mightiest of the mighty?

She lived unloved, she will be forgotten .. a fitting legacy.

Meh ... I'm clearly in the minority here, but I do not see where Margaret Thatcher is more "pure evil" than any other politician of her era (or this era).  She had her good points and her bad points -- like all of them.  Whether or not you agree with some or none of her policies, that's up for discussion and open for opinion.  I just see the same character flaws in every politician in my own lifetime and don't think Thatcher was somehow fundamentally worse than any of them.

Was she a polarising figure -- most definitely.  Lots of people loved her, lots of people hated her.  Sounds like the leader of every country in the history of the world.  I'm not going to get too worked up over any of them either way.


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