Anger erupts over hunger strike memorial event
The event took place last Wednesday running from 10 am to 3 pm. QUB Students' Union Student Community Action officer, Edward Hanna said that he was "disgusted" with the event; in particular that the university was prepared to supply the Canada Room for "Sinn Fein to promote the glorification of the hunger strikers".
The Gown previously reported this issue when attempts were made to hold the event in the Students' Union. Ed Hanna confirmed that the Students' Union executive committee had previously turned down an application to host the event.
Mr Hanna said "This type of event only causes segregation between the student population as it fails to promote peace and reconciliation," he added: "Many young students view these sorts of memorials as degrading and unacceptable, wishing to move on from the past and look forward to a brighter future.
"Students' within the unionist community feel that it is wrong for the university to support any event which glorifies terrorists who were involved in the killing of innocent people."
Andrea O'Kane, spokesperson for the Sinn Fein group at Queen's in explaining the purpose of this event said that it was "to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1981 Hungerstrike which saw the death of 10 Irish Republicans in a protest initiated by Republican prisoners to secure their five demands and political status.
"The exhibition has already visited many parts of the country although this is the first visit to Queen's University."
She added, saying that "It was a very successful event" and was viewed "by hundreds of students and staff".
We have asked Ms O'Kane to comment further on the claims made by Ed Hanna and await her reply.
A spokesperson for Queen's University said in a statement: "All recognised clubs and societies within the University are entitled to book rooms within the room booking system. This was the case in this situation."