Northern Ireland news

Hunger striker Kieran Doherty's mother Margaret to be buried on Thursday

Margaret Doherty, the mother of hunger striker Kieran Doherty, will be laid to rest on Thursday morning

THE mother of hunger striker Kieran Doherty is to be laid to rest on Thursday.

Margaret Doherty, a mother-of-six and great-great-grandmother from Andersonstown in west Belfast, died in hospital on Sunday evening - just two days after the 38th anniversary of her son's death.

Kieran Doherty died on on August 2 1981 aged 25. His hunger strike lasted 73 days.

Shortly before his death, he was elected TD for Cavan-Monaghan.

Mrs Doherty's remains will leave her daughter Roisin's home at Aspen Park in Twinbrook at 8.45am on Thursday.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Agnes' Church in Andersonstown at 10am, followed by burial at The Rock cemetery.

Mrs Doherty is survived by her children Michael, Terence, Roisin, Mairead, Brendan and wider family circle. She is predeceased by her husband Alfie.

During the hunger strike, Mrs Doherty called on British government officials to speak to the strikers.

"I'm not a politician, I'm only a mother but I know if they would go in that would be it," she told RTÉ.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said she was saddened to learn of Mrs Doherty's death.

"Margaret, along with the other parents and families of the hunger strikers, suffered long agonising days of torment as they watched their sons die in order that their comrades would be treated as political prisoners," she said.

"Along with her husband Alfie, she watched for 73 days as Kieran's life slowly ebbed away and showed tremendous courage.

"The leadership and courage shown by Margaret and Alfie and their family during the prison protests and that period was formidable."

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