1920 – After 74 days on Hunger Strike in Brixton Prison, England, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney died.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Following his court-martial in August 1920, Terence MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, greeted his sentence of two years in prison by declaring: ‘I have decided the term of my imprisonment: I shall be free, alive or dead, within a month.’ Four days earlier, British troops had stormed the City Hall in Cork and arrested MacSwiney on charges of on charges of sedition and imprisoned in Brixton Prison in England.

MacSwiney immediately began a hunger strike that sparked riots on the streets of Barcelona, caused workers to down tools on the New York waterfront, and prompted mass demonstrations from Buenos Aires to Boston. Enthralled by MacSwiney breaking all previous records for a prisoner going without food, the international press afforded the case so much coverage that Ireland’s War of Independence was suddenly parachuted onto the world stage, and King George V considered over-ruling Prime Minister Lloyd George and enduring a…

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