2017 marks the centenary of Hugh McAteer’s birth, in Derry, in August 1917. His own account of his time as Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army was published in a number of places. I’ve taken the version published in 1951 by the Sunday Independent and created a pdf version of it for easy access, since the account has not been reproduced in full elsewhere. I’ve also included two obituaries from the time of his death in 1970, one from the Ulster Herald and the other from Republican News, which he had recently re-established. You can read a longer biographical treatment in the Ulster Herald obituary. Some additional news reports of his episodes in his life have been included, where appropriate. These illustrate either specific events, or, such as the coverage of his and Nora’s wedding, an insight into the extent to which he was actually a public figure. A speech given in Fermanagh in 1952 is also included as an example of his public activity after his release from prison. His premature death, leaving behind a young family, at only 52 years of age, was no doubt down to the long periods he spent in prison between 1936 and 1950, including at least one hunger strike of over forty days duration, in 1944. He is buried in Milltown cemetery in Belfast, although he is not (as yet) commemorated on the republican plot there.
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Sunday Independent, 23rd March, 1951
Republican News, September, 1942. No. 5.
The September 1942 edition of Republican News produced overnight by the Belfast Irish Republican Publicity Bureau staff.
Evening Herald, 4th April, 1951
Irish Press, 4th April, 1951
[This marks the end of the Sunday Independent articles]
[This story was not true]
[This story was also untrue, the hunger strike didnâ€™t end until 6th April when the hunger strikers realised that both the northern and southern press were misleading the public as to the strike. Hugh was on hunger strike for 44 days.]
Result, 1950 General Election.
[Sunday Independent, 20th August 1950]
Result, 1964 General Election.
[Irish Independent, June 25th, 1970]
[Obituary of Hugh by ‘Oscar’ published in Ulster Herald, 18th July 1970]
Republican News, July 1970, No. 2.
Hugh McAteer, former IRA Chief of Staff, in his own words.