Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Máire Drumm was born 100 years ago on October 22 1919.
On October 28th 1976 she was shot and killed by a unionist death squad while in hospital for an eye operation.
On Tuesday 22 October a commemoration will be held at Kelly Roads, close to her family home, at a monument erected in her memory.
A wreath laying and re-enactment of some of her most famous speeches will take place, and later Gerry Adams will launch a new book on Máire which he has written.
Gerry Adams said:
“In the years since her death Máire Drumm has become an iconic figure in Irish republicanism. She was an extraordinary, larger than life leader who was a woman, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a political activist and visionary. She was a gifted leader and organiser, and an inspirational public speaker.
“Máire is best remembered for her leadership in the years following the pogroms of August 1969 when nationalist areas of Belfast were attacked by unionist mobs, the RUC and B Specials. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands of men, women and children became refugees in their own city. And citizens died.
“It was a time for courage and leadership and Máire Drumm stepped up to the plate. Despite harassment, death threats, imprisonment and a vicious and scurrilous campaign of hate by the British media, whipped up by the NIO, Máire refused to be bowed or broken and led from the front.
“Her leadership qualities and her enormous courage led to her being elected as Sinn Féin’s Vice President. I met her many times including when I was on the run in Belfast. She was always genuinely concerned about how everyone was doing. When the politics was discussed it was like meeting your Mammy.
“Well-known for her defiant speeches at rallies and in courtrooms, she told a judge on one occasion: ‘Interning or putting a middle-aged woman in jail will not quench the flame of the Irish people because nothing but the destruction of the Irish people will ever quench that flame. Long live the IRA! God save Ireland!’
In October 1976, just days before her 57th birthday she was in the Mater hospital for an eye operation. A Unionist gunman, clearly acting in collusion with British forces, entered Máire’s room and shot and killed her.
Four decades later she remains an inspirational figure for today’s generation of activists.”
Note to Editor:
Assemble: McKevitt’s Petrol station at 7.30pm
Walk to the Kelly’s Road monument for wreath laying and re-enactment.