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Edited and Introduced by
Róisín Dubh

The Dark contains selected writings and talks from former Irish Republican Army volunteer, political prisoner, and Hunger Striker, Brendan Hughes. Focusing on the time after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, this new collection amplifies a voice the political mainstream worked doggedly to silence. With incredible wit, Hughes’ words illustrate the struggles of revolutionary life after the GFA, and describe how the Agreement was never intended for his class—the working class. In addition to a carefully curated selection of Hughes’ own writings, The Dark includes new essays from Republican veterans close to Hughes, as well as two previously unpublished communications to Hughes’ brother, Terry, dating from the 1980 and 1981 Hunger Strikes, graciously donated by the Hughes family.


“At different times of the year Brendan will be remembered for different things. But during the week of the Good Friday Agreement, he is remembered for his swift distillation of what the Agreement meant. It was he who coined the phrase Got Fuck All, a play on the GFA acronym. For someone who went under the moniker of The Dark, he brought remarkable light to bear on situations others tried to obfuscate. The Dark has bequeathed to posterity many of his thoughts, whether on the Irish Republican struggle, the poor, or the Palestinians. A man with faults, foibles—and feet not grounded in clay.”

-Anthony McIntyre, Ph.D., Former Provisional Irish Republican Army Volunteer and Political Prisoner, Writer, and Historian


“Announcing the start of the 1980 Hunger Strike in Long Kesh, IRA OC Brendan Hughes stated, ‘We come in search of a 32-county Socialist Republic.’ He called the Strike off on December 18th, saving the life of Sean McKenna, who had fallen into a coma. Above all else, Brendan Hughes was a freedom fighter with tremendous courage. He defied the British both insde and outside the prisons. And he died broken-hearted that his struggle had been sold out so cheaply by his former comrades.” 

-Tony O’Hara, Lifelong Republican Socialist Activist, Former Political Prisoner, Author, and Musician


“Just as Brendan, we [...] must continue the unfinished struggle of our ancestors, who smashed the Vikings at Clontarf in 1014, who massacred the English lords at Glenmalure in 1580, who littered the streets around Mount Street Bridge with the bodies of British soldiers in 1916, and who, being deprived of any other weapon in the concentration camps of Long Kesh in 1981, decided to use their bodies to show the British they were not defeated. We must remain true to the Republic and honour Brendan Hughes’ memory by fulfilling the cause for which he sacrificed so much.”

-D. Óg, “GFA Generation” Republican, Organizer, and Writer

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