NEXT week will mark 40 years from the end of the 1981 hunger strike. Much has been written this year and many events have taken place to remember those who died. For me Ten Men Dead by David Beresford and Nor Meekly Serve My Time, compiled by Brian Campbell, remain two of the outstanding books of that period. Jim McCann’s 6000 Days is a very welcome and amazing recent addition to these publications. A must read book. So too with another new book – The Comrades – just published by An Fhuiseog as part of the work of the ‘81/21 Committee’. This collection of reflections provides a rare insight into the 12 republican prisoners who died on hunger strike during the most recent phase of the long struggle for Irish freedom. Pádraic Wilson was the dynamo behind its publication and Danny Morrison edited it. 1981 was a watershed year in our history: the heroic resistance of the women in Armagh Gaol and the men on the blanket in the H-Blocks; and the support of families and communities across this island and internationally who rallied in support of the hunger strikers.