Paddy Quinn (Irish republican)

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Patrick Quinn (born 1962) was a volunteer with the 1st Battalion, South Armagh Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who took part in the 1981 Irish hunger strike.[1] The Quinn family were unable to maintain the farm after their father's death and moved to Newry, County Down, in 1979.[2]

Paramilitary activity[edit]

On 25 June 1976, Quinn along with his brother Séamus, Danny McGuinness and Raymond McCreesh planned to ambush a British Army patrol at the Mountain House Inn on the Newry-Newtownhamilton road. They hijacked a getaway car from a farm in Sturgan but were observed moving into their ambush position. They prematurely opened fire on soldiers when they began moving in to investigate and the IRA member in the car drove off. The others tried to hide in a farmhouse but were surrounded.[citation needed]

After they failed to shoot their way out, the local Catholic parish priest facilitated their surrender.[3][4]

On 2 March 1977, Quinn and McCreesh were convicted and sentenced to fourteen years in prison for attempted murder, possession of a rifle and ammunition and a further five years for IRA membership.[5][6]


Quinn was sent to the H-Blocks of the Maze prison where he refused to wear a prison uniform, demanded political status and joined the blanket protest.[citation needed]

1981 Hunger Strike[edit]

Quinn joined the hunger strike on 15 June 1981. When he was close to death after 47 days his mother asked for medical help to save his life. Paddy Quinn and his mother both described what happened in interviews for a BBC documentary on the hunger strikes in 1993. He was the first hunger striker whose family intervened.[7][8][9][10]