Seán McCaughey

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Seán McCaughey
Seán Mac Eachaidh
Died11 May 1946 (aged 30–31)
Cause of deathHunger strike
OrganizationIrish Republican Army (1922–1969)
Known forHunger strike of 23 days, from 19 April 1946

Seán McCaughey (Irish: Seán Mac Eóchaidh[1]) (1915 – 11 May 1946) was an Irish Republican Army leader in the 1930s and 1940s, and hunger striker.

Born in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, McCaughey was Adjutant-General of the IRA and Officer Commanding (O/C) of its Northern Command. In September 1941 he was found guilty by a Dublin court of having detained and assaulted Stephen Hayes, IRA Chief of Staff, and sentenced to death by firing squad. His sentence was commuted to life.

Imprisoned in Portlaoise Prison, McCaughey refused to wear prison clothes and spent nearly five years naked except for a blanket. He commenced a hunger strike on 19 April 1946. After 10 days, he stopped taking water and died on 11 May, the twenty-third day of his protest.[2]

He was buried in a family grave in Milltown Cemetery which is under the care of the National Graves Association, Belfast.

He was the last person to die on hunger strike in the Irish state.[citation needed]


  • "McCaughey's Doom". Time Magazine. 1941-09-29. Retrieved 2008-08-14., Time Magazine, 29 September 1941.
  • National Graves Association
  • Sean McCaughey song


  1. ^ Meehan, Mairtin Óg (2006). Finely Tempered Steel: Sean McCaughey and the IRA. Republican Publications. p. 63. ISBN 0-9542946-3-7.
  2. ^,4543808
Military offices
Preceded by
Charlie McGlade
Officer Commanding the IRA Northern Command
1940 – 1941
Succeeded by