Anti H-Block

Anti H-Block was the political label used by candidates standing in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in support of the 1981 hunger strike.

The leader of the hunger strikers, Bobby Sands was nominated in the April 1981 by-election in Fermanagh & South Tyrone. After his victory and death, legislation was quickly passed to prevent convicted prisoners serving jail terms of more than one year from standing for Parliament in the UK, so his agent Owen Carron stood as a "Anti-H-Block Proxy Political Prisoner" and won the seat in the subsequent by-election.

In the Republic, Anti H-Block candidates, Kieran Doherty and Paddy Agnew won two seats in the 1981 general election with Joe McDonnell narrowly missing election to the Sligo-Leitrim constituency.

The successes of the Anti H-Block movement galvanised the hardline Irish Republican movement and led to the formal entry into electoral politics of Sinn Féin the following year.


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