Well done Teamhair

Well done Teamhair on winning a Silver Award for her entry in the Shane MacThomais Primary School Essay Competition. The school is very proud of you. Find below the winning piece of writing from Teamhair

 

Thomas Ashe -who went on hunger strike.

 Thomas Ashe was lying in the prison cell with Fionan Lynch and was on hunger strike. His bed and boots had been taken, and his only comfort was the hard, cold, concrete floor. The first two days had been easy enough, but by the third day he began to feel the hunger. He rolled over and stared at the ceiling.

 ‘There had to be another way to get Ireland's freedom, right?’He asked himself again.

He picked a rock up off the floor, which crumbled in his hand like sand. Thomas snorted at the thought; it had been all he was thinking about the whole time in the cell. He then regretted snorting, feeling the burning in the back of his dry throat. He felt his eyes droop once more and dropped into an uneasy sleep.

 

On the fourth day he could barely stand. The authorities came in and tried to make them work but they refused. When they left his cell he lay his head back down on the ground with a groan. The hunger was eating its way into him and he began to contemplate going back to work but he had to do it for Ireland. The pain in his stomach was the worst he had ever felt. It burned through him, and his throat was as dry as the surrounding concrete.

‘A soldier came into the cell carrying a steaming bowl of soup and bread. “For the hungry lad” he said, placing it on the ground beside Thomas. He picked up a piece of the bread. It was hard and sandy…’

Someone hit him on the arm. Thomas opened his eyes. He had gravel in his hand and was in the process of putting a handful of it into his mouth. He felt it scrape the back of his throat. He spat it out onto the ground. Fionán had his hand on Thomas’s arm and was laughing. Thomas smiled at him for the first time in days.

 

‘He was in the park with his mum and sister Nora. They were running around, dancing and laughing. Suddenly Nora stopped running and her face turned sombre. “Don't leave quite yet,” she said. His mother turned to him with the same grave face. “Wake up, Thomas, go back to the real world,” His mum blew him a kiss.’

 

He awoke with a jump and stared around the cell. Fionán glanced up at him from the corner of the room, noticing his baffled expression and guessed he had been dreaming. “Still in the cell mate” he mumbled, staring at the ground. Thomas sighed and lay back down, hoping to fall back to a peaceful sleep.

 

By the sixth day Thomas was almost as pale as a ghost. Two officers came in and picked him up roughly by the arms. Fionán gave him a look of understanding. They would make him eat. “Stick it Tom,” he called as Thomas was pulled away. Thomas turned back. “Oh, I’ll stick it Fin,” he called back.

Thomas died in Mater Misericordiae  Hospital shortly after from heart failure, partly from starvation and partly from the later abuse.