Michael Fitzgerald: 1920 Hungerstrike
THREE MEN DEAD: MACSWINEY, MURPHY & FITZGERALD
Following the September, 1919 attack on a British armed party outside the Wesleyan church at Fermoy in which one soldier was killed, a number of local volunteers were arrested and detained. However, despite the threat of heavy penalties, no jury could be empowered to try the prisoners and they remained in custody at Cork Jail. On August 11, 1920 Michael Fitzgerald, together with a number of other untried prisoners, began a hunger strike for release, which ended in his death sixty-seven days later.
Michael Fitzgerald was secretary of the local branch of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. He joined the Volunteers in Fermoy in March, 1914 and at the time of his arrest he was O/C First Battalion, Second Cork Brigade. He had previously been imprisoned after his successful capture of Araglen police barrack on April 20, 1919, when he was arrested at Clondulane. Some ammunition was found in the house in which he lived and he was sentenced to two months imprisonment. He was released at the end of August, in time to take part in the action at Fermoy.