Aughnacliffe man played key role in Thatcher protests

Jim Curran with one of his posters outside Ms Thatcher's residence
Aughnacliffe native Jim Curran was a key figure in the protests surrounding the recent death of Margaret Thatcher.

Aughnacliffe native Jim Curran was a key figure in the protests surrounding the recent death of Margaret Thatcher.

Within hours of Ms. Thatcher’s death Mr Curran, who was a neighbour of Ms Thatcher’s, made his way to her house with two posters. The first alleged that Ms Thatcher supported state terrorism, the other claimed that Ms Thatcher was an anti-Irish racist.

“I decided to revenge Thatcher’s policy towards our patriots the Hunger Strikers, which was described by former German Chancellor Helmut Khol as ‘amazing, so cold so callous’”.

Mr Curran, who is chairman of the Irish Civil Rights Association, also played a key role in “the Wake”, which was carried out on the Saturday after Ms Thatcher’s death. ‘The Wake’, which took place in Trafalgar Square, London lasted from 6pm to 11.30pm.

“Over 30,000 people attended, several thousand Irish joining in”, says Jim, adding that the event was “multi-national” and “multi-ethnic”.

On the day of Ms Thatcher’s funeral, the Irish Civil Rights Association joined protesters outside the Royal Courts of Justice. As the body of Ms Thatcher passed, the protesters turned their backs and booed. Mr Curran also had a banner which stated that Ms Thatcher’s paramilitary funeral was insulting and offensive to Irish people. “Thatcher arranged for the paramilitary funerals of Irish freedom fighters to be harassed by every means, and now she was having a paramilitary funeral costing over £10 million, which Irish people in the six occupied counties of Ireland and Irish people in Britain have to contribute to in tax payments.”

Mr Curran, who had met and spoken to Ms Thatcher on a number of occasions, adds;: “Thatcher was one of the most contemptible individuals that Britain produced in the last century and I hope all her policies die with her. She was a mother, I have sympathy for her family, but no sympathy for her political policy.”