The Deputy Mayor of Derry travelled to the European Parliament in Brussels last week to take part in an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike.
Councillor Kevin Campbell was part of a delegation who were welcomed to the Parliament by Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún.
The Creggan councillor, and former prisoner, described the hunger strike as one of the most important events in modern Irish history.
“Following the hunger strikes, and the world-wide campaign of support, Irish republicans could no longer be portrayed as isolated criminal elements. This opened the way for Irish republicans to pursue their objectives by political means,” he said.
Ms de Brún said the event, ‘Ireland: 30 years after the hunger strikes, peace building and the EU,’ was attended by people from all political backgrounds.
“I am pleased to host this event which marks the hunger strikes in Ireland 30 years ago and to present to our European friends the progress towards peace which has been made over the past 30 years.
“The event will hear from people who were in prison at the time of the hunger strikes and bring stories of peace building together on the anniversary of this historic moment.
“I also want to thank the EU for the support they have given to this peace building and reconciliation,” he said.
Another former prisoner, Briege Browlee, also took part in the event and said that ex-prisoners have an important role to play in building peace in the North.
“Many of the activists who were directly engaged in the conflict, including former prisoners, have been at the heart of efforts to bring about dialogue and reconciliation between communities in the north of Ireland.
“They are among the first to calm down tensions between and within the communities and to encourage people, particularly young people, to understand and use the potential of the peace process,” she said.
Colr. Campbell has also taken part in a number of hunger strike commemoration events in Derry in recent months, including a major march from Creggan to the H Block monument in the Bogside in June which was attended by around 2,000 local republicans.