September 25, 1917
Thomas Ashe, member of the Gaelic League, the Irish Republican Brotherhood and one of the founders of the Irish Volunteers, died from a hunger strike on this day in 1917. Ashe, who was born in Co. Kerry, took part in the Easter Uprising of 1916 as a commander of the Fingal Battalion of the Irish Volunteers. On May 8, 1916, both Ashe and De Valera were court martialled by the British and sentenced to death. He was released but then charged with sedition and returned to prison in August of 1917. There, he began a hunger strike in protest that he be treated with a prisoner of war status.