During an engagement with the British Crown Forces he was shot and badly injured and later captured. On recovery he received an eight-year sentence and remained in Belfast Jail until he was released unconditionally in September 1963.
When the Nationalist people in the Six Counties were under attack in 1969 he was one of those who organised the Republican Movement until it was in a position to take on the might of the British Army.
In 1970 he travelled to New York and was instrumental in establishing Irish Northern Aid. He was the architect of the ÉIRE NUA policy and worked closely with Fr James McDyer in Glencolumcille, County Donegal while teaching there.
He was one of the Republican leaders who met with representatives of the British government in London in 1972 to try to end British occupation in London in 1972 to try to end British occupation. He played a leading role in the truce negotiations into which the Republican leadership forced the British on two occasions between 1972 and '75. While on the run he was prominent in arranging the Feakle talks with Protestant clergymen. He was again imprisoned in 1975 and during his term of imprisonment undertook a 47-day hunger strike. Following his release he was active in the National H-Block/Armagh Committee.
His extraordinary political awareness in identifying the way forward was seen by his proposal that Bobby Sands contest the Westminster elections for Fermanagh/South Tyrone during the 1981 Hunger Strike.
In 1986 he opposed the move by some in Sinn Féin to take their seats in Leinster House and accept the Free State. He and other Republicans reorganised as Republican Sinn Féin.
Deeply concerned by the ongoing loss of life in his country and the suffering of those in prison he wrote his final document Towards a Peaceful Ireland shortly before his death. His many qualities, such as sincerity, sense of humour, great personal courage and concern for other people will ensure that he is remembered and loved by all who were privileged to know him.
-- Graveside Oration, 1992
-- Dáithí Ó Conaill, Bodenstown oration, 1970
Republican SINN FÉIN