A Mayo man won Gold for a radio documentary on Frank Stagg at last night’s IMRO Radio Awards in Kilkenny.
Liamy MacNally from Westport told Gold in the Documentary/Feature category for his production – Frank Stagg’s Three Funerals.
Frank Stagg was a Provisional IRA hunger striker from Hollymount in Co Mayo. He died in February 1976 after 62 days on hunger strike while in prison.
Frank Stagg's burial caused considerable controversy in Ireland, with republicans and two of his brothers seeking to have Stagg buried in the republican plot in Ballina in accordance with his wishes, while his widow, his brother Emmet Stagg and the Irish government wished to have him buried in the family plot in the same cemetery and to avoid republican involvement in the funeral. As the republicans waited at Dublin Airport for the body, the Irish government ordered the flight to be diverted to Shannon Airport.
His body was taken to Ballina and buried near the family plot. In order to prevent the body being disinterred and reburied by republicans, the grave was covered with concrete. In November 1977, a group of republicans tunnelled under the concrete to recover the coffin under cover of darkness and reburied it in the republican plot.
Liamy’s documentary aired on the Documentary on One on RTE Radio 1 and last night he was awarded the top accolade at the IMRO Radio Awards.