The Info List - Bobby Sands

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Robert Gerard Sands (Irish: Roibeárd Gearóid Ó Seachnasaigh;[2] 9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981) was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican
Irish Republican
Army who died on hunger strike while imprisoned at HM Prison Maze after being sentenced for firearms possession. He was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike in which Irish republican prisoners protested against the removal of Special
Category Status. During Sands's strike, he was elected to the British Parliament as an Anti H-Block candidate.[3][4] His death and those of nine other hunger strikers was followed by a new surge of Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
recruitment and activity. International media coverage brought attention to the hunger strikers, and the Republican movement in general, attracting both praise and criticism.[5]


1 Early years 2 Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
activity 3 Long Kesh years 4 Published works 5 Member of Parliament 6 Hunger strike 7 Death

7.1 Reactions

7.1.1 Republic of Ireland 7.1.2 Britain 7.1.3 Europe 7.1.4 Americas 7.1.5 Asia 7.1.6 Australia

8 Political impact 9 Popular culture 10 Family 11 See also 12 References 13 External links

Early years[edit] Sands was born in 1954 to Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
parents, John (died 2014)[6] and Rosaleen (died 2018),[7] who were both raised in Belfast. After marrying, they relocated to the new development of Abbots Cross, Newtownabbey, County Antrim, outside North Belfast.[8][9] Sands was the eldest of four children. His younger sisters, Marcella and Bernadette, were born in 1955 and 1958, respectively. He also had a younger brother, John (born 1962). After experiencing harassment and intimidation from their neighbours, the family abandoned the development and moved in with friends for six months before being granted housing in the nearby Rathcoole development. Rathcoole was 30% Catholic and featured Catholic schools as well as a nominally Catholic but religiously-mixed youth football club (an unusual circumstance in Northern Ireland), known as Stella Maris, the same as the school Sands attended and where the training was held. Sands was a member of this club and played left-back.[10][11] There was another youth club in nearby Greencastle called Star of the Sea and many boys went there when the Stella Maris club closed. By 1966, sectarian violence in Rathcoole (along with the rest of Belfast) had considerably worsened, and the minority Catholic population there found itself under siege; Sands and his sisters were forced to run a gauntlet of bottle- and rock-throwing Protestant youths on the way to school every morning, and the formerly integrated Rathcoole youth football club banned Catholic members and renamed itself "The Kai", which stood for "Kill All Irish".[citation needed] Despite always having had Protestant
friends, Sands suddenly found that none of them would even speak to him, and he quickly learned to associate only with Catholics.[10] He left school in 1969 at age 15, and enrolled in Newtownabbey
Technical College, beginning an apprenticeship as a coach builder at Alexander's Coach Works in 1970. He worked there for less than a year, enduring constant harassment from his Protestant
co-workers, which according to several co-workers he ignored completely, as he wished to learn a meaningful trade.[10] He was eventually confronted after leaving his shift in January 1971 by a number of his coworkers wearing the armbands of the local Ulster loyalist tartan gang. He was held at gunpoint and told that Alexander's was off-limits to " Fenian
scum" and to never come back if he valued his life. This event, by Sands's admission, proved to be the point at which he decided that militancy was the only solution.[12][13] In June 1972, Sands's parents' home was attacked and damaged by a loyalist mob and they were again forced to move, this time to the West Belfast
Catholic area of Twinbrook, where Sands, now thoroughly embittered, rejoined them. He attended his first Provisional IRA meeting in Twinbrook that month and joined the IRA the same day. He was 18 years old. By 1973, almost every Catholic family had been driven out of Rathcoole by violence and intimidation, although there were some who remained.[13][14] Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
activity[edit] In 1972, Sands joined the Provisional IRA.[15] He was arrested and charged in October 1972 with possession of four handguns found in the house where he was staying. Sands was convicted in April 1973, sentenced to five years imprisonment, and released in April 1976.[16][17] Upon his release, he returned to his family home in West Belfast, and resumed his active role in the Provisional IRA. Sands and Joe McDonnell planned the October 1976 bombing of the Balmoral Furniture Company in Dunmurry. The showroom was destroyed but as the IRA men left the scene there was a gun battle with the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Leaving behind two wounded, Seamus Martin and Gabriel Corbett, the remaining four (Sands, McDonnell, Seamus Finucane, and Sean Lavery) tried to escape by car, but were arrested. One of the revolvers used in the attack was found in the car. In 1977, the four men were sentenced to 14 years for possession of the revolver. They were not charged with explosive offences.[18][19] Immediately after his sentencing, Sands was implicated in a ruckus and spent the first 22 days "on boards" (all furniture was removed from his cell) in Crumlin Road Prison, 15 days naked, and a No. 1 starvation diet (bread and water) every three days.[20] Long Kesh years[edit] In late 1980, Sands was chosen Officer Commanding of the Provisional IRA prisoners in the Maze Prison, succeeding Brendan Hughes
Brendan Hughes
who was participating in the first hunger strike. Republican prisoners organised a series of protests seeking to regain their previous Special
Category Status, which would free them from some ordinary prison regulations. This began with the "blanket protest" in 1976, in which the prisoners refused to wear prison uniforms and wore blankets instead. In 1978, after a number of attacks on prisoners leaving their cells to "slop out" (i.e., empty their chamber pots), this escalated into the "dirty protest", wherein prisoners refused to wash and smeared the walls of their cells with excrement.[21] Published works[edit] While in prison, Sands had several letters and articles published in the Republican paper An Phoblacht
An Phoblacht
under the pseudonym "Marcella" (his sister's name). Other writings attributed to him are: Skylark Sing Your Lonely Song[22] and One Day in My Life.[23] Sands also wrote the lyrics of "Back Home in Derry" and "McIlhatton", which were both later recorded by Christy Moore, and "Sad Song For Susan", which was also later recorded. The melody of "Back Home in Derry" was borrowed from Gordon Lightfoot's 1976 song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".[24] The song itself is about the penal transportation of Irishmen in the 19th century to Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
(modern day Tasmania, Australia). Member of Parliament[edit] Shortly after the beginning of the strike, Frank Maguire, the Independent Republican MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, died suddenly of a heart attack, precipitating the April 1981 by-election.[citation needed] The sudden vacancy in a seat with a nationalist majority of about 5,000 was a valuable opportunity for Sands's supporters "to raise public consciousness".[13][25] Pressure not to split the vote led other nationalist parties, notably the Social Democratic and Labour Party, to withdraw, and Sands was nominated on the label "Anti H-Block/Armagh Political Prisoner". After a highly polarised campaign, Sands narrowly won the seat on 9 April 1981, with 30,493 votes to 29,046 for the Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party
candidate Harry West. Sands also became the youngest MP at the time.[26] However, Sands died in prison less than a month afterwards, without ever having taken his seat in the Commons. Following Sands's election win, the British government introduced the Representation of the People Act 1981
Representation of the People Act 1981
which prevents prisoners serving jail terms of more than one year in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland from being nominated as candidates in British elections.[27][28] The enactment of the law, as a response to the election of Sands, consequently prevented other hunger strikers from being elected to the House of Commons.[29] Hunger strike[edit] The 1981 Irish hunger strike
1981 Irish hunger strike
started with Sands refusing food on 1 March 1981. Sands decided that other prisoners should join the strike at staggered intervals to maximise publicity, with prisoners steadily deteriorating successively over several months. The hunger strike centred on five demands:

the right not to wear a prison uniform; the right not to do prison work; the right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits; the right to one visit, one letter, and one parcel per week; full restoration of remission lost through the protest.[30]

The significance of the hunger strike was the prisoners' aim of being considered political prisoners as opposed to criminals. Shortly before Sands's death, The Washington Post
The Washington Post
reported that the primary aim of the hunger strike was to generate international publicity.[31] Death[edit]

Bobby Sands's grave in Milltown Cemetery

Sands died on 5 May 1981 in the Maze's prison hospital after 66 days on hunger strike, aged 27.[32] The original pathologist's report recorded the hunger strikers' causes of death as "self-imposed starvation", later amended to simply "starvation" after protests from the dead strikers' families.[33] The coroner recorded verdicts of "starvation, self-imposed".[33] The announcement of Sands's death prompted several days of rioting in nationalist areas of Northern Ireland. A milkman, Eric Guiney, and his son, Desmond, died as a result of injuries sustained when their milk float crashed after being stoned by rioters in a predominantly nationalist area of north Belfast.[34][35] Over 100,000 people lined the route of Sands's funeral, and he was buried in the 'New Republican Plot' alongside 76 others. Their graves are maintained by the National Graves Association, Belfast.[36] Reactions[edit] Republic of Ireland[edit] In the Republic of Ireland, Sands's death led to riots and buses being set on fire. Britain[edit] In response to a question in the House of Commons on 5 May 1981, United Kingdom Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
said, "Mr. Sands was a convicted criminal. He chose to take his own life. It was a choice that his organisation did not allow to many of its victims".[37] Cardinal Basil Hume, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, condemned Sands, describing the hunger strike as a form of violence. However, he noted that this was his personal view. The Roman Catholic Church's official stance was that ministrations should be provided to the hunger strikers who, believing their sacrifice to be for a higher good, were acting in good conscience.[38] At Old Firm
Old Firm
football matches in Glasgow, Scotland, some Rangers fans have been known to sing songs mocking Sands to taunt fans of Celtic. Rangers fans are mainly Protestant, and predominantly sympathetic to unionists; Celtic fans are traditionally more likely to support nationalists.[39] Celtic fans regularly sing the republican song The Roll of Honour, which commemorates the ten men who died in the 1981 hunger strike, amongst other songs in support of the IRA. Sands is honoured in the line "They stood beside their leader – the gallant Bobby Sands." Rangers' taunts have since been adopted by the travelling support of other UK clubs, particularly those with strong British nationalist
British nationalist
ties, as a form of anti-Irish sentiment.[40] The 1981 British Home Championship football tournament was cancelled following the refusal of teams from England and Wales to travel to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
in the aftermath of his death, due to security concerns.[citation needed] Europe[edit]

Memorial mural along Falls Road, Belfast

In Europe, there were widespread protests after Sands's death. 5,000 Milanese students burned the Union Flag
Union Flag
and chanted "Freedom for Ulster" during a march.[5] The British Consulate at Ghent
was raided.[5] Thousands marched in Paris behind huge portraits of Sands, to chants of "the IRA will conquer".[5] In the Portuguese Parliament, the opposition stood for Sands.[5] In Oslo, demonstrators threw a tomato at Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, but missed. (One 28-year-old assailant said he had actually aimed for what he claimed was a smirking British soldier.)[5][41] In the Soviet Union, Pravda
described it as "another tragic page in the grim chronicle of oppression, discrimination, terror, and violence" in Ireland. Russian fans of Bobby Sands published a translation of the "Back Home in Derry" song ("На Родину в Дерри" in Russian).[5] Many French towns and cities have streets named after Sands, including Nantes, Saint-Étienne, Le Mans, Vierzon, and Saint-Denis.[42] The conservative-aligned West German newspaper Die Welt
Die Welt
took a negative view towards Sands.[5] Americas[edit] A number of political, religious, union and fund-raising institutions chose to honour Sands in the United States. The International Longshoremen's Association in New York announced a 24-hour boycott of British ships.[43][44] Over 1,000 people gathered in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral to hear Cardinal Terence Cooke
Cardinal Terence Cooke
offer a reconciliation Mass
for Northern Ireland. Irish bars in the city were closed for two hours in mourning.[5] The New Jersey General Assembly, the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature, voted 34–29 for a resolution honouring his "courage and commitment."[5] The American media expressed a range of opinions on Sands's death. The Boston Globe commented, a few days before Sands's death, that "[t]he slow suicide attempt of Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
has cast his land and his cause into another downward spiral of death and despair. There are no heroes in the saga of Bobby Sands".[45] The Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
wrote that " Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
used the hunger strike to move his countrymen to abstain from fratricide. Bobby Sands's deliberate slow suicide is intended to precipitate civil war. The former deserved veneration and influence. The latter would be viewed, in a reasonable world, not as a charismatic martyr but as a fanatical suicide, whose regrettable death provides no sufficient occasion for killing others".[46] The New York Times
The New York Times
wrote that "Britain's prime minister Thatcher is right in refusing to yield political status to Bobby Sands, the Irish Republican Army hunger striker", but added that by appearing "unfeeling and unresponsive" the British Government was giving Sands "the crown of martyrdom".[47] The San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
argued that political belief should not exempt activists from criminal law

Terrorism goes far beyond the expression of political belief. And dealing with it does not allow for compromise as many countries of Western Europe and United States have learned. The bombing of bars, hotels, restaurants, robbing of banks, abductions, and killings of prominent figures are all criminal acts and must be dealt with by criminal law.[48]

Some American critics and journalists suggested that American press coverage was a "melodrama".[49] Edward Langley of The Pittsburgh Press criticised the large pro-IRA Irish-American contingent which "swallow IRA propaganda as if it were taffy", and concluded that IRA "terrorist propaganda triumphs."[50] Archbishop John R. Roach, president of the US Catholic bishops, called Sands's death "a useless sacrifice".[51] The Ledger
The Ledger
of 5 May 1981 under the headline "To some he was a hero, to others a terrorist" claims that the hunger strike made Sands "a hero among Irish Republicans or Nationalists seeking the reunion of Protestant-dominated and British-ruled Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
with the predominantly Catholic Irish Republic to the south".[38] The Ledger cited Sands as telling his friends: "If I die, God will understand" and one of his last messages was "Tell everyone I'll see them somewhere, sometime".[38] In Hartford, Connecticut, a memorial was dedicated to Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
and the other hunger strikers in 1997, the only one of its kind in the United States. Set up by the Irish Northern Aid Committee
Irish Northern Aid Committee
and local Irish-Americans, it stands in a traffic island known as Bobby Sands Circle at the bottom of Maple Avenue near Goodwin Park.[52] In 2001, a memorial to Sands and the other hunger strikers was unveiled in Havana, Cuba.[53] Asia[edit]

In Tehran, Iran, President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr
Abolhassan Bani-Sadr
sent a message of condolence to the Sands family.[54]

The Iranian government renamed Winston Churchill Boulevard, the location of the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Tehran, to Bobby Sands Street, prompting the embassy to move its entrance door to Ferdowsi Avenue to avoid using Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Street on its letterhead.[55] A street in the Elahieh
district is also named after Sands.[56] An official blue and white street sign was affixed to the rear wall of the British embassy compound saying (in Persian) "Bobby Sands Street" with three words of explanation "militant Irish guerrilla".[54] The official Pars News Agency called Bobby Sands's death "heroic".[54] There have been claims that the British pressured Iranian authorities to change the name of Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Street but this was denied.[57][58] A burger bar in Tehran
is named in honour of Sands.[59][60]

Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in the Israeli desert prison of Nafha sent a letter, which was smuggled out and reached Belfast
in July 1981, which read: "To the families of Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
and his martyred comrades. We, revolutionaries of the Palestinian people...extend our salutes and solidarity with you in the confrontation against the oppressive terrorist rule enforced upon the Irish people by the British ruling elite. We salute the heroic struggle of Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
and his comrades, for they have sacrificed the most valuable possession of any human being. They gave their lives for freedom." The Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times
said Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
had allowed a fellow Member of Parliament to die of starvation, an incident which had never before occurred "in a civilised country".[5] In the Indian Parliament, opposition members in the upper house Rajya Sabha stood for a minute's silence in tribute. The ruling Congress Party did not participate.[5] Protest marches were organised against the British government and in tribute to Sands and his fellow hunger strikers.[61] The Hong Kong Standard said it was "sad that successive British governments have failed to end the last of Europe's religious wars".[5]


A large monument dedicated to Irish nationalists and republicans, including Bobby Sands, stands in Waverley Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Political impact[edit] Nine other IRA and Irish National Liberation Army
Irish National Liberation Army
(INLA) members who were involved in the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike died after Sands. On the day of Sands's funeral, Unionist leader Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
held a memorial service outside of Belfast
city hall to commemorate the victims of the IRA.[43] In the Irish general elections held the same year, two anti H-block candidates won seats on an abstentionist basis. The media coverage that surrounded the death of Sands resulted in a new surge of IRA activity and an immediate escalation in the Troubles, with the group obtaining many more members and increasing its fund-raising capability. Both nationalists and unionists began to harden their attitudes and move towards political extremes.[62] Sands's Westminster seat was taken by his election agent, Owen Carron standing as ' Anti H-Block Proxy Political Prisoner' with an increased majority.[63] Popular culture[edit] Main article: Artistic reactions to the 1981 Irish hunger strike

Éire Nua flute band inspired by Bobby Sands, commemorate the Easter Rising on the 91st anniversary

The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead
played the Nassau Coliseum
Nassau Coliseum
the following night after Sands died and guitarist Bob Weir
Bob Weir
dedicated the song "He's Gone" to Sands.[64] The concert was later released as Dick's Picks Volume 13, part of the Grateful Dead's programme of live concert releases. French musician Léo Ferré
Léo Ferré
dedicated performances of his song "Thank You Satan" to Sands in 1981 and 1984.[citation needed] Songs written in response to the hunger strikes and Sands's death include songs by Black 47, Nicky Wire, Meic Stevens, The Undertones, Eric Bogle, and Christy Moore. Moore's song, "The People's Own MP", has been described as an example of a rebel song of the "hero-martyr" genre in which Sands's "intellectual, artistic and moral qualities" are eulogised.[65] The U.S. rock band Rage Against the Machine have listed Sands as an inspiration in the sleeve notes of their self-titled debut album. and as a "political hero" in media interviews.[66] Celtic F.C., a Scottish football club, received a €50,000 fine from UEFA
over banners depicting Sands with a political message, which were displayed during a game on 26 November 2013[67] by Green Brigade fans.[68] Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
has also been portrayed in the following films:

Sands was played by John Lynch in the 1996 film Some Mother's Son. It was directed by Terry George and written by George and Jim Sheridan.[69] Sands was played by Mark O'Halloran in the 2001 film H3.[70] Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender
played Sands in Hunger, a 2008 film by Steve McQueen about the last six weeks of Sands's life in the context of the 1981 Irish hunger strike. It premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival[71] and won McQueen the prestigious Caméra d'Or award for first-time filmmakers.[72] It was broadcast on Channel 4
Channel 4
in the UK for the first time on 15 December 2009.[73] The Netflix
original documentary The Art of Conflict has a segment describing the hunger strike, election, and Sands's death.[citation needed] The acclaimed 2016 documentary, Bobby Sands: 66 Days

Family[edit] Sands married Geraldine Noade while in prison on robbery charges on 3 March 1973. His son, Gerard, was born 8 May 1973. Noade soon left to live in England with their son.[13] Sands's sister, Bernadette Sands McKevitt, is also a prominent Irish Republican. Along with her husband, Michael McKevitt, she helped to form the 32 County Sovereignty Movement
32 County Sovereignty Movement
and is accused of involvement with the Real Irish Republican
Irish Republican
Army (RIRA).[74] Bernadette Sands McKevitt is opposed to the Belfast
Agreement, stating that "Bobby did not die for cross-border bodies with executive powers. He did not die for nationalists to be equal British citizens within the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
state."[75] The RIRA was responsible for the Omagh bombing
Omagh bombing
on 15 August 1998, in which 29 people, including a mother pregnant with twins, were killed and more than 200 injured. This is the highest death toll from a single incident during the Troubles. Michael McKevitt was one of those named in a civil suit filed by victims and survivors.[76] See also[edit]

Biography portal Ireland portal United Kingdom portal

List of United Kingdom MPs with the shortest service Terence MacSwiney
Terence MacSwiney
– Lord Mayor of Cork in 1920 who died in Brixton Prison after a hunger strike lasting 74 days.


^ "1981: Hunger striker elected MP". BBC On This Day - 10 April. Retrieved 16 October 2014.  ^ "Legacy of Cage Eleven". Nuzhound.com. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Hunger Strike 1980–82". BBC News. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "CAIN: Politics: Elections: Westminster By-election (NI) Thursday 9 April 1981". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. 9 April 1981. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m " CAIN
archive at the University of Ulster". Cain.Ulst.ac.uk. 5 May 1981. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Respects paid to father of Hunger Striker Sands". The Irish News. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2017.  ^ "Bobby Sand's mother Rosaleen has died". The Irish News. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.  ^ Feehan, Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
MP and the Tragedy of Northern Ireland, p. 17 ^ Sands, Writings from Prison. ^ a b c O'Hearn, Bobby Sands: Nothing but an Unfinished Song ^ Donegan, Lawrence (23 November 1999). "Never mind poor old Evita, cry for Star of the Sea". The Guardian.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Feehan, Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
and the Tragedy of Northern Ireland, pp. 13–14 ^ a b c d David Beresford (1987). Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. London, UK: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-586-06533-4.  ^ O'Hearn, Nothing but an unfinished song: Bobby Sands, Chapter 1. ^ Geraghty, The Irish War, pp. 68–70 ^ Morrison, Biography, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 20 October 2015. ^ Hanke, Philip (2011). Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
– An Irish Martyr?. GRIN Verlag. p. 20. ISBN 978-3-640-85967-2. Retrieved 10 October 2015.  ^ English, Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA, pp. 196–198 ^ Kevin Toolis (12 December 2011). Rebel Hearts. Pan Macmillan. pp. 133–. ISBN 978-1-4472-1748-0. Retrieved 10 October 2015.  ^ Hanke, Philip (2011). Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
– An Irish Martyr?. GRIN Verlag. p. 21. ISBN 978-3-640-85967-2. Retrieved 10 October 2015.  ^ Taylo, Provos, The IRA and Sinn Féin, pp. 251–52 ^ 1989, Mercier Press, ISBN 0-85342-726-7 ^ 2001, Mercier Press; ISBN 1-85635-349-4 ^ "Back Home In Derry - Christy Moore". ChristyMoore.com. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2017.  ^ "CAIN: Events: Hunger Strike: Beresford, David - Chapter from 'Ten Men Dead'". ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2015.  ^ BBC News,1981: Hunger striker elected MP (April 1981) ^ Julian Haviland, "Bill to stop criminal candidates", The Times, 13 June 1981, p. 2. ^ Gay,"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on 21 March 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2013. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) (October 2004). ^ Carol, Constitutional and administrative law, p. 112 ^ ON THIS DAY 1981: Violence erupts at Irish hunger strike protest, BBC News ^ Washington Post, 3 May 1981, pp. 2–3. ^ Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
profile, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 20 November 2015. ^ a b O'Keeffe, "Suicide and Self-Starvation Suicide and Self-starvation", Philosophy, Vol. 59, No. 229 (Jul. 1984), pp. 349–63 ^ Malcolm Sutton. "An Index of Deaths from Conflict in Ireland". CAIN. Retrieved 7 September 2007.  ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict – 1981". CAIN. Retrieved 7 September 2007.  ^ "University of Ulster CAIN
archive". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "1981 5 May, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
House of Commons PQs". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Retrieved 26 May 2007.  ^ a b c "Bobby Sands". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida. May 5, 1981. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ Tom Shields (23 February 2003). "Pitch Battles; What can an English public school-type tell us about". The Sunday Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2007.  ^ Lash, Scott & Lury, Celia. Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things, Polity, 2007, p. 49. ISBN 0-7456-2482-0 ^ "Punker siktet for majestetsfornærmelse". Oslo: Aftenposten. 7 May 1981.  ^ Colin Randall (13 August 2004). "French intelligentsia ponders what should be done with killer". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 25 May 2007.  ^ a b Russell, George (18 May 1981). "Shadow of a Gunman". Time. Retrieved 14 August 2007.  ^ "NYU". Nyu.edu. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "The Saga of Bobby Sands", Boston Globe, 3 May 1981. ^ " Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
and Mahatma Gandhi", Chicago Tribune, 28 April 1981. ^ "Britain's Gift to Bobby Sands", The New York Times, 29 April 1981. ^ "The Death of Bobby Sands", San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 1981. ^ "Sands' hunger strike and the fate of Ulster" Boston Globe, 1 May 1981, p. 9 ^ Edward Langley , "IRA brutalities, Terrorist propaganda triumphs", Chicago Tribune, 9 May 1981, W1-8-4. ^ "News.Google.com". Google News. 16 May 1981. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Details of the Hartford memorial". Homestead.com. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Adams unveils Cuba memorial to Bobby Sands". breakingnews.ie. 18 December 2001. Retrieved 25 May 2007.  ^ a b c The Times, 11 June 1981. ^ Bobby Sands: Nothing But An Unfinished Song by Denis O'Hearn (ISBN 978-0-7453-2572-9), p. 377 ^ Majd, Hooman. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ. Doubleday. 2008, pp. 244–45. ^ Irlandinit-hd.de, British government pressure Ireland to change the name of Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Street ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2007. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) ^ "Lai See". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 November 2015.  ^ "The Capital of Iran
Has a Burger Joint Dedicated to an IRA Hunger Striker". VICE. 16 January 2015.  ^ "Over Three Decades On The Death Of Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Still Resonates". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 20 November 2015.  ^ W.D. Flackes and Sydney Elliott, "Northern Ireland: A Political Directory" (Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1999), at p. 550, notes that at the 1981 District Council elections on 20 May 1981, "the results showed a decline in support for centre parties". ^ Nicholas Whyte. "Ark Election website". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ A Long Strange Trip by Dennis McNally, p. 542 ^ Boyle, Mark. "Edifying the Rebellious Gael", Celtic Geographies: Old Culture, New Times (David Harvey, ed). Routledge, 2002, p. 190; ISBN 0-415-22396-2 ^ Rage Against the Machine: Articles Archived 18 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine., ratm.net; accessed 20 November 2015. ^ "Celtic fined €50k for Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
banner". Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015. Celtic Football Club has been fined €50,000 over a banner depicting IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands  ^ "Celtic Green Brigade's Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Banner - Is It Offensive? (POLL)". Retrieved 20 November 2015. The Green Brigade
Green Brigade
supporters displayed a banner of Sands alongside Scottish warrior William Wallace, in an effort to highlight hypocrisy of the Scottish government, which has jailed Celtic fans for singing Republican songs in commemoration of Sands.  ^ PeterJordan (25 December 1996). " Some Mother's Son
Some Mother's Son
(1996)". IMDb. Retrieved 20 November 2015.  ^ info-3375 (1 October 2001). "H3 (2001)". IMDb. Retrieved 20 November 2015.  ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (11 May 2008). "Anger as new film of IRA hero Bobby Sands screens at Cannes". The Observer. London, UK. Retrieved 14 May 2008.  ^ Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
film wins Cannes award. Available on RTE.ie. Retrieved 26 May 2008. ^ " Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
story to become movie". BBC. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.  ^ Toolis, "McKevitt's inglorious career", The Observer, 10 August 2003. ^ English, Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA, pp. 316–17 ^ "Omagh civil case 'unprecedented'". BBC News. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutBobby Sandsat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Learning resources from Wikiversity Data from Wikidata

Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Trust official website, contains poetry and writings by Sands Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
at Find a Grave Biography from Irish Republican
Irish Republican
website at the Wayback Machine (archived 31 July 2008) Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
diary entries & biographies of the ten hunger strikers Timewatch: Hunger Strike – a Hidden History (Otmoor Productions/BBC 1993), imdb.com "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) secret diary written during the first seventeen days of his hunger strike, before being moved to the prison hospital.

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Preceded by Frank Maguire MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone 9 April – 5 May 1981 Succeeded by Owen Carron

Preceded by Stephen Dorrell Baby of the House 9 April – 5 May 1981

v t e

1981 Irish hunger strike

Participants who died

Bobby Sands Francis Hughes Raymond McCreesh Patsy O'Hara Joe McDonnell Martin Hurson Kevin Lynch Kieran Doherty Thomas McElwee Michael Devine

Participants who survived

Brendan McLaughlin Paddy Quinn Laurence McKeown Pat McGeown Matt Devlin Liam McCloskey Patrick Sheehan Jackie McMullan Bernard Fox Hugh Carville John Pickering Gerard Hodgkins James Devine

Political and religious figures

Margaret Thatcher Garret FitzGerald Charles Haughey Humphrey Atkins James Prior Bernadette Devlin McAliskey Owen Carron Tomás Ó Fiaich Basil Hume Denis Faul John Magee

Key events

Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, April 1981 Irish general election, June 1981 Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, August 1981

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Provisional Irish Republican
Irish Republican


Anti-Treaty IRA Sinn Féin Republican News An Phoblacht The Green Book The Troubles
The Troubles
(Timeline) Haughey arms crisis Officials-Provisionals split Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
campaign Arms importation Disappeared Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape Blanket protest Dirty protest HM Prison Maze Anti H-Block 1981 Irish hunger strike Maze Prison escape Armalite and ballot box strategy Smithwick Tribunal Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
peace process North American arrests Barrack buster Good Friday Agreement


IRA Army Council Internal Security Unit Active Service Unit (ASU) Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
Brigade Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
Derry Brigade Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
South Armagh Brigade Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
East Tyrone Brigade Provisional IRA
Provisional IRA
Balcombe Street Gang ASU


Insurgency, 1969–1977

Battle of St Matthew's 1970 RUC booby-trap bombing Scottish soldiers' killings Balmoral showroom bombing Abercorn bombing Donegall St bombing Battle at Springmartin Bloody Friday Claudy bombing Coleraine bombings M62 coach bombing Guildford pub bombings Brook's Club bomb attack British Airways bombing attempt Birmingham pub bombings Bayardo Bar attack Caterham Arms pub bombing London Hilton bombing Green Park tube station bombing Scott's Oyster Bar bombing Walton's Restaurant bombing Drummuckavall ambush Balcombe Street siege Kingsmill massacre

Long War, 1977–1988

1978 Lisnamuck shoot-out Jonesboro Gazelle downing La Mon restaurant bombing 1978 Crossmaglen Ambush Warrenpoint ambush Dunmurry
train explosion Lough Foyle attacks Chelsea Barracks bombing Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings Harrods bombing Woolwich barracks Brighton hotel bombing Ballygawley land mine attack Newry mortar attack Ballygawley attack The Birches attack JHQ Rheindahlen bombing (Germany)

Peace Process, 1988–1998

Corporals killings Lisburn van bombing 1988 Netherlands Attacks Inglis Barracks Ballygawley bus bombing Jonesborough ambush Deal barracks bombing Derryard attack Derrygorry Gazelle downing RFA Fort Victoria bombing Proxy bombings Downing St mortar attack Mullacreevie ambush Glenanne barracks bombing Teebane bombing Cloghoge attack 1992 Manchester bombing South Armagh sniper campaign Warrington bomb attacks Cullaville occupation Bishopsgate bombing Battle of Newry Road Shankill Road bombing Crossmaglen Lynx downing Drumcree conflict Docklands bombing 1996 Manchester bombing Osnabrück mortar attack Thiepval barracks bombing Coalisland attack July 1997 riots

Chiefs of Staff

Seán Mac Stíofáin (1969–72) Joe Cahill (1972–73) Seamus Twomey (1973) Éamonn O'Doherty (1973–74) Seamus Twomey (1974–77) Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
(1977–78) Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness
(1978–82) Ivor Bell (1982–83) Kevin McKenna (1983–97) Thomas "Slab" Murphy (1997–2005)

Personalities (Volunteers)

Billy McKee Gerry Kelly Dolours Price Marian Price Roy Walsh John Joe McGirl Ruairí Ó Brádaigh Dáithí Ó Conaill George Harrison Billy Reid Michael Gaughan Pat Doherty Hugh Doherty Séanna Breathnach Proinsias MacAirt John Kelly Rose Dugdale John Francis Green Peter Cleary Kevin Coen Frank Stagg Kieran Nugent Francis Hughes Brendan Hughes Tommy McKearney Raymond McCartney Gerry McGeough Gerard Casey Thomas McMahon Eamon Collins Gerard Tuite Patrick Magee Bobby Sands Raymond McCreesh Joe McDonnell Martin Hurson Kieran Doherty Thomas McElwee Michael McKevitt Alex Maskey Fra McCann Owen Carron Paul Butler Dessie Ellis Angelo Fusco Breandán Mac Cionnaith Rita O'Hare Martin Meehan Arthur Morgan Danny Morrison Antoine Mac Giolla Bhrighde Kieran Fleming William Fleming Bernard Fox Paddy Quinn Laurence McKeown Pat McGeown Matt Devlin Pat Sheehan Siobhán O'Hanlon Jackie McMullan Patrick Joseph Kelly Larry Marley Jim Lynagh Pádraig McKearney Brendan McFarlane Charles Breslin Sean O'Callaghan Séamus McElwaine Gabriel Cleary Daniel McCann Seán Savage Mairéad Farrell Martin McCaughey Dessie Grew Fergal Caraher Patricia Black Malachy Carey Martin McGartland Joseph MacManus Paul Magee Pearse Jordan Thomas Begley Martin Doherty Ed O'Brien Diarmuid O'Neill Carál Ní Chuilín Ian Milne Conor Murphy Martina Anderson Jennifer McCann Liam Campbell Colin Duffy

Espionage & Supergrasses

Denis Donaldson Freddie Scappaticci (allegedly "Stakeknife") Martin McGartland Raymond Gilmour Kevin Fulton Joseph Fenton Eamon Collins


Cumann na mBan Fianna Éireann South Armagh Republican Action Force Direct Action Against Drugs NORAID Provisional Clan na Gael Friends of Sinn Féin Cairde na hÉireann Troops Out Movement


Continuity Irish Republican
Irish Republican
Army Real Irish Republican
Irish Republican

Prominent killings

Michael Willetts Jean McConville Columba McVeigh Billy Fox Martin McBirney Steven Tibble Ross McWhirter Sammy Smyth Christopher Ewart-Biggs Jeffery Stanford Agate Robert Nairac Richard Sykes Gerard Evans Lord Mountbatten Baroness Brabourne Norman Stronge James Stronge Robert Bradford Lenny Murphy Kenneth Salvesen Anthony Berry Maurice Gibson Robert Seymour Heidi Hazell Joseph Fenton Nick Spanos Stephen Melrose Ian Gow Donald Kaberry Thomas Oliver Sammy Ward Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Ray Smallwoods Joe Bratty Raymond Elder Martin Cahill Jerry McCabe Andrew Kearney Eamon Collins Matthew Burns Robert McCartney (allegedly) James Curran Joseph Rafferty (allegedly) Paul Quinn

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Babies of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom

Dickson Levy-Lawson Gordon-Lennox Harrison Cavendish F. Smith Curran Milton Scott Hill Rigg Turnour Wodehouse Mills Wolmer Sassoon Esmonde Whitty Stanley Sweeney Harmsworth Evans Rhys Lucas-Tooth Lee Owen Robinson Willoughby de Eresby C. Taylor Macmillan Profumo Millington Carson Jenkins Baker Benn Teevan Benn Eden Woollam Clarke Kirk Kimball Cooke Ferranti Wolrige-Gordon Channon E. Taylor Steel Ryan Huckfield Devlin Elis-Thomas Hayman MacKay Alton Dorrell Sands Dorrell Carron Kennedy M. Taylor Leslie Lammy Teather Swinson C. Smith Nash Black

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 94643659 LCCN: n83064473 ISNI: 0000 0000 8167 332X GND: 122396162 SUDOC: 031503772 BNF: