1981 – Bobby Sands dies at Long Kesh prison on the 66th day of his hunger strike.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Bobby Sands dies in prison following a 66 day hunger strike. Sands would be the first of tenmen to die in an effort to gain political status in a very public battle with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In the House of Commons Thatcher commented on Sands death “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”.

Born in 1954, Bobby Sands grew up in Belfast under the cloud of nationalist and loyalist divisions. He joined the Republican Movement when he was 18 and was soon arrested and imprisoned for possessing a firearm. A second arrest in 1976 led to a 14-year-sentence. In prison, Sands embarked on a 66 day hunger strike that led to his death. During the strike he was elected a Member of Parliament.

A hero among Irish…

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