BOBBY SANDS COMMEMORATION 2008 :
BOBBY SANDS 1954-1981.
Between the years 1917 and 1981 , twenty-two Irish men died on hunger-strike in our on-going fight for Irish freedom -
Thomas Ashe, Kerry, 5 days, 25 September 1917(force fed by tube , died as a result).
Terence McSwiney, Cork, 74 days, 25 October 1920.
Michael Fitzgerald, Cork, 67 days, 17 October 1920.
Joseph Murphy, Cork, 76 days , 25 October 1920 .
Joe Witty, Wexford , 2 September 1923.
Dennis Barry, Cork, 34 days, 20 November 1923.
Andy O Sullivan , Cork, 40 days, 22 November 1923.
Tony Darcy, Galway, 52 days, 16 April 1940.
Jack 'Sean' McNeela, Mayo, 55 days, 19 April 1940.
Sean McCaughey, Tyrone ,22 days, 11 May 1946 (hunger and thirst Strike).
Michael Gaughan, Mayo , 64 days, 3 June 1974.
Frank Stagg, Mayo , 62 days, 12 February 1976.
Bobby Sands, Belfast , 66 days, 5 May 1981.
Frank Hughes , Bellaghy (Derry) , 59 days, 12 May 1981.
Raymond McCreesh , South Armagh , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Patsy O Hara , Derry , 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Joe McDonnell , Belfast , 61 days, 8 July 1981.
Martin Hurson , Tyrone , 46 days, 13 July 1981.
Kevin Lynch, Dungiven (Derry) ,71 days, 1 August 1981.
Kieran Doherty , Belfast , 73 days, 2 August 1981.
Tom McIlwee , Bellaghy (Derry) , 62 days, 8 August 1981.
Micky Devine , Derry , 60 days, 20 August 1981.
The sectarian realities of ghetto life materialised early in Bobby's life when at the age of ten his family were forced to move home owing to loyalist intimidation even as early as 1962. Bobby recalled his mother speaking of the troubled times which occurred during her childhood; "Although I never really understood what internment was or who the 'Specials' were, I grew to regard them as symbols of evil".
Of this time Bobby himself later wrote: "I was only a working-class boy from a Nationalist ghetto, but it is repression that creates the revolutionary spirit of freedom. I shall not settle until I achieve liberation of my country, until Ireland becomes a sovereign, independent socialist republic..."
The fight for the same Cause that Bobby Sands died for in 1981 is on-going today , as six Irish counties remain under the jurisdictional control of Westminster , which enforces that control with military occupation. For the 28th successive year , a commemoration will be held in Dublin in honour of Bobby Sands , the thirteenth republican to die on hunger-strike since 1917: those attending this commemoration are asked to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin at 2pm on Saturday May 10 , 2008 , and to march from there to the GPO in O'Connell Street .
(Please note - we are taking a wee break for a week or so : we should be back before the middle of May. Go raibh maith agat!)