Bobby Sands vigil to mark 28th anniversary

Gemma Burns
North Belfast News
1st of May 2009

North Belfast republicans will take to the streets next week for a black flag vigil to mark the 28th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands.

A vigil will be held at 5pm this Tuesday (5 May) at the corner of the New Lodge Road and Antrim Road to remember the MP and hunger striker. The Rathcoole man died in the early hours of 5 May 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh Prison for political status.

Vigils will be held across the city to remember his life and death.

The IRA volunteer lived in Newtownabbey until the age of 18 when the Sands family moved to Twinbrook in the west of the city.

Belfast Sinn Féin leader Bobby Storey called on local people to come out onto the streets to remember Bobby Sands.

“We are calling on Republicans from throughout the city to come out onto the streets next Tuesday 5 May at 5pm to remember Bobby and all the Hunger Strikers with pride,” he said.

“Bobby Sands, like his comrades Kieran Doherty and Joe McDonnell, and all of the hunger strikers, was a decent, selfless and heroic person.

“He was a loving father, a son, a brother, a soldier in the Irish Republican Army, an activist in Sinn Féin, a member of his local residents group, a poet, a musician, an MP and a hunger striker.

“He was also a friend and comrade to many, many people.

“Today, his memory lives on and we are continuing to work for the united Ireland that Bobby was so determined to achieve.

“So we are asking people to come out next Tuesday to remember an outstanding Irishman and revolutionary.”

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