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Bobby Sands
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Martyr
    (March 9, 1954-May 5, 1981)
    Born in Abbots Cross, Newtownabbey, United Kingdom
    Born to a Catholic family in Northern Ireland
    Became a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1972 at age 18
    While imprisoned at Long Kesh organized the 1981 Irish hunger strike
    His strike began March 1, 1981 and lasted 66 days until his death at age 27
    Nine other prisoners died before the strike was called off October 3, 1981
    During the strike elected Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP (Member of Parliament)
    Rage Against the Machine lists him as an inspiration on their 1992 self titled debut album
    Director Steve McQueen won Cannes prestigious Caméra d'Or award for first-time filmmakers for the 2008 film 'Hunger' detailing the last six weeks of his life
    The IRA uses violent methods that have killed innocent people.
    His involvement caused stress on his wife and she miscarried their second child.
    After this she divorced him and took their child to live in England.
    He was convicted of firearms possession and sentenced to 14 years (September 1977).
    Margaret Thatcher and British Parliament refused to give in to the five demands of the prisoners so he died for naught.
    Sympathy for the IRA cause escalated after his death and recruitment increased.
    Protestant loyalists forced the Sands family to move under threat of death.
    He as well as other Long Kesh prisoners were at times beaten.
    He decided that a non-violent hunger strike would do more to draw attention to his cause.
    He was elected MP (Member of Parliament) while imprisoned but served only 25 days and never took oath.
    Though nine others died following his lead, 13 more that took part in the strike were saved either by family intervention or because the strike was called off.
    He died believing no part of Ireland should be under British rule.
    Many countries paid tribute to him and over 100,000 people attended his funeral.
    The New York Times wrote that the British Government's response to the hunger strike appeared 'unfeeling and unresponsive' and gave him 'the crown of martyrdom.'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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