The Bobby Sands Mural, is located- 49 Falls road, Belfast. (BT13 2QR)
Bobby Sands was born on 9th March 1954, in Belfast. He lived in Rathcoole. He went to a school called Stella Maris. He left school in 1969 at the age of 15. In 1972 Bobby’s parent’s home, where he lived, had been attacked by a Loyalist mob, as sectarian violence in Rathcoole and other parts of Belfast had considerably worsened. They then moved to West Belfast Twinbrook area, he joined the provisional IRA on his 18th birthday. Bobby was arrested in October 1972 with possession of handguns in the house, where he was staying and sentenced to 5 years in jail in 1973, and released on April 1976. When Bobby was released from prison, he resumed IRA activity and was arrested again in 1977, for possession of a gun and was sentenced to 14 years in Long Kesh (Maze Prison). In 1980 he was chosen as the officer, commanding the IRA in the jail. They wanted special category status, which led them refusing to wear a prison uniform, which now started what was known as the Blanket Protest, which then led to the no-wash protest, which then turned into the Hunger Strike. The 5 demands they wanted were:
- Not to wear a prison uniform.
- Not to do prison work
- Free association to mix with other prisoners.
- 1 visit. 1 letter. 1 parcel a week
- Restoration of remission lost through the protest
They wanted to be considered as political prisoners. When on the Hunger Strike a Member of the British Government, known as Frank Maguire, died on 5th March 1981. Which now led to a Bio Election, and Bobby Sands was the candidate selected and won the seat on the 9th April 1981, with 30,493 and became the youngest member of Parliament. Still in prison and on the Hunger Strike, Bobby died on 5th May 1981. Lasting 66 days. Another 9 men followed him. They are known as the 10 Irish Hunger Strikers
You will see this Mural, and many more, on our Belfast Murals Taxi Tour.