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. Bobby left school in 1969 at the age of 15. In 1972 in 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 the Twinbrook area, where he joined the provisional IRA on his 18th birthday. He was arrested in October 1972 with possession of handguns in the house, where he was staying in which he was sentenced to 5 years in jail in 1973 and released on April 1976. When Bobby was released from prison, Bobby 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. As they wanted special category status, which led them refusing to wear a prison uniform, which then started what was known as the Blanket Protest, that then led to the no-wash protest, which then turned into the Hunger Strike.
The 5 demands they wanted were:
- No 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
Himself and the rest of them 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 then led to a Bio Election and Bobby Sands was the candidate selected and he 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. These men are known as the 10 Irish Hunger Strikers.
You can see this Mural, and many more, on our Belfast Murals Taxi Tour