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May 6, 2012

AN SIONNACH FIONN

The British version of the Huffington Post, which strangely I’ve always found a wee bit right-wing given its liberal US origins, carries a lengthy article on Roibeárd “Bobaí” Ó Seachnasaigh or Bobby Sands, Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army and elected representative of the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the British Occupied North of Ireland. What’s more extraordinary is its tone:

“”I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.”

With these words, written 31 years ago, Bobby Sands began the hunger strike which culminated in his death after 66 days on May 5 1981.

It was followed by the deaths of nine others who made the same sacrifice: Francis Hughes, Patsy O’Hara, Raymond McCreesh, Joe McDonnell, Martun Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine.

Just over three decades on it is perhaps difficult to appreciate the significance of the sacrifice made by Sands and his comrades…

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