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Bobby Sands

Roibeárd Ó Seachnasaigh
Bobbysandslongkesh1973.jpg
Sands in Long Kesh, 1973 (aged 18–19)
Member of Parliament
for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
In office
9 April – 5 May 1981
Preceded by Frank Maguire
Succeeded by Owen Carron
Majority 1,447 (2.4%)
Personal details
Born (1954-03-09)9 March 1954
Newtownabbey,
County Antrim,
Northern Ireland
Died 5 May 1981(1981-05-05) (aged 27)
HM Prison Maze, Maze, County Down,
Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Anti H-Block
Spouse(s)
Geraldine Noade (m. 1972)
Children 1
Relatives Bernadette Sands McKevitt (sister)
Military service
Allegiance IrishRepublicanFlag.png Provisional Irish Republican Army
Years of service 1972–1981
Unit First Battalion South West Belfast, Belfast Brigade
Battles/wars The Troubles

Robert Gerard Sands (Irish: Roibeárd Gearóid Ó Seachnasaigh; 9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981) was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who died on hunger strike while imprisoned at HM Prison Maze (also known as Long Kesh) in Northern Ireland. Sands helped to plan the 1976 bombing of the Balmoral Furniture Company in Dunmurry, which was followed by a gun battle with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Sands was arrested while trying to escape and sentenced to 14 years for firearms possession.

He was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike in which Irish republican prisoners protested against the removal of Special Category Status. During Sands' strike, he was elected to the British Parliament as an Anti H-Block candidate. His death and those of nine other hunger strikers was followed by a new surge of IRA recruitment and activity. International media coverage brought attention to the hunger strikers, and the republican movement in general, attracting both praise and criticism.

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