Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Bobby Sands memorial slammed by unionist

Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Tomboy Loudon, Gerry Roche, Denis Donaldson and Bobby Sands pictured in the Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands' coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Hunger strike protesters outside the Dail in Dublin 1981
Hunger strike marchers blocked by gardai as they approach the British Embassy in Dublin
PACEMAKER BELFAST Rioting in west Belfast on the day hunger striker Bobby Sands died in 1981
A man walks past the Bobby Sands mural, in the Falls road area of Belfast
Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots beside hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, at Milltown Cemetery.
Bobby Sands (seated fourth from left). The Star of the Sea football team.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands funeral procession making its way down Stewartstown Road on Route to Milltown cemetery
Several unionist politicians have called for Maze cells which housed hunger strikers to be flattened
Bobby Sands funeral
1st March 2011. Launch of the Hunger Strike 30th Anniversary Exhibition in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. Ten republican prisoners died during the 1981 protest inside the Maze Prison. A letter written by Bobby Sands on cigarette paper which was smuggled out of the prison pictured at the exhibition.
Michael Fassbender stars in Hunger, the film about the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands
Kieran Doherty died in the Maze prison in 1981 after being on a hunger strike
Former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald pleaded with Ronald Reagan to pile pressure on Margaret Thatcher over the hunger strikes

A council decision to put up a plaque dedicated to IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands as part of a major overhaul of a village has been condemned.

Fermanagh District Council has reinstated the memorial as part of an environmental improvement scheme worth £66,000 to enhance the appearance of Rosslea.

The project includes replacing brick paviors with flagstones, upgrading the steps, replacing brick walls with stone clad walls, providing flower beds and seating.

But the decision to reinstate the memorial to former Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP Bobby Sands on a new stone clad wall – costing £134 – has been condemned by Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott.

"Fermanagh District Council is becoming a cold house for Unionists.

"Bobby Sands was a member of an organisation that was responsible for the murder of almost 2,000 of our society," he said.

Three-quarters of the funding for the Rosslea project has been provided through the South West Action for Rural Development (SWARD) with 25% coming from the Council.

Mr Elliot said the council now had "huge questions" to answer.

How did the council facilitate and obviously approve the work of having this plaque to a terrorist in their project?

Brendan Hegarty, the chief executive of Fermanagh District Council, told The Impartial Reporter: "Whilst the Council and SWARD approved funding for the village enhancement schemes they would not be aware of the itemised details of the schemes.

"The Council will not be claiming a grant from SWARD for reinstating the plaque."

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