Belfast Telegraph

Funeral held for Bobby Sands' mother Rosaleen

The funeral has taken place for the mother of hunger striker Bobby Sands.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams announced the death of Rosaleen Sands on Friday, paying tribute to her as a "strong, inspirational woman".

Mourners gathered for Requiem Mass at St Oliver Plunkett's Church, Blackrock, Co Louth on Monday before a private family burial in Belfast at the City Cemetery.

In his tribute Mr Adams said: “I was extremely saddened to learn of Rosaleen’s death and, on behalf of Sinn Fein, I extend condolences to the entire Sands clan.

“Roasaleen was a strong, inspirational woman who, like all families of the hunger strikers, bore immense pain but stood by her son Bobby during the darkest of times.

“The dignity and strength she displayed was a testament to her character and her belief in standing up for what was right and just, even if that meant great suffering for herself, Bobby’s father John and their family.

“In many ways she epitomised what all the mothers of the hunger strikers endured and her sacrifice will never be forgotten."

On May 5, 1981 IRA prisoner Bobby Sands became the first of 10 republicans to die on hunger strike at the Maze Prison. The hunger strike followed the dirty protest in a long running campaign for political status within the jail.

Sands had been voted in as the MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone at a by election just a month before his death.

Funeral of Rosaleen Sands.
Funeral of Rosaleen Sands.
Funeral of Rosaleen Sands.
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
Hunger striker Bobby Sands' coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Tomboy Loudon, Gerry Roche, Denis Donaldson and Bobby Sands pictured in the Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
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

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