On the 30th anniversary of the May 5, 1981 death on hunger strike of Irish republican prisoner Bobby Sands MP, Green Left Weekly spoke to Sands close friend, former prisoner in the Long Kesh H-Blocks along with Sands and leading Belfast Sinn Fein activist Séanna Walsh about the man who has become a revolutionary icon around the world
Last month, I stood in the Guildhall Square in Derry and watched as the relatives of the 14 innocent victims of the British Parachute Regiment expressed their delight at the Saville report’s conclusion that the 14 were innocent victims. At the time of the killings the dead were labelled as terrorists by the British government. The British system and, to its shame, much of the British media, accused those who had been shot of being “gunmen” and “bombers”.
The publication of the Saville Report, the inquiry into the British army massacre of 14 civil rights protestors in Derry in the north of Ireland in 1972, confirmed what the victims’ families had always known — that those shot had been unarmed and posed no threat to the British Parachute Regiment.