Thirty years on, Bobby Sands’s stature has only grown

By Danny Morrison (for the Guardian)

I last saw Bobby Sands alive in December 1980. He had long greasy hair and a matted beard as a result of the no-wash prisoners’ protest. He had spent a third of his 27 years behind bars. At the end of the visit I was banned from the prison. I next saw him in his coffin, after his death exactly 30 years ago, before 100,000 people gathered for his funeral in Belfast. By then he’d spearheaded the hunger strike campaign for political status for IRA prisoners – and in the process gained massive international recognition after being elected an MP.

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