New photographs of hunger striker Bobby Sands have been discovered in an archive of French photojournalist Gérard Harlay. Taken at a rally in August 1976, they are believed to be the last photographs taken of him before his arrest and imprisonment at Long Kesh.
Sinn Féin’s Richard McAuley was carrying out research for a book on the late party leadership figure Máire Drumm when Bobby Sands was identified taking part in a rally alongside the former Sinn Féin leader. He is pictured carrying the Fenian Harp flag in a republican colour party. He is taking part in a demonstration against the withdrawal of political status, the same issue which was to lead him to fast to his death.
Days later several of those who attended were arrested and remanded in custody charged with taking part in ‘an illegal procession’, including Máire Drumm. Images © Gérard Harlay.
“Everyone, Republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.” - Vol. Bobby Sands