An Camchéacta/The Starry Plough, May 1981
We Salute Bobby Sands
The death of hunger striker Bobby Sands is yet another monument to British injustice in Ireland.
This courageous young man was engaged in and died for his political beliefs. He was engaged in a political protest to prove that neither he nor his fellow prisoners are criminals. And to prove that the struggle to rid this country of British rule is a political struggle.
For over five years the campaign for the restoration of political status has endured - in spite of beatings to prisoners, torture, and daily humiliation. It was in order to ensure that the prisoners would not have to endure another five years of the same treatment that the hunger strike began.
We salute the courage of Bobby Sands and his three fellow hunger strikers, who stand willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their comrades and their struggle.
The response of the media to the death of Bobby Sands has been predictable. They echo the calls of quisling politicians north and south of the border for "calm and restraint" ... conveniently neglecting the restraint exerised by the prisoners for the past five years.
There can be no calm and restraint while political prisoners lie dying on hunger strike.
There can be no calm and restraint until such time as the five demands of the prisoners are met.
And there will never be lasting peace until such time as Britain withdraws from Ireland.