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Who was Bobby Sands?

DigiTrad:
BACK HOME IN DERRY
JOE MCDONNEL
THE WOMAN CRIED
THERE WERE ROSES
YOUR DAUGHTERS AND YOUR SONS


Related threads:
Add: Don't Call Me Early in the Morning (TSands?) (6)
Lyr Req: Let the Circle Be Wide (Tommy Sands) (12)
Req/ADD Come Lay Your Bundle Down (Tommy Sands) (8)
Lyr Req: songs by Tommy Sands (66)
Lyr Req/Add: County Down (Tommy Sands) (17)
2018 Obit: Rosaleen Sands (Ireland) (3)
Lyr Add: Almost Every Circumstance (Colum Sands) (53)
Chord Req: Your Daughters and Your Sons (7)
Bobby Sands (130)
Chords:Down Among the Bushes of Jerusalem-T.Sands (11)
Bobby Sands, IRA and The Sands Family (26)
Lyr Req: Whatever You Say, Say Nothing (Sands) (19)
Lyr/Chords Req: Shadow of O'Casey (Tommy Sands) (17)
Lyr Add: The Music of Healing (Tommy Sands) (4)
BS: Bobby Sands hunger strike film (450)
Colum Sands - Gigs in UK ? (8)
Lyr Add: The Politician Song (Mickey MacConnell) (8)
Lyr Req: Goodbye John Joe (9)
Sands Family (5)
Lyr Req: heart's a wonder? / Music of Healing (14)
Tune Req: Farewell to the Town (Ben Sands) (3)
Lyr Req: Directions (Colum Sands) (5)
Ann Colum Sands (6)
Colum Sands at The Cricketers (4)
Where's Tommy Sands? (8)
Celtic Colours - Tommy Sands (11)
Chords Req: O'Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands (9)
Lyr Req: The Marching Song (Colum Sands) (15)
Lyr Req: Lookin' the Loan of a Spade (Colum Sands) (9)
Sands Family (6)
Lyr req: seven days are in the week (answered) (6) (closed)
Lyr Req: All the Little Children (Sands Family) (4)


skarpi 15 Oct 04 - 07:12 PM
Abby Sale 15 Oct 04 - 07:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Oct 04 - 07:28 PM
Peace 15 Oct 04 - 07:31 PM
Folk Form # 1 16 Oct 04 - 11:14 AM
GUEST 16 Oct 04 - 12:32 PM
Zany Mouse 16 Oct 04 - 12:47 PM
Raedwulf 16 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM
Big Tim 16 Oct 04 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Jon 16 Oct 04 - 03:30 PM
Blackcatter 16 Oct 04 - 04:05 PM
Raedwulf 16 Oct 04 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 04 - 04:15 PM
Zany Mouse 16 Oct 04 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 04 - 04:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 16 Oct 04 - 07:50 PM
Peace 16 Oct 04 - 11:12 PM
Blackcatter 17 Oct 04 - 01:45 AM
Dave Hanson 17 Oct 04 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,T.Mooney 17 Oct 04 - 03:31 PM
GUEST, Mikefule 17 Oct 04 - 04:53 PM
vectis 17 Oct 04 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,paddymac, cookieless again, dang it 17 Oct 04 - 08:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 04 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Phil 18 Oct 04 - 04:51 AM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 18 Oct 04 - 07:10 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 04 - 07:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Oct 04 - 08:11 AM
Dave Hanson 18 Oct 04 - 09:10 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 04 - 09:26 AM
Den 18 Oct 04 - 09:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 04 - 09:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Oct 04 - 10:00 AM
Den 18 Oct 04 - 10:06 AM
Den 18 Oct 04 - 10:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Oct 04 - 10:22 AM
Piers 18 Oct 04 - 10:24 AM
Den 18 Oct 04 - 12:00 PM
Sailor Ron 18 Oct 04 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Willy McBoyne 18 Oct 04 - 12:21 PM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 18 Oct 04 - 12:23 PM
Piers 18 Oct 04 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Willy McBoyne 18 Oct 04 - 12:34 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 04 - 12:42 PM
GUEST, Mikefule 18 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM
skarpi 18 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 18 Oct 04 - 01:14 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 04 - 02:00 PM
Megan L 18 Oct 04 - 02:32 PM
belfast 18 Oct 04 - 02:50 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 04 - 09:43 PM
Blackcatter 18 Oct 04 - 11:45 PM
Peace 18 Oct 04 - 11:52 PM
Frank Maher 19 Oct 04 - 12:01 AM
Peace 19 Oct 04 - 12:17 AM
Blackcatter 19 Oct 04 - 01:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 04 - 04:09 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Oct 04 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,Darenotrevealhisnameincasethewrathofmudcatte 19 Oct 04 - 06:04 AM
belfast 19 Oct 04 - 06:55 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 04 - 07:18 AM
Brakn 19 Oct 04 - 07:41 AM
Sailor Ron 19 Oct 04 - 12:02 PM
belfast 19 Oct 04 - 12:26 PM
InOBU 19 Oct 04 - 12:29 PM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 19 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM
InOBU 19 Oct 04 - 04:35 PM
Dave Hanson 20 Oct 04 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford 20 Oct 04 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 04 - 08:55 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 Oct 04 - 09:06 AM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 20 Oct 04 - 09:39 AM
belfast 20 Oct 04 - 10:12 AM
Dave Hanson 20 Oct 04 - 10:28 AM
Paco Rabanne 20 Oct 04 - 10:35 AM
Den 20 Oct 04 - 11:07 AM
belfast 20 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,alembic 20 Oct 04 - 11:37 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 04 - 03:14 PM
InOBU 20 Oct 04 - 06:54 PM
InOBU 20 Oct 04 - 10:14 PM
belfast 21 Oct 04 - 11:55 AM
GUEST, Mikefule 21 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM
InOBU 22 Oct 04 - 08:39 AM
Big Tim 22 Oct 04 - 09:09 AM
InOBU 22 Oct 04 - 09:17 AM
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Subject: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: skarpi
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 07:12 PM

Halló all, I was wandering has there been a thread about this man?
I saw a picture " Some Mothers Sons " I think it was called
and it was about the hunger strike in Long kesh prison among other
things but there was something about this man or this person .
I think " Back home In Derry " Is or has something to do
with this matter .
So Is there anyone who are willing to share with me and others
some knoledge about this?.

All the best Skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Abby Sale
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 07:19 PM

The "happy?" file gives:

Ulster: After 65-days (from 3/1) of the Hunger Strike in Long Kesh prison, IRA leader Bobby Sands died 5/5/1981.

        Twenty years have gone by and I've ended me bond
        And comrades' ghosts are behind me.
        A rebel I came and I'II die the same.
        On the cold winds of night you will find me.

                From "Back Home in Derry" DigTrad filename[ BCKDERRY

While in prison, Sands wrote this song for his comrades in H-block singing it out through a keyhole in his cell-door. Same tune as "Wreck Of The Edmond Fitz."


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 07:28 PM

Thread 16543: Bobby Sands


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Peace
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 07:31 PM

irelandsown.net/bobby.html

This will explain, Skarpi.

or google

Ireland's OWN: History


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 11:14 AM

Bobby Sands was a brave man who died for his convictions. However, his hunger strike was an attempt to blackmail the British government and Mrs Thatcher stood her ground and refused to yield an inch. I admire that as well and I believe she was right todo so.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 12:32 PM

"Bobby Sands was a brave man who died for his convictions."

Just like the 9/11 bombers!


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 12:47 PM

Whilst I understand and agree with your comment, Guest, YOU should be brave and put your name to your posting!

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM

Yes, cowardly Guest, he was, & so were they. IMHO, they were all also misguided bloody idiots who have subtracted from the sum of humanity (by which I opine that the world would be a better place if they had never been born).


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 03:24 PM

Depends on your perspective.                                       

1. He was an heroic Irish patriot who died for his country.

2. He was a murderous bomber.

3. He was a working class boy from Belfast who got caught up in a lot of stuff that he didn't understand and then couldn't back down.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 03:30 PM

Or parts of all 3 Big Tim?


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Blackcatter
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 04:05 PM

I'll put my name to it:

"Bobby Sands was a brave man who died for his convictions."

Just like the 9/11 bombers!

I disagree with both their opinions and their methods but all were brave in their own way. Certainly the men in power in this coutry (U.S.) aren't.

By the way - Bobby Sands was a passable poet as well. Within the warrior/terrorist beat the heart of a poet.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 04:10 PM

Tim, my perspective is that they were all misguided bloody idiots who have subtracted from the sum of humanity. Murderous bigotry never adds, & blood only ever breeds more blood...


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 04:15 PM

Or they all acted out of desperation brought on by their countries being invaded/threatened/occupied by another more powerful country?


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 04:18 PM

Ah - another 'Guest' who doesn't like to be identified with his/her views! Any chance you could do an automatic delete on these postings, Joe?

Thanks for identifying yourself, Blackcatter.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 04:30 PM

If I were to state my view I would sign my name. Rhetoric is rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 07:50 PM

Its still a very contentious issue and there are many reasons why a person may not want to reveal their identity. Perhaps they are a musician getting gigs in staunchly republican Irish centres, perhaps they live in an area where they live in fear of punishment beatings, perhaps they would upset members of their own family or neighbours. Have a bit of sense about such things.

Whatever you thought of Bobby Sands - 28,000 people voted for him. And this was a wake up call for us English. We had been informed by our media and many of us (myself included)believed that the IRA were an embattled minority - rather than enjoying such popular support. Certainly Sinn Fein have never looked back electorally.

Mrs Thatcher was, who knows ... she was an intelligent woman. The rhetoric of not dealing with terrorists was just for public consumption it turns out - all the time the were dealings going on. God knows what the truth of the matter is. I don't think we will know in our life time.

The idea of the hunger strikes was apparently to have a set piece defeat like 1916 that would ensure ultimate victory. Its hard to imagine the unionists ever wanting to be in a United Ireland that is so tied up with the Catholic church. So how ever clever the strategy - it is hard to see Bobby Sands as anything other than deluded when it comes to thinking that it would be a way past the impasse.

Would his songs be regarded as good songs, if he wasn't who he was . I think yes, but not great songs - not in the same class as the great Republican rebel songs....I don't think theres a Foggy Dew in there.

ChristY moore sings this song that says
Only the very safe can talk about wrong and right

and lets be honest, who knows what it took to make a guy so pissed off that he would do that with his life.

My Mum was dying with cancer when the hunger strike were going on, and I remember the nurse saying to me...theres your Mum hanging on to the slightest thread of life, and those people are throwing their lives away for god knows what.

Either way don't let's get agry with each other over this stuff. If history teahes us anything - it is that the answers when they come are unlikely to be simple.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Peace
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 11:12 PM

. . . and it makes us all part of the patriot game.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE PATRIOT GAME (Dominic Behan, Tom Cook
From: Blackcatter
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 01:45 AM

Speaking of the Patriot Game, here's how I updated the song to honor two victims of the current illegal war.


The Patriot Game
Dominic Behan (additional words by Tom Cook, all rights reserved)

Come all you young soldiers, and hear what I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is del Solar, and I'm from Mexico.
I joined the Marines and I'm 20 years old.
My fam-i-ly left home and to America came,
To play out my part in the patriot game.

This nation of ours has a mission to serve.
Exporting our ethics to those who deserve.
I knew that was just, so a Marine I became.
And now I'm a part of the patriot game.

I've been sent to Iraq now to aid in the fight.
Our doctrine is simple: That might begets right,
So I'm here in a war with insurgents to blame
For the danger I find in the patriot game.

And now as I lie here, my body all holes,
I think of those traitors who bargained in souls
I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those cowards who sold us the patriot game

-----------------------------

Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez del Solar was born in Tiajuana, Mexico. His father, Fernando Suarez del Solar, brought his family from Tijuana, Mexico to fulfill Jesus' wish to become a Marine. Jesus enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2001. He was killed in combat March 29, 2004. He wrote several critical letters home.

His father was able to protest at the Republican Convention. He borrowed credentials from a friend to get on the floor during the speech of Laura Bush. While there he held up a sign that read "Bush lied, my son died." That wasn't his only action, but it was the most dramatic.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 05:26 AM

All Ireland slimming champion, 1981

eric


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,T.Mooney
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 03:31 PM

Finding it tough to get to sleep again Eric, were you


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 04:53 PM

Well, can I say, OT, what a pleasant surprise it was to read people who were prepared to acknolwedge that some terrorists are brave people with genuine convictions - be they ever so misguided, arrogant, selfish, murderous, and evil.

But it doesn't surprise me to find this in a folk forum, where people share an interest in the music and song of the oppressed, and perhaps have a clearer historical perspective than the average person.

I don't for one moment condone the actions of any terrorist. However, I do get annoyed by the automatic knee-jerk reaction of politicians who refer to all terrorist attacks as "cowardly". To do those things takes a certain type of courage. What a pity that courage couldn't be put to more constructive use.

For someone to go to all that trouble (whether it be the IRA, the PLO, the 9/11 bombers, or whoever) they must hate us a hell of a lot. And if we put half as much effort into trying to understand and deal with the causes of that hatred as we put into a military response, perhaps the world would be a better place. As someone said, firing million dollar missiles at 5 dollar tents will only make them hate us more.

We are all incredibly fortunate to live in a tiny window in history when we have freedom of speech (it probably won't last long) so people who express these controversial views in this forum shouldn't be subject to hostility. Arguments should win people,not the other way round.

Back to Bobby Sands and the Irish situation: the mess in Ireland has generated many wonderful songs over the decades. And in Glasgow (yes, I know that's Scotland!), a few years ago, a Celtic fan was killed by a Rangers fan for singing "Fields of Athenry" at him. (Could have been the other way round - I don't follow football.)


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: vectis
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 07:22 PM

Allegedly

In past times in Ireland if you had a dispute with someone and were being dealt with unjustly it was traditional (in extremis) to sit at his doorway and starve yourself until he capitulated and redressed the wrong he had done you. In those days the honour code would shame the wrongdoer into making up the quarrel before the other fellah starved himself to death.
The British, unfortunately, didn't have the same honour code and refused to deal with those THEY considered to be terrorists.
They should have applied the dictum
"jaw jaw not war war"
When they finally did realise that they could not win and started talking peace of a sort descended.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,paddymac, cookieless again, dang it
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 08:27 PM

There's a song about that old code referred to by Vectis - "The Stone Outside [Somebody's] Door." The Hunger Stike at Long Kesh, in which Bobby Sands was the first of 10 men "on the blanket" to die, was about the status of nationalist prisoners. Thatcher's government had changed their status from "political" prisoners to "criminals." If you look at the event from the position of the dominant/domineering power, you very likely miss the immense impact it had on the nationalist. To give one's life in that way is a sad, but effective, demonstration of dedication to an idea. The tactic had been used before in the history of the struggle between the Irish and the British occupiers. There were five men died in Brixton Prison in 1920, including Terrence MacSwinney, Lord Mayor of Cork, although, technically, he did not starve. He was "murdered" when prison staff ruptured his esophagus while attempting to insert a forced feeding tube. Seems like there were other fatalities to the tactic, perhaps in the 1880s. I'm a bit fuzzy on that at the moment. There are obvious apparent similarities between the Irish struggle and contemporary events in the middle east. The key word there is "apparent." I'd be cautious about bold statements and comparisons because they're apt to be wrong and ill-informed. The most telling commonality is British and Anglo-American connivance reaching back at least as far as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and, of course, continuing today. My personal read on the situation in Iraq is that the irregular combatants are not so much fighting for "Iraq" as for their slice of the pie whenever the "infidels" leave.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 08:45 PM

To be honest I would be hesitant to draw even the tentative conclusions conclusions so far expressed. The actual state of negotiations between the IRA and the British government were so much a state secret that I really don't believe any of the accounts I have read thus far.

I suppose if we knew the truth of one situation, we might be able to draw parallels with another.

did anybody see the tv programme on Pearse recently? There was this comment on MacDonagh to the effect that he was obviously a power to be reckoned with within the movement, but the nature of his secret activities, even now made it difficult to divine exactly the scope of it.

What I mean is, if they're still arguing about who did what in 1916, what chance of gauging what happened as recently as 1981.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 04:51 AM

you also have to remember that the hunger strike came after a long campaign for political status of prisoners; they refused to wear prison uniform and so were only wrapped in blankets. That escalated to the dirty campaign, refusing to slop out shit buckets. By the time they decided on the hunger strike strategy,there wasn't much else they could do to pursue the issue if they were not prepared to accept the prison regime


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 07:10 AM

To some he was a hero and to others a murdering bastard, I just even think about him and what his so called cause was, I want freedom for Scotland but I don't go around killing people to do it.
I vote for freedom for Scotland and not kill for freedom for Scotland.
Mind you I Liked Eric's joke how true and yes I can sleep at night.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 07:17 AM

And the British troops never opened fire on innocent unarmed civilians on Sauciehall St.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 08:11 AM

Maybe not Sauchiehall Street, Guest, but I think you will find plenty of instances of troops opening fire on civilians in Scotland. Ever heard of the 1820 rising? The Highland clearances? Jacobite Rebellion?

Just what was your comment getting at? That only Irish civilans ever get killed?

Hmmmm. New one on me...

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:10 AM

British troops also didn't have a policy of deliberately murdering children and babies like the fucking IRA did, the theory of terrorism is to spread terror, thats why the IRA did it.

No matter how bad the British Army was or was not, they didn't commit atrocities like the IRA, freedom fighters and patriots my arse.

Get real guest.

eric


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:26 AM

Attrocities have been commited by both sides. Depends how far you wish to go back. But the British Government have seen sense now. Long may peace reign.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Den
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:35 AM

Tell you what Eric why don't you visit Twinbrook where Bobby Sands came from and tell your joke to the first guy you meet of your height and weight, see how funny he thinks it is. Tam you call Bobby Sands a murderer. What evidence to you have that he murdered anyone? Bobby Sands was arrested with three other young men. A handgun was found in the car they were travelling in. He along with the others was sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession. He ended his life on hunger strike during that sentence. Would that same sentence have been given to anyone else anywhere else in Britain at that time. Some how I don't think so. Neither of you have any idea what it was like to live in that part of the world at that time as a nationalist person. The reading of facts can be an enlightening experience you should try it sometime.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:44 AM

oh god here we go

it really does none of the dead or the living any good to be losing our tempers with what we consider ill considered remarks...

deep breaths everybody, the way to a better future.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 10:00 AM

Den, Tell you what Eric why don't you visit Twinbrook where Bobby Sands came from and tell your joke to the first guy you meet of your height and weight, see how funny he thinks it is.

I had the very good fortune to spend 2 weeks in Finugue, just outside Listowel, a few years ago. One real stroke of good luck was I was there at the same time as a festival celebrating the life of Sean McCarthy, who hailed from that very village. I attended concerts, poetry readings, school choir recitals and even met his widow! One thing I did find wonderful was the sense of humour which cropped up again and again at all things irreverent. One joke I remember was about the IRA man being chastised by the priest for killing a British soldier. "but he was only a Brit!" complained the IRA man. "It was three you missed I was complaining about!" replied the priest:-)

There are many such jokes and even songs about the sad deaths of people. So, Dan, if you are Irish, I think you may be one of the very few I have known without a sense of humour.

Out of complete disinterest to all concerned btw my 3rd child, Stewart, was born on the day Sands died. One out, one in eh?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Den
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 10:06 AM

I'm sorry Skarpi, to address your question. There has been a lot of talk about Bobby Sands on this site. Much of it is misinformed. To get a better idea of who he was and what he did during his short life you could read, "10 Men Dead", by David Beresford, which in my view was a fairly objective account of the time. Or you could try the Cain site or this site Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Den
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 10:12 AM

Dave, yes I am Irish and no you do not know me. So therefore making assumptions about my sense of humour would seem to be a moot point. I can laugh at jokes with the best but jokes especially about the way someone dies I find distasteful. If that particular subject matter cracks you up then that is your business.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 10:22 AM

Doesn't crack me up particulary, Den. I do find it a little funny. Not as funny as someone who takes the moral high ground on making assumptions about a sense of humour and going on to assume that death would crack me up though...

I take it all back about your sense of humour. If you can make jokes as good as that you must have one.

:D


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Piers
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 10:24 AM

The following, from Petition Online, maybe of some interest:

British Hands Off Bobby Sands Street

To: His Excellency Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mohammad Khatami, President of Iran

BOBBY SANDS STREET, Teheran, Iran.

    THE name Bobby Sands is known throughout the world, symbolising the heroism of an Irish prisoner and his comrades who died on hunger strike in their unequal fight against their British jailors. Over the course of the past two years British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has been lobbying Iran's Foreign Minister to change the name of Bobby Sands Street, where the British Embassy is situated, in the capital Teheran. (It was formerly known as Winston Churchill Street.)

Bobby Sands was an Irish patriot and martyr and an elected representative of the Irish People.

The British government has no right to be in Ireland, just as it has no right to be interfering in the affairs of any other nation.

We appeal to the Iranian government and its people not to bow to requests from the British government to rename Bobby Sands Street.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Den
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:00 PM

I'm not sure that I understand your last post Dave or that I made assumptions on your sense of humour and to be quite honest I'm not interested in getting into a nit-picky argument or make jokes about/with you.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:14 PM

"THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS NO RIGHT TO BE IN IRELAND" ERGO THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND WANT TO REMAIN "BRITISH" HAVE NO RIGHTS?


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,Willy McBoyne
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:21 PM

He says the undersigned but there is no signitures. The whole idea of naming a street after Bobby Sands is to humiliate the British. I cannot imagine the Iranians giving a toss about the Irish hunger strikers.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:23 PM

I agree with Sailor Ron, this is a case of the minority trying to tell majority how to run their country, until the Majority votes to JOin the Republic I think that Nortern Ireland will remain British, and for those who want Northern Ireland to Join the Republic well do us all a favour a bugger off to the Republic and fight your cause there.
Terrorists and their supporters no matter who they are, are all scum of the earth.
however that's my opinion and if you don't agree with that then your choice.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Piers
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:26 PM

Sorry Willy, I just pasted the petition text, there is over 4000 signatures.

Piers


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,Willy McBoyne
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:34 PM

We should rename the street in which the Irish Embassy is to Mad Dog Adiar street, an Ulster patriot who doesnt give a f**k.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:42 PM

And the fact you cannot even spell his name says it all really.

Slainte.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM

Way off topic, but this <<"THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS NO RIGHT TO BE IN IRELAND" ERGO THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND WANT TO REMAIN "BRITISH" HAVE NO RIGHTS? >> is encapsulates many of the problems with the democratic ideal.

Firstly, the constituency problem. Who should vote? Whatever happens to Northern Ireland will affect (in different ways) the citizens of Northern ireland, the Republic, England and Scotland (and to some extent, Wales?). Now imagine a vote on, for example, unification. You would obviously get a different result depending on which of those affected areas you allowed to vote.

Likewise, the choice of US President will affect almost everyone in the world, but only US citizens can vote.

And the Irish situation amply illustrates that voting is so often "tribal" so the biggest tribe in each constituency will usually win. This is why we have so-called "safe" and "marginal" seats in the UK Parliament. Labour areas and Conservative areas. Only a minority are persuaded by the arguments and policies. Likewise, there are Republican and Democratic staters or cities in the USA.

Then there's the majority/mob problem: should the majority dictate to the minority? It's one thing to "Let's decide which way WE are going", but another to decide "Which way YOU are going". This is an argument legitimately deployeed by the pro-hunting minority in the UK, for example. (No, I'm not pro hunting, but I do recognise their right to argue legitimately for their cause.)

But now we're waay off topic. Oops!


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: skarpi
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM

Well thanks all for your help I have enough to look over wile I am
home for the next six weeks.
All the best Skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 01:14 PM

Mikefule, it's not often I read a post I wish I'd written myself.

To clear up a misunderstanding that might arise from something Paddymac said, the phrase "on the blanket" did not refer to hunger strikers. It referred to all those who refused to wear prison-issue clothing, as described by Phil, and refused to slop out. They lived among their own excrement for many months in what must have been abominable conditions.

DtG, I don't know about your sense of humour but you plainly have no imagination or you would have no difficulty understanding how Eric's "joke" would go down in Twinbrook. The idea that your visit to Listowel gave you some kind of pointer is fatuous. For many in the Republic, especially those "beyond the Pale", the troubles were no more than a faraway nuisance that impinged on Ireland's tourism. Certainly a safe enough distance away for instances of the folksy banter you describe. I would put it on a par with memories that some in Belfast retain of earlier IRA campaigns. Indeed I have heard many hilarious anecdotes recounted from the present troubles. But in Belfast I've never heard jokes about the people who volunteered to starve themselves to death, though in protestant communities I've heard plenty of bile about them. (Just as I've heard bile about prods in catholic communities.) But then Eric's remark wasn't funny either, or even meant to be. It too was bile.

Apart from all that, the question of prisoner status is an interesting one. No British government ever accepted that there was a "war" in the north, and Thatcher - reasonably enough by her own lights - thought it was therefore contradictory to accord "special category" status to prisoners who, by any reckoning,had broken the law of the land.

There was some logic in this line, but it was too dogmatic for a situation that needed compromise. For instance, on the other side of the coin, as Den pointed out, Sands was serving 14 years for possessing a firearm - an utterly ludicrous sentence against the norms prevailing elsewhere in the UK. His sentence was a direct consequence of the special circumstances of Northern Ireland. Factors such as this, and the fact that convictions were secured without juries and sometimes on scant evidence, underpinned the arguments of those demanding a return to "special category" status.

In view of Thatcher's determination to criminalise the "terrorists" (of both sides), I was dumbfounded by Bush glorifying the fight against international terrorism as a war. But I hadn't foreseen that he would get round the pitfalls of this simply by breaking and bending laws at will and inventing new prisoner status (or non-status) at the drop of a hat.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 02:00 PM

<>

In a country where the newspapers campaigned for a mandatory 5 year sentence for carrying an illegal firearm, whilst simultaneously campaigning for the immediate release of a farmer who'd used one to kill a child. Tribalism again: those nasty mainly ethnic minority ruffians should be locked away; that nice white middle aged landowner is a hero. Those brutal terrorists should be locked away; how ludicrous that a soldier should be up before the court for shooting an innocent civilian - we are at war, after all. And so on. We are steadfast, they are fanatical; we use lethal force, they are murdering dogs.

Socrates argued that no one knowingly does wrong. I interpret this as meaning that everyone does what he thinks to be right in his particular circumstances. If only we could break the taboo and consider what is in the mind of the Bad Guys, we might better understand how to stop them wanting to kill us.

Spike Milligan wrote to the effect: "We've got the enemy fooled: they think we're the enemy! Hah! the perfect disguise."

It's the same the whole world over, ain't it all a blooming shame?


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Megan L
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 02:32 PM

Like all history what you see depends on where you stand, and in a thousand years none of it matters.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: belfast
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 02:50 PM

Skarpi, who is, I gather, in hospital at the moment, began this thread with reference to the film "Some Mother's Son". I would also draw attention to "H3"(2001), a low budget film on the same subject. I'm not necessarily recommending it - the only review I could find at mrqe.com is scathing - I'm only pointing out its existence. "H3" was the name of the block where Bobby Sands was imprisoned.

Den earlier mentions David Beresford's book "Ten Men Dead". Beresford, a Guardian journalist, comes from South Africa and probably carries less baggage than the rest of us and, in my subjective point of view, is fairly objective.

Another book (after all, Iceland has a reputation for being incredibly literate) "Nor Meekly Serve My Time" is written by the prisoners themselves. No, it doesn't pretend to be objective.

Best wishes to Skarpi in hospital.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:43 PM

A trouble-maker under the pay of the old Russian...USRR.



Mr. Sands Republican did not reprensent most other Reprulicans.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Blackcatter
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 11:45 PM

Jeez.

I post the only song (and mostly new lyrics) on a thread that shouldn't even be "above the bar" and no one bloody comments upon it.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Peace
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 11:52 PM

Good, excellent and definitely classy post, Blackcatter. In fact, if there is one post for the whole day that really speaks volumes about the astuteness of the poster it is your post. You are a poster par excellence. No doubt about it. Allow me to say to all:

Blackcatter, you are IT.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Frank Maher
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:01 AM

Bobby Sands was a Gentleman who Died for His Beliefs.. ..May He rest in peace always..


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:17 AM

There is enough Irish in my family to allow me an opinion, but not enough that I would justify terrorism on any side. The electric drills or the guns: either way, you'll never walk well again.

SAS did what it was told to do. As did all the rest of the patriots. Patriotism does occasionally blind us to human values. There are few who didn't lose sight of human values. As Bronowski said in "The Ascent of Man" when he remarked on Auschwitz, "Here, people were turned into numbers." I'll never see "The Troubles" as anything but a numbers game I'm afraid. Not a patriot game, but a numbers game. It is what it is.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Blackcatter
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 01:41 AM

Thanks brucie - wasn't fishing for a compliment, but it's odd when someone posts an original (mostly) song and no one comments.

I still don't know why this thread is north of the border, except maybe the powers that be thinks it's interesting sinces it's about "north of the border."


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 04:09 AM

It s great song. i'm sorry we were all concentrating on Bobby Sands. Norther Ireland is an issue which is never far from our minds on the English folk scene. So many of our best performers are Irish, so many English people enjoy the celtic aspect of our own music. It was rude and thoughtless of us not to comment.

I suppose also we felt a little left out. the present democrat/republican debate seems to many of us scarily vitriolic. Most of us on the folk scene tend to have lived here for a few generations. I suppose we are quite proud of our citizenship, but its not an overt thing like it seems to be in the US - and the theme of your song.

You must be very proud of a song that has contributed to a great public debate.Woody Guthrie and Dominic Behan will be standing up an applauding someplace - even if the mudcatters were slower (initially at least)to rise to their feet!


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 04:20 AM

Den, why don't you want to get into nit-picky arguments with me? You are quite happy to get into them with Eric. What have you got against us Gnomes? Quite cleary speciesist discrimination.

Peter K. I have plenty of imagination thank you. What makes you think otherwise? Or at least what makes you say otherwise? Not that I care realy. If you imagine otherwise I will admit that yours is better than mine!

People tell jokes about the sickest of things. It's a fact of life. get over it. If truth be known I did not not find Erics joke very funny either. The irreverence behind it and the reaction it generated was far funnier. Going back to an earlier point I can well imagine the red faces and veins standing out on the faces of the don't make fun of this brigade...;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,Darenotrevealhisnameincasethewrathofmudcatte
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 06:04 AM

I'm sorry. Call me tastless if you like, but I found Eric's comment funny.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: belfast
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 06:55 AM

My first reaction was that this thread belongs below the bar but I supppose Bobby Sands was both the writer and the subject of songs and therefore does have a home up here.

As for Eric the Red's comments, some will find his joke amusing, others will find it grossly offensive. So it goes.

His comment however that the (expletive deleted) IRA had a deliberate policy of murdering babies? The language is vulgar and intemperate, the idea ludicrous. It is the voice of a brain-damaged drunk outside a pub on a Saturday night.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 07:18 AM

well everybody's somebody's baby - even the legitimate targets.

And intemperate acts somehow trigger off intemperate responses. I don't think any of us are surprised by them any more. The daft rhetoric of Thatcher, the shouting of Paisley, the self justifying tripe from the general direction of the IRA.

I won't make excuses for the sick and racist jokes, but I feel sure some of so called'Irish' jokes that were around in the 70's were the English peoples way of dealing with fear.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Brakn
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 07:41 AM

People believe the propaganda.

People here voted for Margaret Thatcher.

Vietnam, Bloody Sunday, the miners strike, The Belgrano, the Birmingham six, Iraq, George Bush, Tony Blair.

How does the song go "You dare to call me a terrorist, while you look down your gun".

The press here would have you believe that Posh Spice and Dale Winton are celebrities. Some people just suck it all in.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:02 PM

Your rebel songs I used to sing when I was but a lad,
For the tunes were gay and cheerful or mournful and so sad;
But then lovely Ulster was at peace and I could not see owt wrong,
Ah! But I was young and did not see the hate inside your songs.

And you Orangemen of Ulster who stand proudly by the flag,
Do not puff yourselves with pride for you are just as bad.
You taunt your fellow Ulstermen with your "Battle of the Boyne".
You are just the other side of that bloodstained Fenian coin.

Now Jesus died for all mankind, not for orange or green;
Yet to you he's Protestant and to you Papish he be.
If he was to return today, his fate would be the same,
By you so called Christians, crucified again.

Now you sing the "Rising of the Moon" and you "The Protestant Boys".
You sing of "The Foggy Dew", aye, and you of "Derry's Walls".
But with you I will sing none at all. It just stokes your bloody war;
So to hell with "The Wearing of the Green" and "The Sash My Father Wore"!

Sung to either "The Sash" or "Roddy McAuley".
Title "A Plague on Both Your Houses".


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: belfast
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:26 PM

Ah,well. I am neither protestant nor catholic but I really regret that Sailor Ron no longer sings 'reble' songs. I'm sure his rendition of 'Roddy McAuley' would have been a treat and I can't really believe that it would have stoked any bloody war.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: InOBU
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:29 PM

Hi Skarpi:
Very best wishes as ever. As to the question, who was Bobby Sands... his cell mate was a close friend of mine. Perhaps I can give the sense of him I got from my dear pal Tony. He was thoughful and in the worst moments, lived completely in hope. I say this, as when Tony was jailed for a crime he didn't do, after a confession was tortured out of him... he attempted to sleep through his sentence. He was naked and sleeping on a bare concrete floor with Bobby Sands M.P. . Sands asked him why he was waisting his time sleeping. Tony was mystified, and asked what else could he do. Sands told him this was the only time in his life no one expected anything of his time. He asked him if he spoke Irish, Tony said no. Sands talt him to speak Gaelic and Tony got his faunia (excuse the spelling - the lapel pin for showing that one is fluent in Gaelic) on his release. He asked him if he played chess, he didn't. Sands made chess men out of bread and taught him to play chess. He taught him and learned from him, useing every monent usefully. As to those above who say he was a terrorist, I note they don't asign any acts to him personally, and I have never heard of him so doing, in a uprising, which time and again in US courts, the British government has failed to be able to make the case is a terrorist action rather than a war against occupation. But, that is off the topic, Sands was a man who cared deeply for others and loved freedom, not as an abstract, but as the expressions of rights denied to him personally, for example the rule of law, denied to him when he was stabbed by fellow workers for being a Catholic in a job where everyone else was a protestant. It was this lack of protection from the state which led him to join the Irish Republican Army.
The sad fact is that the war had nothing to do with Ireland, it was the price Ireland paid for expressing nuetrality in the cold war. Was Sands a dupe as a result, well, hind site is 20/20. Who knows if he would have taken part in an uprising if he knew the British would have started secret talks the year the cold war ended, and the same year Ireland set nuetality aside to allow Bush I to land bombers on Irish soil to bomb Iraq. Who knows. But, for me, before I call the man a terrorist, I would ask for an example of an act HE committed. I have seen the result of British and Loyalist terror in Ireland first hand. I have heard stories about others, and acknowlege that in war no one's hands are clean, but I do wonder at the number who overlook the policies such as the shoot to kill policy, and the murder of Irish children as primary targets of war by the British.
I hope this conversation keeps civil, truth and reconciliation is the best work we can do, and part of that is recognising the lies we have been told, often at the cost of the lives of young men like Bobby Sands, or the reputation of heros like the British police commisioner John Stalker.
All the best
Siorchan agus siorcha
(again excuse the spelling)
Larry


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 01:13 PM

We're all talking about Booby Sands and the IRA, and not one person has metioned their victims that they murdered, including the legal ones, please excuse the spelling, but I feel sorry for the innocent men, women and children that were murdered by terrorists on all sides.
I don't really care about Bobby Sands or his 'friends' but I do fell sorry for the terrorists victims that were murdered. And you keep talking about the 'war' in Northern Ireland, I don't remember the British Government declaering war on it's own people, you sending in tanks, the navy or the airforce. that to me is war what is happening in Iraq is war or was war but no in Northern Ireland. Unless I lost the Goevenment did have a war with it's own people and never told us.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: InOBU
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 04:35 PM

Dear Tam:
You bring up a few points above...
I was in Belfast in the seventies, and I did indeed see a war. I saw armor - not perhaps the kind of tank one thinks of rolling into Bagdad, but certainly armored troop transports, armored jeeps with large calaber weapons in the roof door, I saw an air war, helicopters used to move troops, used to torture prisoners, used for a variety of tactical reasons, and the navy was on Lough Erin. As to the second point, unfortunately nations don't often declair war any more. Our two countries have killed tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq lately, and you may note they did not declare war... It's own people... well that is what it is all about, isn't it. When do you start counting, the 1911 vote? the out come of the Anglo Irish war ten years after that when Britain agreed to leave the six counties of the north of Ireland in two years? Do you count the majority nationalist community pushed out of their homes by unequal law and unequal employment when you speak of "it's own people?"
The sad fact is Tam, your government and mine, seldom act as our government. When the US govenrment's conintell program made war on some of it's own here,(no declaration of war) Fred Hampton and the Black Panther leadership in Chicago where murdered in their beds for certain, and Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered by the government most likely. Certainly scores of children were out right murdered by British soldiers and no charges where brought, a message was sent about who were the British people and who were occupied by the British government.
I don't claim to know who is right and wrong at the end of the day, but I would say, be very cautious of EVERYTHING our governments whould have us believe. After all, the US government armed and empowered most of the people it eventualy brought down, from the president of Panama to Sadam Husain to Ben Lauden.
CHeers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 06:14 AM

A bomb in a waste basket on a public street, a bomb aimed at a church congregation, a bomb thrown in a bar, all aimed to kill or maim indiscriminately, this is not the way to gain freedom for a part of Ireland where the majority want to stay part of England.

It is also not the way to get sympathy for your cause. I feel nothing for Bobby Sands, I feel no sympathy for the fate of any terrorist, I feel for their victims and their families.

eric


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 08:48 AM

Hi Larry (INOBU)
You were mistaken about the heavy calibre weapons.
The only ammunition used by security forces in NI was 7.62 and 9mm.
And I'm sure the Navy never fired a shot in anger.
Best wishes,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 08:55 AM

No war eh! Odd that the government and the Unionist parties are looking for a statement that the war is over from the IRA


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 09:06 AM

Fair points Keith, but the RUC and the B Specials (loyalist thugs legitimised by "police reserve" status) did use Brownings in the early years of the troubles. OK, still 9mm, but crazy weapons to deploy in overwhelmingly civilian environments. They were big, intimidating vehicle-mounted weapons, sometimes used with abandon, and to anyone on the wrong end of them they probably looked like "heavy calibre."

Thanks for the insight into Bobby Sands, Inobu. Almost all serious comment about him that I've heard, including from loyalists, has been favourable, except for a recurring rumour in both communities that he was a bit inclined towards domestic violence. I bever heard that from an informed source, and it may well have been no more than an urban legend.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 09:39 AM

I agree with Eric on all that they said


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: belfast
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:12 AM

"...a recurring rumour in both communities that he was a bit inclined towards domestic violence. I bever heard that from an informed source, and it may well have been no more than an urban legend."

If you believe it to be no more than an urban legend why bother repeat it? I have friends in all communites here. I know people who were close friends of his. I know people who hate and despise him and everything he stood for, and I have never heard it. And in all the words written by his admirers or his enemies I don't recall it. Against whom is he supposed to have practised this domestic violence? Not his wife, the usual target for such a crime. His mother? His sister? Not very plausible. But after all, this is the internet.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:28 AM

Incidently the convicted bombers and murderers all got a get out of gaol free card under the Good Friday agreement.
Some comfort to the victims families eh.

eric


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:35 AM

They should have all been hung.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Den
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 11:07 AM

This thread was supposed to be about Bobby Sands but since the usual bigots were unable to demonize him they've decided to widen the net. After all, "any taig will do".


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: belfast
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM

It is true that some murderers were released early - and I use the word murderer, not in any emotive sense but because that was crime of which they were convicted. Perhaps they should all, as super ted suggests, have been hung but hanging British soldiers would have such a bad effect on the morale of the rest of the Regiment. No, no. The best idea is this - after they have been in gaol for three or four years welcome them back into the army.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST,alembic
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 11:37 AM

Hi guys

Much interesting reading on Bobby Sands and Margaret Thatcher. Guess I remember it most as a time of great sadness. Yes the IRA did murder innocent people, yes she did decimate whole communities and thousands of lives in a way that was less shocking but equally driven. If you were to weigh the respective damage these two people caused with hindsight, I have to say it answers itself - but at least we now at least have the hope that her son will get locked up for life.

On a more musical note, the Grateful Dead - better known usually for their obstinate dislike of politics - dedicated a now infamous 27-minute version of the song "He's Gone" to Bobby Sands the night after he died. As the lyric itself is highly ambiguous (often used to serenade lost friends but usually without the lyric 'He'll steal your face right off your head'), this struck me at the time as just about the only sensible comment ever to come out of America on the whole subject of the IRA.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 03:14 PM

I did a gig a few nights before he died a charity thing and Don Concannon , a local MP with Irish connections had been there to see him and plead with him not to starve himself to death as it was obvious that the streets would run red with blood, reprisals, riots etc.

And in fact a lot of people did die in the wake of his death. I can see that Boby Sands has a lot of friends reading this thread, but don't you feel he was a perhaps a little responsible for all those bereaved people.

I suppose the answer is as always , well if you English weren't here in our country..... but in your heart of hearts I think you must realise its a bit more complicated than that.

If you read the Irish Post for a month or so, there isn't a month goes by without there being a two page spread about somebody saying they have been abused by Catholic priests - put in some teaching or pastoral role, that they would never have in any other country. Similarly it doesn't seem that long ago when the forces of law and order were getting together to try and prevent a 12 year old rape victim from leaving the country so she could have an abortion. There is no way the Northern protestants will join up with you, when the church has so much power in your society.

I suppose you're going to say I'm anti catholic, but other countries France, Germany and so on have a lot of catholic citizens without having scenarios like this.

Okay I am ill informed and stupid. I feel I have been called that in some of the messages on this thread. But these points genuinely puzzle me.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 06:54 PM

Dear littleweedrummer:
It isn't about Catholic or not, I am a protestant, a Quaker, though my wife is Catholic, her family from Cavan, the other Ulster county... but abuse by Catholic priests (happens in the US also...) has nothing to do with the war which Britain brought to Ireland to keep troops in a non-alined nation for the good of NATO. I had occation to have dinner with MI5 or 6 (I forget which) defector Holroid, the sourse for a lot of the film Hidden Agenda, he and members of the British army Troops Out movement will tell you, that the reason for the war in Ireland had nothing to do with Catholics, it had to do with keeping a foot hold in Ireland so that if Russia went into western Germany, they could take airports in the Republic if those airports were denied (the Icarus plan)... however the Republic put it's colective posterior in the air when the US wanted it's airports for the first gulf war, and said, be our guest Sam, and there you go, the fall of the USSR and suddunly it is possible to talk to the IRA. I'm sorry, look, I am a US citizen who can tell you what we did in Viet Nam was a crime, what we did in El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua and Iraq is criminal... that is not being unpatriotic, it is being a good citizen like being a good parent, making sure your government does no harm in your name. I suppose it is the idea of being a subject that makes it hard to look in the mirror or look behind the curtain. Irish history is long and hard and takes some study... the time to look into that history is when your tax money goes to make a bad situation worse.
I also never heard the domestic violence charge against Sands. Do note there has not been a single claim that HE committed a war crime. But there you go, today one just says Terrorist, like one once said communist, nigger, kike, or any other group condemnation and you need not add any other information, the knee jerks and the gavel comes down. This is the major harm and horror of the "Patriot Act" as it was the harm and horror of the Special Powers Act.
A land without justice, without a jury, without equal laws cannot be said to be at peace.
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:14 PM

PS The LD is acting up... I note it is weelittledrummer, no ill intent in revercing the order of words in your name, mate. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: belfast
Date: 21 Oct 04 - 11:55 AM

No matter how it started this thread really has gone into below the bar, BS territory, hasn't it?
And I apologise in advance if this post is unduly long.

The offence for which Bobby Sands was tried has already been noted. With three other people he was in a car in which there was a gun. They were tried in a non-jury court and we can imagaine the social and political sympathies of the one-man judge/jury. He sentenced them each to fourteen years imprisonment.   This is not a usual sentence in the UK. It was not and is not a sentence given to loyalist paramilitaries.

(Semantic digression:
In the language of politicians, the BBC and most other journalists:
Armed republican = terrorist
Armed pro-British, loyalist = paramilitary)

In the gaol, the conditions that had been previously applied to those convicted in non-jury (Diplock) courts had been arbitrarily (and isn't strange that 'arbitrarily' means 'without arbitration'?) changed.

One might be surprised therefore at the moderation of the demands of the hunger strikers. They didn't demand release. They didn't request that they be granted the kind of trial that has been guaranteed under British law since Magna Carta.

Don Concannon. I had thought of him merely as one of those little footnotes of history, one of those Labour Party guys who took Mrs Thatcher's side against the hunger strikers. He was a former British soldier and that is the side he was on. Perhaps he was simply in the wrong party. A while ago in England I met a man, a former member of the National Union of Miners. His contempt for Don Concannon was more bitter than that of any republican I have met. The phrases 'blacklegs', 'scabs' and the 'c-word' were bandied about. But that's all to do with Arthur Scargill and the NUM. Another story. I assume that littleweedrummer would know more about that than me.

As inOBU (am I right in thinking that OBU stands for One Big Union?) points out the problem has nothing to do with religion. There are protestants in the republican movement. At least one Sinn Fein councillor is a protestant. The founding father of republicanism , Wolfe Tone, was a protestant. Today's republicans look upon people like Henry Joy McCracken as their ideological forefathers.

The catholic church most emphatically does not like republicanism. One example. The priest Denis Faul, though much concerned with the welfare of prisoners, regularly expresses his contmempt for republicans. One of his kinder descriptions is 'Blackguards (blaggards)'. I know of a couple of priests who have been ambivalent about the IRA. They are no longer priests. I don't know if they jumped or if they were pushed.

Loyalists tend to use the word 'protestant' not as a statement of religious belief but as a shorthand for a political standpoint and social background. I know members of the UVF and their description of Dr. Paisley, for example, is, well, unchristian.

Violence. The state was founded on violence, threats of violence, gross illegalities, disloyalty and threats of mutiny by officers of the British Army. It is a gerrymandered state, born in blood and violence, and maintained in existence by gerrymandering, state-sponsored violence and other criminal acts. It can be argued that the violence was necessary to prevent a protestant people from being subsumed into a romanist state. It can be argued that the criminal acts and treason were required to prevent these people from being betrayed by the British governement. Perhaps. Nonetheless it was violence, criminal acts and treason.

Bobby Sands did not create the violence; the violence created Bobby Sands.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 21 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM

Stepping back a few posts in this thread, I see that someone remarked that the British Government had not declared war on "its own people".

How I hate that expression! It carries an unspoken assumption which is plain wrong. The topical example, of course, is the repeated comment that Saddam Hussain committed "genocide" (or used WMD, chemical weapons, torture...) on "HIS own people".

And in what sense were they "his"? Only in the sense that they were unlucky enough to live in a geographical area over which he claimed authority, and had the power to enforce that "authority".

Few of us can choose whether or not to live in one country rather than another; it follows that few of us can choose the political system under which we live. A murdered marsh Arab would not have regarded himself as "one of Saddam's own people", but as one of Sadam's enemies or victims.

On a much lesser scale, a member of the Catholic/Republican minority in Northern Ireland has a stark choice: move to the south (why should they have to?) or live within the system that prevails in the North - knowing that they will always be part of a minority, and will never be able to change the system from within. They were never asked whether they wanted to be the "UK Government's own people".

Whether you or I agree with it, it is at least a legitimate aspiration to see a united Ireland, just as it is a legitimate aspiration to see the North remain part of the UK. However, the simple realities of "tribal politics" and the "tyranny of the majority" mean that a Republican/Catholic in the North has no realistic way of pursuing his legitimate aspiration. He must either put up with the situation or move out.

It is therefore not surprising that some people with strongly held Republican views, especially if they have a strong perception that their fellows are victims of discrimination, might consider non-democratic means to pursue their aspirations.

I do not in any way condone this. I simply state it as a fact. If you say to enough people: "Shut up and obey our rules, or sod off," some of them will say, "Stuff you, I'll fight you over it."

Now perhaps I'm a bit simple, but I think that most people don't really give two hoots about who's in charge. That's why turnouts at general elections are so poor.

Monarchy, democracy, benign dictatorship,or win the job in the Lottery, it doesn't matter to most people as long as they are comfortable, well fed, and can go about their lives.   If there were no perception of discrimination or victimisation, and if the two communities lived side by side in harmony, with genuinely equal opportunities, most people wouldn't care whether they were in the UK or the Republic, and those who did care wouldn't feel entitled to resort to violence to pursue their aims.

It is this community of spirit, the desire for a harmonious, trouble free life, in the face of so many people trying to take that away from us, that gives rise to the best folk songs. In my view, the best folksongs of all are non-partisan. Apart from his obviously non-German name, Willie McBride could have been from any country, form example.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 08:39 AM

Hi Belfast... right you are.
In One Big Union
Larry


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: Big Tim
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 09:09 AM

And I always thought it meant, Oxford Bloody University.


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Subject: RE: Who was Bobby Sands.......
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 09:17 AM

Ah no Tim... my family were all Cambrigde... Cheers Larry


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