McCartney unveils Bobby Sands billboard

Large group pictured at the unveiling of the billboard designed to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Bobby Sands election to parliament at Free Derry Wall at the weekend.
Large group pictured at the unveiling of the billboard designed to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Bobby Sands election to parliament at Free Derry Wall at the weekend.

Sinn Fein election candidate for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, unveiled a billboard commemorating the 35th anniversary of 1981 hunger striker Bobby Sands’ election to parliament at the weekend.

Speaking at the unveiling at Free Derry Wall, former hunger striker, Mr. McCartney described Mr. Sands’ election as an “iconic moment” in the context of the Troubles.

“The election of Bobby Sands is an iconic moment, not just in terms of the prison struggle but the wider struggle for a United Ireland,” said Mr. McCartney.

“Margaret Thatcher thought she could break the republican struggle by criminalising it. By claiming it had no support and no legitimacy. The 30,000 people who came out to elect Bobby proved her wrong,” he added.

Mr. McCartney called on voters to remember Bobby Sands and the Easter Rising and to vote for Sinn Fein on May 5.

“As we face into another potentially historic election in the centenary year of 1916, it’s timely that we remember such a pivotal event.

“In 1981 thousands rallied to the call to elect Bobby, recently on Easter Sunday thousands more rallied to remember the Rising. Let us all remember the spirit of 1916 and 1981 and in this election embrace that same spirit by voting Sinn Féin.”

Mr. McCartney spent 53 days on hunger strike from October 27 to December 18, 1980.