Robert Gerard Sands (Irish Roibeard Gearóid Ó Seachnasaigh; 9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981) was an Irish Republican who died on hunger strike whilst in prison for the possession of firearms. He had been elected as a Member of Parliament during his fast. While in jail Sands became a writer of poetry.
- Dear Mum, I know you're always there
To help and guide me with all your care,
You nursed and fed me and made me strong
To face the world and all its wrong.
- A guide to me in times of plight
A princess like a star so bright
For life would never have been the same
If I hadn’t of learned what small things came.
The Rhythm of Time
- There’s an inner thing in every man,
Do you know this thing my friend?
It has withstood the blows of a million years,
And will do so to the end.
- It wept by the waters of Babylon,
And when all men were a loss,
It screeched in writhing agony,
And it hung bleeding from the Cross.
- It is found in every light of hope,
It knows no bounds nor space
It has risen in red and black and white,
It is there in every race.
- I was only a working-class boy from a Nationalist ghetto, but it is repression that creates the revolutionary spirit of freedom. I shall not settle until I achieve liberation of my country, until Ireland becomes a sovereign, independent socialist republic.
- Republican News, (16 December 1978)
- The days were long and lonely. The sudden and total deprivation of such basic human necessities as exercise and fresh air, association with other people, my own clothes and things like newspapers, radio, cigarettes books and a host of other things, made my life very hard.
- On his experience in solitary confinement in prison, in An Phoblacht/Republican News (1978), under the pseudonym "Marcella."
- I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.
- Diary entry, (1 March 1981), the first day of his hunger strike, in Skylark Sing your Lonely Song : An Anthology of the Writings of Bobby Sands (1991).
- They won't break me because the desire for freedom, and the freedom of the Irish people, is in my heart. The day will dawn when all the people of Ireland will have the desire for freedom to show. It is then we'll see the rising of the moon.
- Diary entry, (17 March 1981), translated from the original Irish, in Skylark Sing your Lonely Song : An Anthology of the Writings of Bobby Sands (1991)
- There can never be peace in Ireland until the foreign, oppressive British presence is removed, leaving all the Irish people as a unit to control their own affairs and determine their own destinies as a sovereign people, free in mind and body, separate and distinct physically, culturally and economically.
- Vol. Bobby Sands, Provisional Irish Republican Army (1981)
- In my position you can't afford to be optimistic.
- Said by Owen Carron, Sands' election agent, to have been his response on hearing he had been elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
- Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.
- Often quoted, but the source is unclear
- Bobby Sands Trust, which holds the copyright on his writings.