The mother of hungerstriker Bobby Sands has died.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams paid tribute to Rosaleen Sands calling her a “strong, inspirational woman”.

He said: “I was extremely saddened to learn of Rosaleen’s death and, on behalf of Sinn Fein, I extend condolences to the entire Sands clan.

“Roasaleen was a strong, inspirational woman who, like all families of the hunger strikers, bore immense pain but stood by her son Bobby during the darkest of times.

“The dignity and strength she displayed was a testament to her character and her belief in standing up for what was right and just, even if that meant great suffering for herself, Bobby’s father John and their family.

“In many ways she epitomised what all the mothers of the hunger strikers endured and her sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

On May 5, 1981 IRA prisoner Bobby Sands became the first of 10 republicans to die on hunger strike at the Maze Prison. The hunger strike followed the dirty protest in a long running campaign for political status within the jail.

Sands had been voted in as the MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone at a by election just a month before his death.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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