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Life of Bobby Sands

             Bobby Sands was born in 1954 in Rathcoole, a loyalist community in North Belfast as the first child of John and Rosaleen Sands. He was followed by two sisters, Marcella and Burnadette, and a brother, Sean. The first years of Bobby's life were spent quietly at Abbots Cross in the Newtonabbey area of North Belfast. However, the anti-Catholic attitudes raised their heads and the Sands family was forced to move in 1962 to another predominately Protestant ghetto in Belfast. Growing up in these areas led to a nature of hate that most Catholics have being in the segregated areas of Belfast. Bobby shared the same experiences, and had the same feelings. At the age of fifteen, Bobby quit school and began work as an apprentice coach builder and joined the national union of vehicle builders. In 1968, Bobby was forced out of his job due to anti-Catholic resentment. In 1972, the Sands family was forced to move again when their house was sold to a Protestant couple without their consent. The family moved to a Catholic housing settlement in West Belfast. It was here that Bobby first heard about the IRA and joined up with it. Bobby's life changed dramatically; in October of 1972, Bobby was arrested. Four handguns were found in a house that he was staying at. He was brought to a RUC interrogation center. Falling back on his IRA training, Bobby did not crack and did not give the RUC what they wanted to hear. He was brought to trial, convicted and sentenced to five years at Long Kesh prison outside of Belfast. It was in this stay at Long Kesh that Bobby became familiar with the politics, culture and history of the Irish. Bobby first joined the IRA for defense against the British, but he came to realize the republican values that the IRA stood for. He was released in 1976 and returned home. He married his childhood sweetheart, Geraldine. Gerard, a son, was born not too soon after. Bobby then rejoined the IRA and set himself to work tackling the social issues that effected his area.

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