THE MOTHER of hunger striker Bobby Sands has died.
Following her death earlier today, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams paid tribute to Rosaleen Sands saying she was a 'strong, inspirational woman.'
Mr Adams said: “I was extremely saddened to learn of Rosaleen’s death and, on behalf of Sinn Féin, 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.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
On May 5, 1981 Bobby Sands became the first of ten republicans to die after a 66 day 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.