A TOP US politician has spoken of his admiration for the late Bobby Sands and says a United Ireland is inevitable.
US House of Representatives member Kevin J Boyle, a Democrat with strong Irish roots, says he has been inspired by hunger striker Bobby Sands since he was a child, and that his "sacrifice" will eventually lead to the reunification of Ireland.
Rep. Boyle took to Twitter where he shared an image from an Irish Unity account showing a new mural of Bobby Sands on Belfast's Fall Road which shows the former Provisional IRA member holding a flag with the words 'Aontacht Lenár Linn' and 'Unity in our time'.
The Sinn Féin logo also appears twice on the mural.
He captioned the image: "Bobby Sands sacrifice has inspired me since I was very young.
"I have no doubt his sacrifice and that of all Republican veterans & martyrs is going to be successful."
He added: "The 32 County Republic is Coming!"
Bobby Sands sacrifice has inspired me since I was very young. I have no doubt his sacrifice and that of all Irish Republican veterans & martyrs is going to be successful. The 32 County Republic is Coming! https://t.co/udrnHN5cwW
— Rep. Kevin J. Boyle (@RepKevinBoyle) July 20, 2021
Bobby Sands was imprisoned for years in Long Kesh during the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland which saw internment without trial introduced for suspected paramilitaries.
He, along with 22 other men, took part in hunger strikes in an attempt to be treated as prisoners of war rather than criminals; as the leader of the hunger strikers, Sands died from starvation on the 66th day of his strike at the age of 27.
Ten men in total died from starvation during the strikes.
Bobby Sands had been elected as an MP weeks before his death.
Rep. Kevin J Boyle has long been a vocal advocate for protecting the Good Friday Agreement, and was among a large number of top US politicians who called for the protection of the Agreement during the uncertainty of Brexit.
A bipartisan motion was eventually passed in Congress to show solidarity with those on the island of Ireland worried about the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union and was brought forward by two Senators, a Democrat and a Republican.
Rep. Boyle recently came under fire from DUP MP Sammy Wilson who accused the Irish-American of not understanding the Good Friday Agreement.