Robert Gerard Sands was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who died in HM Prison Maze in Northern Ireland while on hunger strike. Sands was involved in the planning of the bombing of the Balmoral Furniture Company in Dunmurry in 1976, which was followed by a gunfight with the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Sands was apprehended while attempting to flee and sentenced to 14 years in prison for gun possession.

He was the driving force behind the 1981 hunger strike by Irish republican inmates protesting the abolition of Special Category Status. Sands was elected to the British Parliament as an Anti-H-Block candidate during the strike. His death, as well as the deaths of nine other hunger strikers, sparked a new round of IRA recruiting and activity. The hunger strikers, as well as the republican movement in general, received widespread international notice, drawing both praise and criticism.

Who is Bobby Sands wife, Geraldine Noade?

Bobby Sands died after 9 years of marriage to Geraldine Noade, leaving behind his partner and one kid.

Gerard, their 48-year-old son, was born to them.

Bobby married Geraldine Noade, who was 18 at the time, and the pair had a son named Gerard Sands on May 8, 1973.

However, the marriage was short-lived due to the intense tension produced by Bobby’s strong commitment in the Republican Party.

Geraldine and her son moved to England when Geraldine’s second pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Bobby Sands was arrested and charged with possessing four pistols in the house where he was residing in October 1972. Sands was sentenced to five years in prison in April 1973 and freed in April 1976.

Bobby Sands’ seven-year-old son, Gerald, was brought to the Sands family for a sad reunion with his grandparents when he died of a hunger strike at the age of 27.

They hadn’t seen him in almost two years, and neither had Bobby. Mr Sands and Bobby’s younger brother John spaded soil into the coffin, and then little Gerald was brought forward and given a hand with the heavy spade so that he, too, could assist in the burying of his dead father. Geraldine Sands, wife of martyred Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands, addressed publicly for the first time Thursday since her husband’s death in 1981 in an emotive, sometimes heartbreaking speech.

A tiny Sands praised Hartford citizens for designating a small grassy spot after her husband, in appreciation of his work in fighting for civil rights for Northern Ireland’s minority Catholics.

Sands graciously embraced Hartford’s Irish friendship and urged them to exert pressure on the US government to persuade Britain to resolve the division of Ireland.

“The British government, which is strangling the peace process, is still the largest impediment for us,” Sands added. Sands was brought to Hartford by the Irish Northern Aid Committee to dedicate Bobby Sands Circle at the intersection of Maple Avenue and South Street. Geraldine Sands initially declined the invitation.

She has kept a low profile since her husband’s death, both out of respect for him and because “it is still hazardous in Belfast,” she said. She and her three children continue to reside in Belfast.

She claims that the families of nine other imprisoned hunger strikers who perished have also remained silent. Geraldine Sands’ acquaintance with Richard Lawlor of the Irish Northern Aid Committee’s Hartford chapter influenced her decision.

“It’s been a really emotional experience for me, but the time was perfect,” Sands added. Lawlor stated he met Sands over ten years ago and saw her every time he visited Belfast. Lawlor and others are seeking funds to put a Celtic cross on Bobby Sands’ green plot.

“We need to step up our efforts to put pressure on the British government so that Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers can rest in peace knowing that their deaths were not in vain,” Lawlor added. More than 75 people came to hear Sands speak, including Hartford residents and those from surrounding communities, and others later approached her to kiss and embrace her.

In 2001, the widow of Mr. Sands, the first of the ten to starve in protest of British authorities’ detention of I.R.A. members, appeared in black. She said nothing during the Mass, which was led by Mr. Coleman and the monsignor, but she expressed gratitude outside the cathedral for the big crowd, which was thought to be among the largest since the hunger strikers’ memorial Masses began in the early 1980s.

According to organizers, the yearly service was last held at St. Patrick’s in 1991. Geraldine Sands, the widow, said the full pews gave her renewed faith that her husband’s death was still meaningful to the Irish. Mrs. Sands, who rarely speaks in public, expressed concern about people forgetting. “We all made a significant sacrifice.” It’s something that should never be forgotten.” Mrs. Sands declined to comment on the present political situation in Northern Ireland, but she did say that the 1981 strike was a unique event that drew people from all walks of life together in Ireland and around the world. Mrs. Sands stated of her husband and the other hunger strikers, “I don’t want to think they died for nothing.” “Of sure, it was well worth the effort.”

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