Robert Sands commonly known as Bobby Sands, was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who died on hunger strike while imprisoned at HM Prison Maze.
He was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike in which Irish republican prisoners protested against the removal of Special Category Status. During Sands’s strike, he was elected to the British Parliament as an Anti H-Block candidate.
His death and those of nine other hunger strikers was followed by a new surge of Provisional IRA recruitment and activity. International media coverage brought attention to the hunger strikers, and the Republican movement in general, attracting both praise and criticism.