‘Sunday Times’ Corrects Bobby Sands’ Misquote

March 2, 2009 · Print This Article

On 22nd February last the ‘Sunday Times’ journalist Liam Clarke wrote about the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis which was taking place that weekend and the problems the party faced with the electorate in the twenty-six counties. The feature was titled, ‘Sinn Fein is turning into Sands’s dodo’ and he wrote that “The party has fallen back on opportunism now the threat of violence has been abandoned. Bobby Sands wrote that a freedom fighter without a gun is like a bird without wings…”

Clarke stated that Sinn Fein’s heyday during the peace process is “over, leaving Sinn Fein, in Sands’s image, looking rather like a lumbering, flightless dodo.”

The Trust contacted Liam Clarke and pointed out that Bobby Sands had never made such a statement. Liam Clarke carried a correction last Sunday, 1st March and said: ‘Last week I mistakenly stated that “Bobby Sands wrote that a freedom fighter without a gun is like a bird without wings”. This phrase was, in fact, spoken by another former prisoner in a discussion of Sands’s legacy. My thanks to Danny Morrison of the Bobby Sands Trust for pointing out that it does not appear in Sands’s writings. The reference has been corrected online.’

 

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