The Diary of Bobby Sands

October 2, 2008 · Print This Article

The Diary of Bobby Sands. In this diary we can see the grit, humanity, humour and politics of a great Irishman – Danny Morrison

The first seventeen days of Bobby Sands’ H-Block hungerstrike to the death, written by him in diary form, with an introduction by Danny Morrison.

You can find many items relating to Bobby Sands and the Hunger Strikes available online at the Sinn Féin Bookshop, 58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland. Tel. 00 353 18148542. Email:

Republican Merchandising Belfast Ltd.,
52/53 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 4PD, Ireland. Tel [028] 90243371

Mercier Press Ltd., Unit 3, Oak House, Bessboro Rd, Blackrock, Cork. Phone 00353214614700. email –


55 Responses to “The Diary of Bobby Sands”

  1. christina on March 20th, 2009 7:14 pm

    This precious man gave his life for what he believed in. I remember when his death was announcedin 1981 and I cried for him. I still cry. He was, and IS someone for generations to look up to! HE gave his life for his beliefs. The last person I remember who gave up his life for the same ideals, was nailed to a cross!
    Rest well, Bobby, you will never be forgotten!

  2. JIMMY HATTON on August 18th, 2009 9:18 pm

    i am an Australian & am very proud of it..i am ashamed that throughout my schooling i & all other aussies have been fed alot of crap about how the ira are all terrorists & the poms are the good ones in this..i have done alot of reading & useing the internet to find out for myself the truth..i have read all about Bobby Sands & the other Brave men involved in the 1981 hunger that i know the irish people are the good people in this,,i wish you all well for the future & gain your independence from those whinging bloody poms..
    i hope to visit your wonderful country in the next 2 years, & pay my respects to those who have died for the cause for freedom..also for those who are still fighting


  3. Caitlin on September 8th, 2009 5:47 pm

    Sometimes I wish I cared about ANYTHING as much as Bobby Sands cared about Ireland.

  4. Mark Reid on September 12th, 2009 10:11 am

    Bobby Sands showed the BEST in HUMANITY. He was…and still is the greatest example of self sacrifice. TEN MEN were murdered by the Brits. This is no great surprise, as they have proven throughout history that they plunder, murder, and divide nations for their own means. Who are the terrorists? The decision is yours…As for me, it seems very clear.

  5. kieran on September 13th, 2009 7:08 pm

    As a catholic born and living in Rathcoole (Dunloy Gardens) in the late 60’s from which just like Sands, myself and my family were forced out of our home. Then growing up as a teenager in North Belfast experiencing first hand, naked sectarian hatred from Protestants. Beaten and intimidated by the Loyalist thugs that have now been exposed as killers for the British Government I have repeatedly heard comments of the IRA as thugs etc.
    I see loyalists and Orangemen discriminating against me in my workplaceeveryday. i have lost 2 family homes to sectarian Loyalist thugs but through it all thay fear us and the example the volunteers showed in Long Kesh still is secretly admired by Loyalists as they can’t have the same committment themselves.

    My family has had a long republican tradition and ties to leading republicans. we have paid the price!

  6. Mark Reid on September 15th, 2009 4:38 pm

    Loyalists and Orangeman are bigots that hide behind the skirt of the Brits. IRA…terrorists? What about the UDA/UFF? What about the KIA? What about the RUC? What about the PARA? I could go on forever…Here in Canada we call that ethnic cleansing. I guess the Brits call this Heroism…Bobby Sands and all those who gave up their FREEDOM so others may some day be FREE are heroes.

  7. eugene sheridan on September 19th, 2009 8:30 pm

    what a man,what an inspiration.He was a true martyr . I wish i had a fraction of the balls he had.How can someone who was willing to sacrifice his own life be called a criminal. I have read about long kesh and the conditions the prisoners had to endure and i know that i would not have been able to do what they did. God rest their souls!

  8. derek on October 2nd, 2009 8:20 pm

    thank you bobby you started the celtic tiger because it was never a football match that made us believe in ourselfs it was your spirit and your comrades thank you

  9. Mark Reid on October 4th, 2009 10:55 am

    Thank you to Danny Morrison and all those that keep Bobby’s memory alive. God bless all those that fought and still fight for their freedom and human rights. It takes a special person to stand up for what he/she believes in…but it takes an extraordinary person to lay down his/her life.

  10. Blake Gregory on October 12th, 2009 1:14 pm

    Bobby Sands was a brave man for the cause of Irish Independence. He along with his colleagues should always be remembered for their act of selflessness in the cause of Irish Independence. I have never believed the IRA to be wrong in their battle for freedom. I always will remember this brave man for giving the only precious thing he had, his life, for his people.

  11. Dee on October 14th, 2009 2:29 pm

    I was born in Scotland, but have always considered myself Irish.. my heart will always belong in Ireland… My parents being Irish and stong loyalists. I was brought up to be the same. I wasn’t allowed Catholic friends, dragged to marches, etc etc etc. THEN I GREW UP!!! I did research, I visited Belfast, I spoke to people, and was HORRIFIED at what I found to be the truth of the persecution of the Catholic community.. then AND now! I made my own mind up. I now have a Catholic partner and Im preparing to move to NI to live and work in the next 2 weeks. I LOVE my country and the people. I am ashamed of my family and try to educate them and help them see what they have done to their own countrymen and women. My prayers are with the souls of the brave departed and pray that their families can find peace and take comfort in their self-less sacrifices.

  12. muriel on November 4th, 2009 12:00 am

    I watched Hunger a few days ago. Looking up Bobby Sands on the net and reading excerpts of his diary, I have to say I saw a very human figure emerging from his writing. He seemed poetic, perhaps devotional in his thinking, more fragile and frail in his thought than the chararcter portrayed in the film. And quite thoroughly optimistic. He seemed young, and – I hate to say it, at the risk of offending anyone really – almost naive. I wondered if he really thought he’d die, initially. The character portrayed in the film is quite singular, I suppose, in the sense that he is made to seem like a man of one-note, pure and singular intentions, quite monastic. In the diary I saw a regular, if politically committed, person. Makes it more tragic. Colonialsim is always bullshit.

  13. Patricia Lownes on November 16th, 2009 9:52 pm

    Muriel I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I just received a DVD of “Hunger” and I am waiting to gather with friends to watch it. My Senior Project in college was a paper about the poetry of Bobby Sands and explored why he is not as well known for his writing in addtion to his ultimate sacrafice as a hunger striker. From what I have read about his life and imprisonment, I did not doubt that Bobby knew he would very well have to die. Optimistic yes, hopeful yes, but a realist when he viewed his situation and decided to proceed on the hunger strike. I would recommend getting your hands on Bobby’s Diary which is available for purchase online just about everywhere. It will become an invaluable tool if you want to continue to explore Bobby’s life and times. I also have other references I picked up while researching my paper, I would be happy to share them if you would like. Continue to check in on this site as well; I have always found something interesting to read I’ll look forward to sharing my experience after I see “Hunger”. Thanks again for your post.

  14. Rober on February 7th, 2010 11:10 am

    nowadays hundreds of basque political prisoners are on hunger strike fightings for their rights in spanish and french prisons.
    Bobby and his fight will always be remembered in Basque Country!!
    Two countries , same struggle.

  15. ben white on February 23rd, 2010 6:59 pm

    always in our thoughts and prayers bobby,you will never be forgotten a chara god bless you.

  16. giovanni on March 1st, 2010 4:34 pm

    bobby you was a simbol in all the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!! rome cry you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Carla on March 1st, 2010 7:33 pm

    I have now visited 7 Irish/Bobby Sands websites today and have seen nary one recognition that today 1st March, 2010 is the 29th Anniversary of Bobby Sands beginning the Hunger Strike in 1981.
    Am I missing something ?

  18. Carla on March 2nd, 2010 12:04 am

    To all above – especially Muriel and Patricia – THANK YOU !
    I visit several Irish/Bobby Sands websites and have read his writings. I agree with the humanity, humor, leadership, devotion, love of his country and his unimagineable inner strength. It is so sad that he was not allowed to live a long and happy life. Who knows what additional contributions he could have made. I read his poem “Dear Mum” at my mother’s funeral 11-09.

    One of the sites I visit seems so anti-Bobby/Hunger Strike/Struggle for Freedom/Northern Ireland etc. I was and am shocked to read what some of those who live in Ireland have to say – and one in particular who is way too young to have registered anything at the time. He doesn’t even live in Northern Ireland.

    So I am very happy to see that there are people such as yourselves who have made an effort to learn, to understand and to keep the memories alive !!!

  19. Mario A. Herrera Arts & Letters on March 7th, 2010 8:21 pm

    Twenty-seven year old IRA Bobby Sands died in a British prison
    cell on May 5, 1981. Sands perished for a cause. I took the role of a parent when I wrote the Spanish version three weeks prior to the tenth anniversary of his death. I translated poem 18 yrs. later . mud. published in 1992

    El Hombre Contento © THE HAPPY MAN ©
    Obra de Mario A. Herrera Collection of poems by Mario A. Herrera
    el día 19 de abril 1991 Written by el poeta April 19, 1991
    el día 6 de octobre 2009 Translated by the poet October 6, 2009

    Vi las ansias de ese hombre I saw his restlessness,
    En su último tiempo de vida; his remaining moments of life;
    Se acordaba del tiempo sobrado. He remembed life’s brevity.
    Él abandonaba aquel mundo He was about to relinquish
    después de una vida corta. his world after a brief life.

    Con un ojo medio abierto He had one eye half-closed,
    hablaba del pequeño mundo He uttered weaken words;
    que abandonaba por fin. small world he was leaving.

    En su último suspiro de vida Lastly he inhaled still peaceful air,
    el hombre ansioso cerró the unyielding young man closed
    los ojos; Luego se convirtió his eyes. Then in his stillness…
    en el hombre contento. He became a happy man.

    Siemp re el poeta mud
    San Antonio, Texas 78212

  20. Mario A. Herrera Arts & Letters on March 7th, 2010 8:33 pm

    Twenty-seven year old IRA Bobby Sands died in a British prison
    cell on May 5, 1981. Sands perished for a cause. I took the role of a parent when I wrote the Spanish version three weeks prior to the tenth anniversary of his death. I translated poem 18 yrs later. mud. published in 1992.


    Collection of poems by Mario A. Herrera
    Written by el poeta April 19, 1991
    Translated by the poet October 6, 2009

    I saw his restlessness,
    his remaining moments of life;
    He was remembering life’s brevity.
    He was about to relinquish
    his world after a brief life.

    He had one eye half-closed,
    He uttered weaken words;
    small world he was leaving.

    Lastly he inhaled still peaceful air,
    the unyielding young man closed
    his eyes. Then in his stillness…
    He became a happy man.

    Siempre el poeta mud
    San Antonio, Texas

  21. Jack on March 9th, 2010 8:41 pm

    Happy birthday Bobby Sands……you and your fellow patriots gave all and give hope to all still seeking freedom! Many greats gone at twenty seven….none greater than you and yours! Peace forever Bobby…………

  22. Travis Walsh on April 3rd, 2010 1:01 am

    I’m an Irish Newfoundlander and I am proud as hell to say so because of Bobby Sands he is my Hero

  23. Brendan Dunphy on May 5th, 2010 3:43 pm

    Exactly 29 years ago today we lost a great man. RIP Bobby. I remember protesting in front of the Brit Embassy here in New York shortly after the first hunger striker deaths. Shame on Maggie.

  24. Theresa Cleary on May 5th, 2010 5:13 pm

    29 years today…. My Dad taught me to never forget. Rest in Peace.

  25. Becky Brown on May 5th, 2010 8:45 pm

    i find it depressing that on May 5th the anniversary of Bobby’s death, there are no headlines in the Irish press, remembering him.

  26. mairead on May 6th, 2010 4:01 pm

    Irish American, raised by a fierce Irish father…God Bless You Bobby.


  27. pete on May 6th, 2010 5:43 pm

    i was a kid of 12 years old then i lved in the lower falls then my dad woke me up at 5.40 am to tell me that bobby died i just cried tears then,it was then that i vowed that the brits would never break my spirit,i visited bobbys grave yesterday,as time passes its great that gerry adams has stuck to bobbys principlesbobby was my hero.

  28. pierce egan on May 8th, 2010 6:47 pm

    wasnt alive in 1981 but still know about bobby and have the greatest respect for him. a true irish hero
    tiocfaidh ar la

  29. Kevin Walsh on May 10th, 2010 1:40 pm

    I was 21yrs old when Bobby died an here i am at 50 with tears in my eyes reading some of the comments…..a braver Irishman hasnt live than Bobby and his nine comrades……so glad to see hes still remembered even by all the younger people…may he and all Irelands patriot dead rest in peace

  30. Derek Reynolds on May 20th, 2010 9:53 am

    A martyr unlike any other who dared to fight with all he was given, his mind, heart and soul.

  31. Travis Walsh on May 26th, 2010 9:19 pm

    Bobby Sands is my hero I am an Irish Newfoundlander and I am proud to say so, I cry for Bobby Even though I never knew him but I will when I get to heaven

  32. Travis Walsh on October 14th, 2010 7:16 pm

    Bobby Sands is, was and always Will be my Hero I love Bobby so much I’m an Irish Descendant in Newfoundland and Bobby’s story touched me so much to never give up on my dreams and Love God R.I.P Bobby Sands you are my hero

  33. michael gillespie on December 8th, 2010 11:02 am

    hi im a catholic living in glasgow i was only 7 years of age when ,THATCHER,killed bobby and his 9 comrades in long kesh 1981 my dad told me storys about northern irerland bobby was a legend in many people’s eyes r.i.p……tiocfaidh ar la from all the glasgow republicans

  34. Ayla Reid on December 10th, 2010 10:02 pm

    I am not irish, but am of irish roots. I am an american, and live in america. But the story of Bobby touched me so deeply, and the plight of ireland itself. I am sorry if posting here offends anyone. But his story brought tears to my eyes, and i wish more people would understand and know it everywhere else in the world. People take things for granted. And it is a shame. All i want to add is that Bobby will always live on in my heart, and the other brave souls who helped their country. I will NEVER forget it.

  35. paddy,Derry on April 1st, 2011 7:36 pm

    We are now at the 30th anniversary of the Hunger Strike of 1981,and it is as fresh in the memory now, as it was then. We will never forget, God Bless the H Block Martyrs .

  36. Mr Patrick on April 21st, 2011 3:29 am

    The only food I was eating was milk when Bobby Sands died. I was 8 months old at the time. I didn’t learn of his death until 16 years later, through a film called “Some Mother’s Son.” My grandmother (d. 2004) told me she was in Dublin (she was born there) and she “cried tears for that poor boy.”

  37. MAIRTIN PLUNKETT on July 14th, 2011 8:06 pm

    it is encouraging to see so many foreign people remembering the ultimate sacrifice Bobby Sands made for every Irish person on this planet. Could I remind all in the free 26 counties to stand up and be counted, it is never too late, he was crucified by the Brits and specially Thatcher, thats what she will be remembered for by 50 million Irish, what a disgrace.

  38. peter on July 17th, 2011 7:17 am

    hi all i was at the roddys last weekend it was a fitting tribute to joe mcdonnell,the event was well received also bobby storey spoke very well,it was a great occasion,also congrats to paul maskey hes a great worker for the people ,no task is too great for paul,,sinn fein are the voice of the republican people in ireland,just look at the election results that speaks volumes,peter.

  39. dixie on November 28th, 2011 6:45 pm

    5-5-81,I was a young married mother off two children, who worked two jobs, lived in the USA, had a safe. busy, happy life. I am so ashamed of myself for not knowing of what was happening to these brave young men. After I graduted from high school, and I learned about the Holocaust, I was furious that they didn’t tell us about that part of history, or the part about Ireland, the people there who were suffering, at the time I was sitting behind a desk,, Well I’m telling my children and granddaughter, hell, I going to bring my daughter hopefully in 2012, to Belfast to lay flowers and tears on Bobby’s grave and all the others, It’s time england left N. Ireland, again I’m so sorry for all of your loss, and I am so ashamed of not knowing, but now I am reading everything, I feel this urge to need to know. God Bless you all Irish People

  40. s.robbins on December 25th, 2011 4:53 pm

    a brave man here lies the truth about tyranny and brutality against as my mum would say inoffensive irishman i hope to have the balls as a brit to go to a republican area of belfast one day to pay my respects and have a beer……

  41. Johnny Good on December 31st, 2011 3:09 pm

    After watching “Hunger” in the safety and comfort of my Seville home a few nights ago – it brought back the whole 1981 feeing that was spreading across Ireland.

    Back then,I was a young naive 16 year old in Cork. We were very much separated from; “up there in The North”.However, I was conscience enough to buy “The Diary of Bobby Sands” on the streets of Cork to try and learn and understand. I wanted to know what was going on in my country!!!

    Bobby Sands and others were very brave human beings! Now, as a 46 year old my opinion of Bobby Sands and others like him have not diminished. Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and their colleagues deserve all the recognition we can give them! They truely are wonderful human beings! I´m in awe of them!

    All of you have a great 2012.

  42. louisa rabaiotti on January 16th, 2012 6:59 pm

    I just saw the film Hunger and was reminded again of the horror of the death of Bobby Sands, and what he and his family went through. What a disgrace for Thatcher and the Conservatives to live with. My heart goes out to all of his family that still lives on, I’m sure they are proud of his memory and the ultimate sacrifice that he made for his belief, and his people.

  43. Alexandra Farrell on January 30th, 2012 5:22 pm

    I am old enough to remember the death of Bobby Sands,
    being exactly seven years, two months, and four days
    younger. There are certain songs that just take you
    back to a certain time and place, and for me that would
    be hold on by Ian Gomm. Each time I hear that song I
    remember exactly where I was and what I was doing
    when I heard that Bobby Sands had died, and it still
    makes me cry even now.

  44. Annie Sands on January 31st, 2012 1:58 pm

    Interesting how ‘Us Sands’ are all political and speak our truth

  45. perry fleming on February 14th, 2012 11:24 pm

    so young with so much to got out before our country was sold to the IMF.rise up and be counted

  46. Katie on March 7th, 2012 10:29 pm

    As someone from Germany born after 1981, I did not even know about this wonderful man….Even though I am a history student at university!! But the hunger strike never was a topic at school or university; not only me, but my friends who studied history as well, did not have a clue about that sad chapter of Irish history. I first learned about Bobby Sands and the hunger strike about one year ago when I prepared myself for a trip to Béal Feirste by reading about the city and its history. Incredibly impressed by Bobby Sands’ story and the history of Ireland / Northern Ireland, I currently even write my Bachelor’s thesis about protest and hunger strike in Maze Prison and about Bobby Sands. I am very grateful for the Bobby Sands Trust’s great work. I needed some further information for my thesis and got my email answered within just one day!! Thanks again.

  47. Alexandra Farrell on March 9th, 2012 7:52 pm

    Happy Birthday to a hero . I,ve been
    thinking about it all day . I tried
    watching Hunger the other day, but
    was able only to make it half way
    through- it was just too hard to
    watch, and I still hate Thatcher!

  48. Hazel on March 10th, 2012 9:36 pm

    I just want to say that bobby sands HAS and ALWAYS will be my hero……he fought for what he believed in and for that I want to thank him……. He thought us all to never give up

  49. Mike on March 14th, 2012 8:55 am

    I’m russian. I was born in nine days after Bobby Sands died. When I red the story about him and 9 heroes, true Irishmen I got tears in my eyes. They were standing till the end and I will alwyas think of him as the HERO. As you irishmen say: TIOCFAIDH AR LA!

  50. Deaglan Scullion on March 24th, 2012 5:42 pm

    Bobby Sands is my hero and always will be. He withstood the blows of tyranny and died for his political rights, which were stripped from him and his comrades. Denounced as a terrorist by the British government, I think the 100,00 mourners at his funeral answers that.


  51. david kenneally on June 5th, 2012 8:07 am

    always remembered

  52. Ollie on June 18th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Looking at the H-Block struggles for my dissertation. What courage and strength from all these men. A true hero. His spirit still lives on today. TAL

  53. john kilometre.bes on July 13th, 2012 6:18 am

    I live in manchester, used 15 years old in 1981. my farther from limerick and mother from .those brave men
    who have their lives for irish greenfield never
    be forgotten. I will make sure my children go on to learn about their irish history and all the brave men and women who have their life for irish freedom.

  54. Donna McAreavey on June 3rd, 2017 7:36 am

    Lovely to read these comments at this time of year we remember Bobby and his comrades and acknowledge the massive sacrifice they made for us , now we v lost Martin also and we are heartbroken for his family we know that Bobby and Martin and all the great Irish hero’s who fought in all different ways for Irish unity are up there guiding us all in Gods name Our Lady of Gael pray for them

  55. John feehan on August 17th, 2017 2:39 pm

    My father John P Feehan was born in Dublin in 66 and he taught me the hypocrisy and cowardice of the British .. rest in peace bobby x

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