This week sees the launch in Italy of a new book about Bobby Sands. Silvia Calamati, a journalist and a writer, has translated ‘I arose this morning…A Biography of Bobby Sands for Younger Readers’ by Denis O’Hearn and Laurence McKeown which was published a few years ago.
She was in Belfast last week – on the anniversaries of the death of Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes – to speak about her latest translation ‘Il diario di Bobby Sands. Storia di un ragazzo irlandese’, published by Castelvecchi, Rome.
Since 1982 Silvia has been interested in the Irish question and has lived in Dublin and Belfast for considerable periods of her time. From 1990 until 1995 she wrote for the Italian weekly magazine ‘Avvenimenti’.
Since 1999 she has been working as a free-lance journalist for many Italian radio stations, in particular with RAI NEWS 24 and RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana, reporting on the main events throughout the Irish conflict.
Previously, she has translated ‘One day in my life’ by Bobby Sands ( ‘Un giorno della mia vita’, Feltrinelli, Milan, 1996), and ‘Renewing the Irish Church’ by Joseph McVeigh, (‘Guerra e liberazione in Irlanda. La Chiesa del conflitto’, Edizioni della Battaglia, Palermo 1998). She is the author of ‘Irlanda del Nord. Una colonia in Europa’ (Edizioni Associate, 2005) (‘Northern Ireland. A Colony in Europe’).
In 2001 she published ‘Figlie di Erin. Voci di donne dell’Irlanda del Nord’ (Edizioni Associate). In 2002 this book was released in Belfast in English, with the title ‘Women’s Stories from the North of Ireland’ (Beyond the Pale Publications). In 2006 Icaria (Barcelona) published it in Spanish, with the title ‘Hijas de Erin. Voces de Mujeres de Irlanda del Norte’. In 2007 this book won two important awards in Italy: ‘Concorso Internazionale ‘Storie di Donne’ (Salerno) and ‘Premio ‘Il Paese delle Donne’, awarded by the International Women’s Centre in Rome.
In 2008 she published ‘Qui Belfast. 20 anni di cronache dall’Irlanda di Bobby Sands e Pat Finucane’ (‘News from Belfast. 20 years of articles from the country of Bobby Sands and Pat Finucane’).
The book, a collection of articles written mostly by Silvia Calamati from 1984 to 2004, covers the most important political and social events which resulted in the outcome by the Northern Ireland political parties signing the historical Good Friday Agreement in April 1998. In 2002 she was awarded the TOM COX AWARD at the West Belfast Festival for her commitment as a writer and a journalist.
Figlie di Erin. Voci di donne dell’Irlanda del Nord
Edizioni Associate, Roma, 2001
Women’s Stories from the North of Ireland
Beyond the Pale, Belfast, 2002
Hijas de Erin – Voces de Mujeres de Irlanda del Norte
Icaria, Barcelona, 2006
See also –
Recently we published a review of Niamh O’Sullivan’s book, ‘Written in Stone’, about the graffiti written by republican PoWs on the walls of this famous prison. One of the photographers who contributed to that book, Tess Buckley, is currently exhibiting more of her photographs on the hidden world that lies within the jail. It is in the Central Library, Ilac Centre, Dublin, finishing on the 28th May. Each image is captioned and adds in no small way to encourage the viewer to visit the jail and remember our past!
Irish republican sympathizers gathered last Sunday, 9th May, to inaugurate the recently redesigned Bobby Sands Garden in Plougastel, Finistere, France. This garden was first inaugurated in May 1991 on the tenth anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands by Mr Andre Legac, the then mayor of the town. The whole garden has now been re-landscaped and is an extremely attractive site (in the centre of town) and sight (beautiful garden with lots of plants and flowers) to commemorate the life and sacrifice of Bobby Sands and all the hunger strikers.
A plaque was unveiled by the current mayor of the town, Mr Dominique Cap and it reads: ‘GARDEN BOBBY SANDS, IRISH MP MARTYR, 1954-1981’
A series of white line pickets were held in republican areas of Belfast today, Wednesday, 5th May, to coincide with the 29th anniversary of the death of IRA Volunteer Bobby Sands after sixty-six days on hunger strike. Bobby was the first of ten IRA and INLA Volunteers to die, including Kieran Doherty from Andersonstown who, like Bobby, was elected to parliament [for Cavan/Monaghan in Kieran’s case] during the seven-month long hunger strike.
The pickets were held between 5 – 5.45pm on the Falls Road, Andersonstown Road, the top of the Whiterock Road, the Stewartstown Road, in Ballymacarret at the Mountpottinger shops and on the Antrim Road/Newington area.