Open Letter To The Bobby Sands Trust

Christy Walsh follows up with a second letter to the Bobby Sands Trust.

The Secretary, Bobby Sands Trust, 51-53 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 4PD.

By Post & Email

Open Letter to the Bobby Sands Trust

Dear Trustees,

I think it pertinent that I clarify some things with the BST and that the Trust keep them upper most in its mind when it makes any public comments about Bobby Sands’ Family.

I do not know any member of the Sands Family and had no direct or indirect contact with them about my letter. The Family had no foreknowledge of my letter to the BST because I only sent a copy of it to journalists Anthony McIntyre and Ed Moloney, and, that was after I had already emailed it to the BST Secretary.

I pointed out to the BST that it should be respectful of the family. My letter may have unnerved the BST but it was balanced and fair to all parties concerned. I was very careful to avoid any suggestion that anyone had done anything intentionally wrong as the following sentence confirms:

The Trustees should also consider that in the 1980s any Lawyers acting on behalf of the proposed Trust may have been confused at that time as perhaps were the relatives, friends or associates of Bobby Sands.

I pointed out apparent shortcomings in the construction of the trust instrument from the limited information available to me and I clearly regarded them as “[f]undamental mistakes”.

I have observed that at least one Trustee has publically been hostile to Bobby Sands’ sisters for what I wrote even though they had no knowledge or involvement with the contents of my letter. I would repeat that Trustees should be respectful toward the Sands Family because if my observations are correct then the Family are the victims in this mess.

I am not very familiar with Twitter and was searching for Tweets made by one Trustee. I entered ‘Bobby Sands Trust’ in the search field and when I scrolled down I happened upon a photograph of one Trustee (inserted below). Trustee, Gerry Adams, gifted a valuable artefact to the SF Leader, Gerry Adams, on behalf of the BST. A woman is standing next to him helping him to hold the gift for the camera.

This presentation astounded me. After a night’s sleep I have come to realise that Gerry Adams is too shrewd and seasoned a politician to be so wantonly reckless on what could impact upon his reputation. I have considered that perhaps he has been ill-advised on his duties as a Trustee and the high standard of good conduct demanded from Trustees. If, decades later, fundamental errors like this are occurring then that is a good indicator that the Trust, from its outset, was plagued with failures and flaws.

I might not know the finer details of how the BST came about nor the finer terms and conditions of its governing instrument but there is no doubt in my mind that the Trust is in desperate need of proper re-evaluation. That re-evaluation must include Bobby Sands’ Family.

Trustees might have thought that what I had written was not very flattering of them but it was not intended to be offensive. Harsh as it might have come across to Trustees my reason for writing it was because it was the right thing to do. Bobby Sands’ son was uppermost in my thoughts; a young child, like countless others, had lost his father in the Conflict and then he was deprived of inheriting his father’s legacy.

Yours Sincerely

Christy Walsh

4th March 2016

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

8 comments to ''Open Letter To The Bobby Sands Trust"

  1. Christy there is little or nothing that could be to harsh said about those charlatans who masquerade as republicans and hold Bobby,s memories in trust,they are a compilation of touts ,carpetbaggers and quislings, add in Adams role in the deaths of Bobby,s fellow comrades on hunger strike and then perhaps one can see why these bastards refuse to hand over Bobby,s writings or indeed disband , with BST affiliated to quisling $inn £eind it gives them internationally a veneer of respectability that those bastards dont deserve, you have more chance of getting Adams to admit his role in the RA than those wasters doing the right thing ,

  2. Just thinking about Christy,s previous post re the Sands family not being in the financial position to take the BST to court , well how about a GOFUNDME page ,this could have a two fold effect 1, it,ll raise the money for a court case , or 2 I,m inclined to think such publicity would attract to much unwanted attention and may force those wasters to relinquish Bobby,s material,

  3. Christy a chara, I fully appreciate your last few art icicles about Volunteer. Bobby Sands Trust and the icon's legacy. I have known you as a fellow POW in the Blocks incarcerated by our shared enemy and found you as honourable and focused in all that you did for the collective community in there. As such, you need not worry about your alt possibly being to harsh. Given Oglach. Sands' sacrifice and the long suffering of his Clann particularly his son and his grandchildren it is right to query the mechanics of the BST in relation to it's strong direction by the Shinner Leadership and it's dubious outworkings concerning finances and other related issues! One would like to see Bobby's Clann having control over his legacy but sadly the Provisional's elitism won't permit it. Although, it's heartening to witness the positive contributions from TPQ, TBE Blog and yourself. Let's hope Bobby's Clann will see the rising tide in their favour and I also second the Gofundme suggestion for the future. Adh Mhor Ort.

  4. Marty

    On the face of it, if Sinn Fein politicians receive a working/living wage from the party,aka, laundering parliamentary salaries through SF, then appointment to the BST appears to be a SF controlled privileged quango. I am sure there must be rank and file SF who could use a bit extra money and they would have more time to contribute to the BST. Why do well paid politicians need to double job like that when there is so much unemployment among the party faithful?

    I know nothing about funding schemes and have no comment to make good or bad.

    Free Thomas Williams

    Although there is s a strong political presence in all of this, fact is it should really be a straightforward family inheritance issue without outside interference or control. My hunch is that claim to Bobby Sands property got caught up in the emotion of the times rather than the BST was devised to disinherit Bobby Sands' son. Having also read my letters a retired lawyer who worked with Wills & Trusts contacted me and said that he did not find any fault with anything that I said. He also told me that if he could be of any help to let him know. Speaking of Gerry A gifting himself the framed letters above he described it as "a sparrow's invitation to his neighbours corn". This meaning that a Trustee is not permitted to give away the assets of the Trust for which he has responsibility to protect; trustees' can be made to either try and get the assets back or to make good on the lost value out of their own pocket. Another Wills & Trusts lawyer (overseas) has also agreed with how I have defined things and made an offer to help/advise if they can.

    I do not share you pessimism on what SF elites wont permit -I think the Court would have the final say on the legality of any Trust. Perhaps SF/BST are dumb enough to think that they can just stay quiet and suspicion will just go away. Bobby Sand's son, on his own behalf, or even anyone acting on behalf of Bobby Sands' grandchildren are not without options and SF cannot stop them (within the law) from exercising their rights. A legally flawed Trust is doomed to be struck out if challenged.

  5. Christy first of all belated thank you for the card via Anthony hope you are well, re, my GoFund Me suggestion if the Sands family found themselves in a position that it was financially impossible to take quisling $inn £eind to court to retrieve their property then a public announcement asking for help from the public would imo generate so much public and media attention and huge embarrassment to Adams and cronies on the BST. it would possibly open the whole controversy surrounding the deaths of those men on hunger strike and Adams and his kitchen cabinets role,giving the assertions made by Richard O Rawe and supported by Brendan Duddy ,and Thatcher . this is something that a court case may touch upon and again I really wonder would the arrogance of those quislings stretch that far,I doubt it, I think a formal announcement from the family and maybe other hungerstrikers families that they intend to sue and they will be seeking support from the public would put the wind up those wasters, is a very popular fb and as stated the very thought of the public playing a part in sueing Q$£ may be enough to make them do the honourable thing and disband. best regards Christy doors always open a chara .

  6. Marty

    It probably would bring the attention you talk about but there are some positive things that can/should be done before or if any court action is necessary. It would be a straightforward challenge on the legality of the Trust -all the politics about the HS or SF would not feature in the action. All a court would be interested in would be if the BST superseded Bobby Sands' successor/s and if so then it would nullify and make void the BST. There would be a possibility that the BST might try and mediate before then to save face once it relised it was on the downhill slalom -that would be a matter for the family to decide. But I think that they are now in a position of shaping something that they seem unable to do before. (And I appreciate the offer).

  7. Christy a chara

    Thanks for your response to my earlier comments regarding PSF and their elitist control over the BST. Having been involved in the 1980 and 1981 hunger strike Campaigns as a teenager, joining other young people in subsequent political prisoner rights groups etc throughout the rest of the eighties until my own imprisonment in the nineties. I feel like so many other activists that we have the right to demand the BST clarify it's role to the Irish Republican community across this nation. As Volunteer. Sands belongs first and foremost to his Clann and also the wider Republican family. If the 'Trustees' of the BST are genuine in pursuing it's mission statement then the Sands Clann MUST be spoken to, consulted and given a primary role in it's present and future. This has to be done with haste, honesty and of course in the full knowledge of us all! Otherwise, the BST will be go down in history as another betrayal of Oglach. Bobby Sands' legacy.

    Ash Mhor Ort, Ardeoin Poblanach

  8. AR

    I appreciate your sense of personal connection and your political activism in various pursuits. Although there is a political connect with the BST the issues that I have raised are themselves non-political -it is what should have been a straightforward father to son inheritance case that would have occurred but for lack off, or, inadequate legal representation of Bobby Sands' son's interests. It is probably the non-political nature of the case that would attract a broader spectrum of public opinion.

    It was the business of any lawyer/s drawing up the trust terms and conditions to know which next of kin had lawful claim over the estate. Had the lawyer/s done their due diligence then they would have ensured that they could construct a Trust that was not prone to the emergence of a true successor to the estate. So if anyone messed up from the outset it would have been the lawyers and not any of the political Trustees.


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