The Secretary, Bobby Sands Trust, 51-53 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 4PD.
By Post & Email
Open Letter to the Bobby Sands Trust
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.
4th March 2016