This morning while enjoying a quiet cup of tea before the house came to life, I thought back to this day 37 years ago in the H-Blocks.
I was returned to the wing having completed three days in the punishment block on suspicion of receiving contraband on a visit; tobacco wrapped in clingfilm.
That weekend we awaited the death of our young leader and comrade Bobby Sands on hunger strike. He was in the final stage of his epic battle and his precious life hung by a thread.
The unthinkable stared us in the face and we were ill prepared for it coming. Years of torture and brutality did not help to soften the crippling blow or to ease our deep feelings of loss. A raw anger burned within us at this gross injustice.
Bobby was the best we had to offer; followed by nine other of our bravest.
The cell block orderly, an ordinary prisoner from the Ballymurphy area, whispered through the cell door that Bobby had died in the early hours of the morning. It was like being hit with a sledgehammer on the chest. All I could do was take deep breathes until the pain subsided.
Shortly breakfast arrived, but I could not but eat it. My comrade had died after more than 60 days without food so that to eat breakfast seemed like betrayal. Eating anything at that moment was wholly inappropriate.
On my return to the wing, I was met by a deathly silence, no pun intended.
My cell mate, Tom McVeigh, greeted me with a somber expression not realising I had heard the news already. I wrapped the blanket around my naked body and sat on the bed. We talked about what was sure to happen on the streets as the impact of Bobby's death sunk in, but our main thoughts on that fateful morning were of a courageous, loving family who had kept a pledge to support their son and brother until the bitter end.