Dixie Elliot It has been brought to my attention that Sinn Féin issued a statement, carried in the Belfast Telegraph, disputing the claims that Bobby Sands was buried in Belfast against his last wishes.

The party put this forward in attempt to dispute these claims...

Sinn Fein included a transcript of a further comm on March 9, and say the original is in the Bobby Sands Trust archive of the National Library in Ireland.

In it, Sands writes: 

If I don’t get seeing the Signer you should tell him of my change of heart on the Ballina thing, or should I say, change of mind... I was wondering (here it comes, says you), that out of the goodness of all yer hearts you could get me one miserly book and try to leave it in, the poems of Ethna Carberry – cissy. That’s really all I want. Last request, as they say. Some ask for cigarettes, others for blindfolds, yer man asks for poetry…

I thought that one would have to meet a solicitor (Signer) face to face in order to change a legal document?

However, as well as a screenshot of the above Sinn Féin statement I also include a screenshot of the March 9 comm given to David Beresford for his book, Ten Men Dead.  
If you look at the final paragraph in that particular comm, you'll see it's the same as the one above in which Bobby asks for a book of Ethna Carbery poetry.

But if you search that whole comm in Ten Men Dead you'll not find Bobby referring to a 'change of heart on the Ballina thing.'

Why is this I wonder?

There is also a section from another comm (see below) from Bobby (Marcella) in which he gave reasons for wanting to be buried down there (Meaning Ballina).



Clearly he had been bringing up the topic of being buried in Ballina a number of times in communications between himself and Liam Òg (Hartley).

I have included a section from Nothing But An Unfinished Song by Denis O'Hearn, in which it refers to Bobby asking his lawyer to draw up a legal document backing up his request to be buried in County Mayo next to Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg who had died on hunger strike in English jails.

Therefore, while the Sinn Féin statement is questionable due to the Ten Men Dead comm given to Beresford for his book, here is further evidence that Bobby wanted to be laid to rest in Ballina.

In the final screenshot you'll see that Bobby wrote, "so if I should die here, tell "Mr Mason" to bury me in my blanket..."





Postscript: Here's another question which has occurred to me:  why did Bobby even feel the need to ask a solicitor to draw up a legal document regarding his burial wishes? Was this proof of the pressure he was being put under?

* All credit must go to Carrie McIntyre for uncovering the contents of these screenshots.

Thomas Dixie Elliot is a Derry artist and a former H Block Blanketman.
Follow Dixie Elliot on Twitter @IsMise_Dixie

"Bury Me In My Blanket" - Bobby Sands

Dixie Elliot It has been brought to my attention that Sinn Féin issued a statement, carried in the Belfast Telegraph, disputing the claims that Bobby Sands was buried in Belfast against his last wishes.

The party put this forward in attempt to dispute these claims...

Sinn Fein included a transcript of a further comm on March 9, and say the original is in the Bobby Sands Trust archive of the National Library in Ireland.

In it, Sands writes: 

If I don’t get seeing the Signer you should tell him of my change of heart on the Ballina thing, or should I say, change of mind... I was wondering (here it comes, says you), that out of the goodness of all yer hearts you could get me one miserly book and try to leave it in, the poems of Ethna Carberry – cissy. That’s really all I want. Last request, as they say. Some ask for cigarettes, others for blindfolds, yer man asks for poetry…

I thought that one would have to meet a solicitor (Signer) face to face in order to change a legal document?

However, as well as a screenshot of the above Sinn Féin statement I also include a screenshot of the March 9 comm given to David Beresford for his book, Ten Men Dead.  
If you look at the final paragraph in that particular comm, you'll see it's the same as the one above in which Bobby asks for a book of Ethna Carbery poetry.

But if you search that whole comm in Ten Men Dead you'll not find Bobby referring to a 'change of heart on the Ballina thing.'

Why is this I wonder?

There is also a section from another comm (see below) from Bobby (Marcella) in which he gave reasons for wanting to be buried down there (Meaning Ballina).



Clearly he had been bringing up the topic of being buried in Ballina a number of times in communications between himself and Liam Òg (Hartley).

I have included a section from Nothing But An Unfinished Song by Denis O'Hearn, in which it refers to Bobby asking his lawyer to draw up a legal document backing up his request to be buried in County Mayo next to Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg who had died on hunger strike in English jails.

Therefore, while the Sinn Féin statement is questionable due to the Ten Men Dead comm given to Beresford for his book, here is further evidence that Bobby wanted to be laid to rest in Ballina.

In the final screenshot you'll see that Bobby wrote, "so if I should die here, tell "Mr Mason" to bury me in my blanket..."





Postscript: Here's another question which has occurred to me:  why did Bobby even feel the need to ask a solicitor to draw up a legal document regarding his burial wishes? Was this proof of the pressure he was being put under?

* All credit must go to Carrie McIntyre for uncovering the contents of these screenshots.

Thomas Dixie Elliot is a Derry artist and a former H Block Blanketman.
Follow Dixie Elliot on Twitter @IsMise_Dixie

4 comments:

  1. Christy Walsh Comments

    Nothing excuses Gerry Adams' mealy mouthed excuses. Proof of the contempt or callous disregard with which he and his cabal treated Bobby's last wishes is in the fact they did not even honor his poignant last wish to be dressed in a blanket rather than a shroud.

    The location of the coffin is irrelevant in that regard. Instead we know that Adam's and Co plundered Bobby's life's work and robbed his son of his father's legacy. They flouted inheritance law that was supposed to protect the interests of children from being deprived or swindled out of their lawful inheritance when a parent dies intestate.

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  2. Dixie - the type of questions in many minds at the minute.

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  3. Having grown up in a small country village we had our customs concerning the wake and burial of a family member, I have watched families argue about funeral arrangements, country people sometimes request to be buried back in their place of birth this is very common practise because they want as little inconvenience as possible to their family plus finding a place that holds great memories. I fully understand that confusion around were Bobby wanted his final resting place to be The Provo’s were always going to make the most out of his death that was part of the deal
    But the thing that bothers me is that Bobby was denied the simple request of being buried in a blanket rather than a shroud something he and his comrades were wrapped in for years and was such a powerful symbol of their political fight for political status



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    1. Boyne Rover - he had often stated his wish to be buried in a blanket and definitely not a shroud. I fail to understand why that simple wish would be denied him. It was hardly going to make a difference to the political theatre they were trying to create.

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