Gerard Hodgins ✒ Letter in today's Irish News in response to the Bobby Sands comm expressing a desire not to be buried in Milltown or wrapped in a shroud.
The revelation that before his death Bobby Sands specifically requested not to be buried in Milltown Cemetery, only to be buried there by Gerry Adams and his kitchen cabinet is appalling but not shocking.
For 40 years Bobby Sands has been commodified by Sinn Féin, used to bring in funds for the party alone.
Could I request for Sinn Féin to do the decent thing, even at this late stage, and use some of those funds to honour Bobby Sands’s last wish and have the man reinterred where he wanted to be.
⏩ Gerard Hodgins is a former blanketman and H-Blocks hunger striker.
If the family agree, then 100% his dying wishes should be honored. You know though that SF will never do it because that means they knew they were going against a hunger strikers last wishes for whatever reasons they had at the time.ReplyDelete
While taking Gerard's sentiments on board I would be most uneasy about any reinterring of Bobby's remains. Ultimately it is the family's call but it would be my own personal hope that it would not make the call to reinter.ReplyDelete
There is just something primordial in me that resiles from disturbing the final resting place of the dead. There is also the issue of other volunteers in the same plot as Bobby and I would feel very uncomfortable if their resting place was to be disturbed to facilitate reinterring.
I think the family would be very conscious of that and extremely sensitive to the fact that other volunteers also rest there. In Bernadette's eulogy to her mum in 2018 she expressed the family hurt at discovering that Bobby's expressed wishes were not acted upon, but there was no call for the body to be placed elsewhere.
Whatever might have been the wrongs of the location to begin with Bobby is now with some of those who wore the blanket with him. I would never like to see him removed from them.
This is just a very personal opinion and I have absolutely no rights in the matter one way or the other. It is the family's prerogative.
AM your sentiments that remains be left to Rest In Peace are similar to those of the family of Vol. Paddy Moran, (native of Crossna Co. Rosc.)ReplyDelete
and one of the 'Forgotten Ten'.
The 'Forgotten Ten' executed in '21 and then exhumed and afforded a State Funeral in 2001
Maybe when SF are in government in both jurisdictions we might see Bobby reinterred?
Henry Joy - it is such a sensitive matter. I wanted it for Tom Williams because I felt he was still held captive by the British state and that in some way he had to be rescued. I don't recall the resting place of others being disturbed by the exhumation. Yet at the same time, retrieving the remains without disturbing the peace of the resting place, does not sit well with me. It is emotive. I feel it stronger than I can articulate it. I guess I am hardly alone.ReplyDelete
Even with SF in government in each jurisdiction, the quiet of the grave should not be disturbed unless the family request otherwise. I have no reason to think the family would want Bobby's remains moved elsewhere. I feel that while they are hurt about the manner in which his memory has been used to endorse the SF project and how the Bobby Sands Trust has become akin to the personal property of politicians and worse, they would remain very compassionate to the feelings of other families who have loved ones buried in the same space. Read Bernadette's eulogy to their mum and see the manner in which they were brought up: consideration towards others was central to the family home.
The thrust of my previous comment may have been a tad obliqueDelete
SF are well capable of exploiting Bobby yet again ... even stage managing his exhumation and his reburial if that were to suit their purpose.
(Now I know such plans would most likely be forcefully challenged by the family. Paddy Moran's sister objected to his exhumation and his niece was unenthusiastic and held up the 'Forgotten Ten' scheme for years. Time sometimes changes attitudes as happened with Moran's niece, but fundamentally I agree with you, the family's wishes ought take precedent and ought be respected).
General comment... why would SF choose not to bury Bobby Sands in a blanket? Particularly as he had expressed the desire... would the PR value of burial in a blanket not have been helpful to SF? And burial in a blanket would presumably have been easy to arrange... Could it be concluded that SF's actions in this context stem mainly from poor organisation?ReplyDelete
Poor organisation? Perhaps. Against that, he had expressed the desire for it often enough so it hardly went unnoticed. We might never know, particularly if all the comms are not accessible.Delete
"Time For Sinn Féin To Do The Decent Thing"ReplyDelete
And pigs might fly.