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Episode 28: My life banged up in the cell next to IRA Hunger Striker Bobby Sands in the H-Block

Nicola Tallant, Sunday World investigations editor

Nicola Tallant

Forty years ago this month, 21-year-old Jake Mac Siacais cried in his H-Block cell as his friend Bobby Sands died on hunger strike.

Jake had formally been in the next cell to the republican icon, and when Sands left the wing to go to the prison hospital, it was Jake who gave the final address on behalf of the IRA prisoners.

A year later Jake was free and was to become a senior figure in the Republican Movement. In 1984 he gave the leadership address to a 'closed session' of Sinn Féin Ard-fheis in 1984.

Now 61, Nicola Tallant travels with him to Bobby Sands' grave at the republican plot in Belfast and is given unprecedented access to a man who can shed new light on one of the darkest periods of the Troubles.

Crime Word Podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Soundcloud.


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