street art Mural of Bobby Sands to be unveiled in Rome on 40th anniversary of hunger striker's death
Mural will be unveiled as fresh controversy surrounds Sands' burial
A mural of one of the leaders of the IRA hunger strikes, Bobby Sands, is to be unveiled in Rome, Italy, later this week.
The mural, which has been organised by the Socialist party will be unveiled in the cities to Tufello suburb on Saturday.
It will mark 40 years since the death of Sands who died on May 5, 1981 having been on hunger strike for just over three months.
He was one of 10 IRA hunger strikers who died during the protest, and was famously elected as an MP to the Westminster parliament even though he was incarcerated at the time.
Pat Sheehan, who was on the blanket protest with Sands in the Maze prison in 1981 will attend the ceremony of the unveiling of the mural which has been painted by an Italian street artist who goes by the name of Jorit.
The artist has also painted murals featuring the likes of Diego Maradona and George Floyd.
The artwork will be presented comes as controversy surrounds new communications which have been revealed which suggest Bobby Sands did not want to be buried in Milltown Cemetery, with former IRA prisoners having spoken out and claiming his large Milltown funeral was organised as such because it was politically beneficial to Sinn Fein.
In a note written by Sands, dated February 25, 1981, he wrote: 'To be honest, I don't like Milltown.'
He said in the message that he wanted to be buried in Carnmoney Cemetery near Rathcoole in Newtownabbey, where he grew up, but that it would not be feasible because he viewed it as a unionist area.
Instead he said he would either like to be buried in County Mayo and he also suggested a location in County Louth.
Communications, or 'comms', were notes written by inmates and smuggled out of prisons to allies on the outside.
Sandsâ€™ sister, Bernadette Sands, voiced her anger that he was buried at Milltown Cemetery having apparently expressed his wishes to be buried elsewhere, saying that her family's trust had been "betrayed".
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