The historic context in Ireland was complex in this time. The Irish and the English had been at war for centuries about the independence of Ireland when, in 1921, an agreement which decided the partition of Ireland was signed. Only 6 counties in the north remained under English domination while the rest of the country was independent, at last. It was the only solution that the Irish were offered and they accepted it.
Northern Ireland was now shared between two communities:
- the Protestant and Unionists who wanted to be part of the United Kingdom,
- and the Catholics and Republicans who wished they would one day be considered as Irish, not as British.
Why did Bobby Sands end up in jail and why did he decide with his companions a hunger strike?
Bobby Sands was a member of the IRA who was arrested by the police in 1977 because he had a gun in his possession. He was accused of committing an offense but as there was no evidence, the charges against him were dropped. Yet, he was sentenced to fourteen years of imprisonment since he was considered as a dangerous criminal by the British government. He was one of the main activists in his community and he was less dangerous in prison than outside.
- Bloody sunday
- hunger strike
watchwords: mots d'ordre
to hang over: s'accrocher
to deal with: traiter de, avoir affaire à
army paratroopers: les parachutistes de l'armée
to shoot dead somebody: abattre quelqu'un
campaigns of retaliation: des campagnes de représailles
the charge against him were dropped: les charges retenues contre lui ont été abandonnées
a trick: un tour
to not keep your word: ne pas tenir sa parole
fulfilled: réalisé, exaucé
MP (member of parliement): membre du parlement
the grave: la tombe
to breathe the scent of peace: respirer le parfum de la paix
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