'The by-election held in Fermanagh and South Tyrone on 9 April 1981 is considered by many to be the most significant Ireland during the Troubles. It saw the first victory for the militant republican movement, which the following year entered electoral politics in full force as Sinn Féin. The successful candidate was IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands who died 26 days later. The by-election was caused by the death of the sitting MP Frank Maguire.'
Oct 3 1981: IRA hunger strike called off at Maze prison. 10 IRA members died during the hunger strikes. While the IRA did not win immediate concessions, in some ways it was a Pyrrhic victory for Margaret Thatcher’s government. It galvanized support and membership for the IRA and generated huge sympathy for the strikers in the United States where fund-raising was a major priority. The death of the first hunger striker Bobby Sands created a martyr and an iconic figure in Republican folklore.
'Bobby Sands Was The Architect Of His Own Destiny'