INTRODUCTION Jailed Irish Republican Bobby Sands, recently elected to the British parliament, was said to be seriously ill, extremely weak and close to death on Monday (27 April) after a 58-day hunger strike.
GV Wreck of booby-trapped lorry in West Belfast street, police and firemen examining it. (2 SHOTS)
GV European Human Rights Commissioner's car arriving at Maze prison. (MUTE)
SV PAN Commissioners including Dr. Hans Christian Kruger entering prison. (MUTE)
SV Protestants demonstrating outside walls of prison. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Loyalist speaking to newsmen.
GV Police controlling protestors outside prison.
GV Republican wearing blankets and placards with names of H-Block prisoners, marching in West Belfast rally on Sunday. (5 SHOTS)
SV Sister of Bobby Sands, Marcella, seated at rally.
GV Crowd applauding at rally.
GV Father Berrigan speaking at rally.
GV Crowd applauding.
GV Bernadette Devlin McAliskey speaking PAN TO audience applauding.
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT) SEQ. 5: PROTESTOR: "After all there are 25,000 people with the scars of terrorism upon them, with twisted bodies. Nobody ever came to them to find out what their human rights were and whether they had been denied. But whenever this criminal puts on a suicide performance, a stunt for the publicity they will get out of it, everybody comes running. Not only the Human Rights Commission, but every American crank that's possible to come, comes over to Northern Ireland to let us hear what he has to say."
SEQ. 10: BERRIGAN: "We have a saying in my country, that if all the political prisoners in the world were free, and if all those who put them in jail were in jail, we'd have a descent world."
SEQ. 12. MCALISKEY: "Five demands we want and five demands we'll get. But if we pay for them with Bobby Sands' life, then we will organise, and we will united and with discipline and unity. At which time we will say to Mother England, 'you have forfeited any right you ever claimed to govern any part of this country. And UDR, notwithstanding, will drive you to the boat, Mother England."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION Jailed Irish Republican Bobby Sands, recently elected to the British parliament, was said to be seriously ill, extremely weak and close to death on Monday (27 April) after a 58-day hunger strike. All police leave has been cancelled in Northern Ireland as authorities prepare for possible violence if the 27-year-old prisoner dies. Sands is fasting to death to demand political prisoner status for himself and other Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners. But the British government has refused to concede.
SYNOPSIS: The hunger strike has already provoked rioting over the past week, with several more incidents on Monday (27 April). One policeman was killed and two seriously injured when a bomb exploded in a booby-trapped lorry in West Belfast. Eyewitnesses said it exploded as the policemen opened the door.
Representatives of the European Commission of Human Rights arrived on Saturday (25 April) at the request of Sands' sister Marcella.
But after eight hours inside the prison, the Commissioners left without seeing Sands, who said he was prepared to meet them, but only if they were accompanied by three prominent Republicans.
Irish protestants and members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) demonstrated outside the Haze prison shouting that Sands had chosen to die, but his victims had no choice. A UDA protestor explained the Loyalists' point of view.
While the Loyalist ringed the prison, thousands of Republicans marched through Belfast on Sunday (26 April) in support of Sands. They wore the blanket-protest garb and carried placards of H-Block prisoners.
Sands's sister Marcella listened to American Jesuit priest, Father Daniel Berrigan, who spoke at the rally.
Republican activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey said..