This research is going to focus on the 1981 Hunger Strikes during the period of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The focus of this peaceful protest in the media was on Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer Bobby Sands. He was the first protestor of the hunger strike that started on March 1st, 1981. The focal point of my research is going to be focused on analyzing newspapers from different areas of Ireland and Great Britain to comprehend the differences in sentiments towards Sands and the hunger strike. I will be analyzing Pro-Republican newspapers from Northern Ireland and comparing them to newspapers in Ireland, while simultaneously looking at Loyalist newspapers from Belfast and comparing them to newspapers from England. This will show the differences in the opinions of both sides of the argument, whether it be on the Republican or Loyalist side. The research will pay special attention to major events that occurred during the hunger strike, such as the first day, the election of Bobby Sands to Parliament, and his death sixty six days after the start of the strike. The research will also take into account the public opinions of politicians in the various governments of the United Kingdom, most importantly former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Hopefully this project can illuminate the views towards Bobby Sands and his protest against the English Government, as portrayed in various newspapers.
Burke, Reed, "Bobby Sands and Public Perception" (2014). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 41.