Did Bobby Sands kill the PIRA?

this is inspired by the Palestinian elections thread and its - IMV - marked similarities to the course of history over the water.

Palestinan elections thread

In 1981 Bobby Sands proved to Armed Republicanism that it could attract votes with a slight teaking of its message and ideology, in 1986 PSF formally rejected abstentionism - and the split with CIRA occured - and the subsequent rise of PSF as a political party has been mirrored not just by the fall of PIRA, but by the fall of the acceptablity of political violence, even within Republicanism.

PSF has gone from being the arch-enemy of the principle of British administration of Northern Ireland to competing to become its administrator - or agent... :wink:

now Bobby Sands was a serious piece of work, one of the original hardline Socialist Republicans with no acceptance of the legitimacy of either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, were he alive today his opinions would be most unwelcome in PSF and would be on the fringe of CIRA - a fringe of a fringe of a fringe!

did Bobby Sands' electoral victory - catastrophic as it appeared at the time - actually prove to be the deathnell of Irish political violence in particular and a Republicanism in general?
I suspect had he survived, Bobby sands would have been in The Big Brother House, which would have annoyed the other occupants as he would have eaten all the sandwiches.
Oh Nice one centurion ... nice one!
Weight Watchers should use his example in an Ad campaign, "Join The PIRA and watch those pounds just fall off!"
I'd agree with this analysis, although obviously the SF shift from armed struggle toward 'constitutional nationalism' was a long process and the Hume-Adams talks were key.

Sand's election was a key turning point in Republican recognition that they could achive their aims politcally, but most importantly, came at a time when the 'one more push' model of IRA military victory was become discredited since the security forces were succeeding with 'Ulsterisation', intelligence penetration and military containment.

The SF/ IRA rift was seriously internally divisive - the hard-line South Armagh guys etc resenting SF's rising power - actually a huge testiment to Adam's leadership that it held together.

Good illustration is PIRA-volunteer-turned-supergrass Eammon Collin's account of the final moments of being broken by RUC Special Branch interrogation.

Havng got him to confess and implicate his ASU and most of the Dundalk PIRA, the SB guy finishes by asking him how, if he (Collins) was in the RUC, he could try to damage the IRA most effectively.

Collin's answer: 'Vote Sinn Feinn'.
And if nothing else, the hunger strike had the effect of drastically improving British Army morale by giving it months nay years of Bobby sands related comedy material!
Ah, can hear the chanting now

cud ya go a chicken supper Bobby Sands
cud ya go a chicken supper Bobby Sands
cud ya go a chicken supper, yah dorty fenian fecker
cud ya go a chicken supper Bobby Sands?
:D :D Does anyone fondly remember when the wit laden boys and girls of 2 UDR(Co Armagh) used to place sandwiches on the Bobby Sands monument in XMG?

The locals often used to go orbital with the UDR:twisted: :twisted:

O how they laughed :twisted: :evil:

Good way to lose weight though!!
My understand was that the crucial factor that led to (what we now call 'peace') was realisation by both us, the Army, and PIRA that no military solution was possible. In that case, I see no involvement of Sands at all.

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