FORMER Fermanagh-south Tyrone MP Owen Carron was the guest speaker at a Sinn Fein hunger strike lecture last week in which he reflected on the life of Bobby Sands.

Mr. Carron was the election agent to Bobby Sands, who was elected MP for Fermanagh-south Tyrone in 1981 with 30,493 votes, and later died in prison following 66 days on hunger strike.

Speaking in Ballyconnell Community Centre on Friday night, Mr. Carron recalled: “Looking back now, 33 years, it is still hard to articulate all the emotions, feelings, pain and memories of the hunger strike period. The hunger strike stands as a major happening in my lifetime and I believe will be so in the modern history of Ireland.

“Even at this remove of over 30 years, it’s still hard for those of us closely involved with the hunger strikers and their families to go back there in our memories and I have found it hard to speak on the subject and to write about the period because it was an intensely emotional and painful time for the nationalist and republican people,” he said.

Mr. Carron, who was arrested in 1986 after an AK-47 was allegedly found in a car he was in, has been living in the south ever since after fleeing across the Border.

During his lecture, he also reflected on where Sinn Fein is now, politically.

“So today Sinn Féin is the largest all-Ireland party. We have the future in the palm of our hands but it’s like water. We’ve to cup our hands and plan our course correctly. We mustn’t fail through incompetence or arrogance,” he said.

Watch: Video by Sinn Fein.