Bobby Sands's mother Rosaleen has died - courtesy The Irish News

THE mother of IRA hunger striker and MP Bobby Sands has died.

Rosaleen Sands has been described by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams as "a strong, inspirational woman" who stood by her son "during the darkest of times"

"The dignity and strength she displayed was a testament to her character and her belief in standing up for what was right and just, even if that meant great suffering for herself, Bobby's father John and their family.

"In many ways she epitomised what all the mothers of the hunger strikers endured and her sacrifice will never be forgotten."

Bobby Sands was an IRA man who led the hunger strike in Long Kesh prison in the 1980s.

The 27-year-old died in May 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike. During his time in jail Sands was elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Bobby Sands's father, John, died four years ago. He was aged in his early nineties.