Today our group travelled to the infamous H-Block prison that housed the blanket men protestors. Among the blanket men was Bobby Sands, the leader of the 1981 hunger strikes that protested against the removal of the special category status. His dedication to the cause of the Republican movement was a catalyst for an examination of human rights during the Troubles. It was an amazing experience walking through the many layers of gates. The area was void of all people. It was easy to visualize the faces of the prisoners as we walked by the cells. I cannot imagine the resilience it would have taken to survive the years of imprisonment while your human rights were violated. The blanket men also were a part of the dirty protests, in which they refused to use the bathrooms, instead they would use their cells. We could still see the stains that soaked into the stone of the prison walls. I think the most powerful moment was walking into the hospital building where Bobby Sands had died during the hunger strike. He was so dedicated to his cause that he was willing to give his life in a gruesome, slow manner. During the tour, we also heard about the suicide numbers of the guards that watched the prisoners. It was a stark reminder that the conflict, and especially those involved in the H-Block prison, did not escape with some kind of wound. Even the prisoners were not able to escape the psychological trauma.