Who Is The Real Freedomfighters Now!

 

Here is a collection of six murals from Ballycolman, Strabane, all seen previously in 1989 and showing their age, and with some RIRA graffiti “Who is the real freedomfighters now! Real IRA” and “Strabane RUC station – 2001 RIRA”.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

Charles English

Volunteer Charles English was a member of the IRA’s Derry Brigade (1st battalion). He died on August 6th, 1985, at age 21, when a grenade launcher exploded. His brother, Gary, had been killed four years earlier when an Army land rover hit and then reversed over him (Derry Journal). Images from the funeral are collected in this video. Abbey Street, Derry.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

No More Human Shields

The names of portraits of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers, plus Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan, are on six of the seven New Lodge “houses” (high-rise buildings), two per house. Other slogans have appeared just below them, such as the “No more human shields – Brits out” shown in the first image, below the portrait of Bobby Sands on Teach Eithne (perhaps a reference to the Army positions on top of Teach Mhéabha (Maeve House) and Teach Gráinne?). For more images, see this Extramural Activity post.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

McGurk’s Bar

“In memory of the fifteen innocent civilians murdered by a pro-British loyalist gang in a no-warning bomb attack on McGurk’s Bar, Dec. 4th, 1971.” “In memory of those who tragically lost their lives and all those who were injured as a result of the explosion.” These are two memorials at North Queen Street and St George’s Street, Belfast, the site of the former bar, now a Westlink underpass. The “pro-British loyalist group” is thought to be the UVF, though at the time, it was claimed by a little-known group the “Empire Loyalists” (WP).

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

New Lodge Then And Now

This pair of murals, on the New Lodge Road, Belfast, contrasts life for young people in the “1900s” to life in “2000”. Instead of working (and dying – in the headlines from the Irish News) in mills, they work in fast-food restaurants and drive black taxis (and suffer unemployment, suicide, and anorexia – again, in the newspaper), and instead of playing in the streets and wrapping themselves in blankets, they sit on walls and drink.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

Remember The Hunger Strikers

Here are six images of the hunger strikers mural in Mountpottinger Road, Belfast. The ten portraits are on cut wooden boards while the rest is painted. On the far right (image 5) is a “spirit of freedom” lark and the names of the ten deceased 1981 strikers. In the centre (image 3) is blanket man Hugh Rooney.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney