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“Éire Nua” was (and is) the name of a Sinn Féin policy document first produced in 1979 and subsequently updated; Republican Sinn Féin split off in 1986 and – like Na Fianna Éireann and Continuity IRA – still supports the vision outlined in it. Notable here is the inclusion of a (now-defunct) web address. Divis Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

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Our Revenge Will Be The Laughter Of Our Children

The Sinn Féin offices and shop on the Falls Road at Sevastopol Street were torn down and rebuilt in 2000. A mural had been on the gable wall since 1982, initially advertising An Phoblacht/Republican News, and later included Bobby Sands. (1989 white | 1990 blue)

The mural on the new gable, shown above, removes the full An Phoblacht/Republican News masthead and instead includes the visual part of it (most prominent in the earliest mural An Phoblacht – Official Organ): the crest of 1798’s United Irishmen – “Equality” and “It is new strung and shall be heard” around a harp and the cap of liberty.

Otherwise the wall is devoted to “Irish republican, revolutionary, poet, Gaeligeoir, visionary” Bobby Sands/Roibeairt Ó Seachnasaigh, adding another famous saying of his, namely “our revenge will be the laughter of our children” alongside “everyone, republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play”.

The mural also adds a border of breaking chains (and a lark) and (not visible in the apex) a phoenix. The multi-coloured border is perhaps the most unusual element, working with the sky-blue background and Sands’s smiling face to give the mural a positive feel.

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

These Are Times That Try Men’s Souls

Portraits of, and quotes from, Mary Ann McCracken (“What a wonderful clamour is now raised at the name of union, when in reality there has always been such a union between England and this country, as there is between husband and wife by which the former has the power to oppress the latter.”) and her older brother Henry Joy McCracken (“These are the times that try men’s souls … the rich always betray the poor.”). The two were Presbyterians and republicans. Henry led the Antrim uprising of the United Irishmen in 1798 and was executed for it; Mary Ann was an abolitionist and social reformer.

New Lodge Road, Belfast

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Copyright © 1997 Peter Moloney

William Drennan

William Drennan, 1754-1820, was a doctor, poet, Presbyterian, one of the founders of the Society of United Irishmen, and the first person to refer to Ireland as “the Emerald Isle”, in his poem When Erin First Rose. The words in this mural are the epitaph on his stone in Clifton Street Cemetery: “Pure, just, benign. Thus filial love would trace the virtues, hollowing [sic] this narrow space. The Emerald Isle may grant a wider claim and link the patriot with his country’s name.”

Ludlow Square, Belfast

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Copyright © 1997 Peter Moloney

Use Arms When Arms Are Needed

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Four in a row in Springhill Park, Strabane. (1) The ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers are shown on an H, but they have all had their eyes covered in blue paint. (2) You can kill the revolutionary but not the revolution (seen previously in Innisfree Gardens and also in 1981 in Rockdale St, Belfast and in Derry in 1981.) (3) Use arms when arms are needed. (4) A “West Tyrone command” roll of honour.

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Copyright © 1990 Peter Moloney

Freedom

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“Freedom: For freedom you fasted & died/For the five rights you were denied/For the evil we know to blame/For England shrouded in shame/For the deaths of young Irish lives/For the oath of a country that cried/For the murder of a lark in the sky.” This poem seems to be unique in Irish muraling – if you know anything about it, please leave a comment. Also (possibly) unique is the sword with wings. Fountain Street, Strabane.

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Copyright © 1990 Peter Moloney