William Steel Dickson

The third of three figures from the Society of United Irishmen to be featured in the New Lodge is William Steel Dickson. He was adjutant-general of the County Down and was arrested a few days before the insurrection. Like Henry Joy and Mary Ann McCracken and William Drennan, he is buried in Clifton Street Cemetery. New Lodge Road, Belfast.


Copyright © 1997 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


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


Copyright © 1997 Peter Moloney

Use Arms When Arms Are Needed





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: 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.


Copyright © 1990 Peter Moloney




Two images of a mural on the Whiterock Road, Belfast, celebrating the Easter Rising. A soldier raises the Irish Tricolour while trampling on the Union jack. On the right hand side are the Easter lily and halberds/pikes and an armalite, indicating the past and present of the 1916 revolt.  In the background is a poorly drawn GPO. The original image of the central figure can be seen in this Extramural Activity post.

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Copyright © 1990 Peter Moloney