Patsy Duffy

IRA volunteer Patsy Duffy was shot by undercover British Army soldiers at an arms cache in Maureen Avenue, Derry, near the spot of this plaque in his memory.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

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Murdered By SAS Cowards

“David Devine, Michael Devine, Charles Breslin – murdered by SAS cowards.” The three IRA members, aged 16, 22, and 20, were shot by SAS soldiers while returning arms to a dump in a field outside Strabane on February 23rd, 1985. The incident prompted accusations of a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy, as there was no attempt at arrest.

Springhill Park, Strabane

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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

Éire

This Short Strand mural packs a lot in, beginning with both ancient Éire and a celtic cross. Its main panels commemorate 25 years of resistance in east Belfast (probably dating to the Battle Of St Matthew’s in 1970) with portraits of 14 deceased locals (“I measc laochra na nGael go raibh a nainmeacha”) and two verses from Bobby Sands’s poem Weeping Winds (see below). On the right (in the second image) is a quote from Bobby Sands: “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children”. These verses are also used on a board in St James’s.

Oh, whistling winds why do you weep/When roaming free you are,
Oh! Is it that your poor heart’s broke/And scattered off afar?
Or is it that you bear the cries/Of people born unfree,
Who like your way have no control/Or sovereign destiny?

Oh! Lonely winds that walk the night/To haunt the sinner’s soul/
Pray pity me a wretched lad/Who never will grow old.
Pray pity those who lie in pain/The bondsman and the slave
And whisper sweet the breath of God/Upon my humble grave.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

The Names, The Stories, The Tales, The Sacrifices

“When the story of the Belfast Brigade of the IRA is told, when the war is over, is ended, among that story the names, the stories, the tales, the sacrifices, the actions of the volunteers from the Greater Ballymurphy area will be written large.” “This monument was erected by the republican people of Greater Ballymurphy in proud and loving memory of all those volunteers from the area who their lives in the fight for Irish freedom.” “Unveiled by Gerry Adams 12th May 1985.” I”i ndíl cuimhne i gcónai ag na poblachtánaigh ón cheantar Barr Cluanai.” “Also in memory of the civilians who died at the hands of the British Army, RUC, UDR and loyalist extremists.” The plaque was featured previously but the surrounding mural, with phoenix and volunteers with lowered rifles, is new. Ballymurphy Road, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

Belfast Graves

“And all around are monuments that bear a martyr’s name/True patriots who fought and died to kindle freedoms flame/Jimmy Quigley, [Eamonn] McCormick and [Teddy] O’Neill with [Michael] Magee brave/Remember them, they died for us and found a martyr’s grave.” The words of Ray McAreavey’s song are modified to include four Ballymurphy IRA/Fianna volunteers. With additional portraits of local stalwarts Alice Franklin and Mary Fegan. Divismore Way, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney