4000 Years Of Ulster Scots

Ulster-Scots was included in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement under the principle of support for “linguistic diversity”. This mural celebrating Ulster-Scots and ties between Northern Ireland and Scotland dates to 1999. “4000 years of Ulster-Scots history and heritage. Ulster & Scotland – shared language, shared literature, shared culture.” 400 years takes us back to the plantation; 4000 years suggests an even deeper connection. “Dinnae houl yer wheest, houl yer ain!” [Don’t hold your tongue, hold your own!] Templemore Street, Belfast

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Copyright © 2005 Peter Moloney

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Welcome To Loyalist Cluan Place

Cluan Place is a single street of 25 houses in east Belfast, hemmed in by the shops on the Albertbridge Road and by a “peace” line separating it from the (nationalist) Short Strand. Tensions between the two areas were particularly high in the early 2000s – see this Guardian article from 2002.

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Copyright © 2005 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

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

David And Goliath

“End the siege of Short Strand. Denied access to essential services including: doctors, chemist, dentist, health centre, post office, supermarket, Department of Social Services …… sectarianism is a cancer! The people of this area are not sectarian. We want to live in peace with our neighbours. People have nothing to fear from this community. People of all religions and none live, work and travel thru daily and will continue to do so!”

On the other side of the main panel is a list of events from May 2002, describing attacks on nationalist residents and homes in the small nationalist enclave, with “ball bearings, golf balls, bricks and bottles” and “blast bombs, pipe bombs, petrol bombs”. The Andersonstown News gives an account of the initial disturbances and beating of Patrick ‘Pod’ Devenny. The Guardian called the area “Riot City“.

Mountpottinger Road, Belfast

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Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

Nationality

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Wide shot showing the low wall between the two “Ulster’s defenders” murals: “Our message to the Irish is simple: Hands off Ulster; Irish out; The Ulster conflict is about nationality”, and “We will maintain our faith and our nationality” above images of the Bible. Newtownards Road, Belfast.

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© 1992 Alan Gallery, All rights reserved
alan@alangallery.com

Who Will Defend Ulster Now?

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In 1992 the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) – which itself replaced the B Specials in 1970 – was amalgamated with the Royal Irish Rangers to become the Royal Irish Regiment. Although seven battalions of the new RIR were permanently based in Northern Ireland, the mural above describes the two organisations as “Ulster’s Past Defenders” and asks “Who will defend Ulster now?”

Newtownards Road, Belfast

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© 1992 Alan Gallery, All rights reserved
alan@alangallery.com