Kevin Lynch is shown raising the Under-16 County Derry hurling trophy (photo below). He was arrested in December 1976 and went on the blanket and then the second hunger strike. Lynch died after 71 days on hunger strike – the longest-surviving striker – in Long Kesh/the Maze prison. The H-Block Song (with lyric “I’ll wear no convict’s uniform/nor meekly serve my time/that Britain might brand Ireland’s fight/800 years of crime” was played by a piper at his funeral. (An Phoblacht)
A mural from 1st Shankill Somme association (Fb) commemorating the Battle of the Somme, with soldiers running through no-man’s land and the Ulster Tower memorial. With support from the Govan Somme Association, Grapes Bar, Glasgow.
The scroll reads “Out of the ashes of 1969” arose the Provisional IRA, but the lineage is a long one and all but one of the organisations, events, and arms depicted here precede 1969: Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna Éireann, Óglaigh Na hÉireann, a Celtic shield and sword, a pike (from the 1798 Rebellion), a Thompson gun, the Tricolour; only the assault rifle is modern and perhaps also is meant to indicate the Provisionals, Belfast Brigade. “Fuair siad bás as son saoirse na hÉireann.”
“Community Inquiry Report: There was a clear breach of Article 2 of the European Convention On Human Rights, the right to life. The jury was deeply moved by the integrity and honesty of the evidence they heard. We have been deeply shocked by the state’s total failure to investigate killings and woundings. The evidence is unequivocal regarding the innocence of the deceased and wounded. There is no evidence whatsoever that they were armed or acted in a manner that could be perceived as a threat to the security services.”
Two of the New Lodge Six (James Sloan, James McCann) were killed by the UDA outside a bar and four (Tony ‘TC’ Campbell, Ambrose Hardy, Brendan Maguire, John Loughran) were among the crowd that gathered, killed by British Army snipers from their positions on top of the flats, using night-vision sights, February 3rd-4th, 1973. Sinn Féin politician Gerry Kelly spoke at the launch (image at Extramural Activity).
For the previous version, see M02410. Donore Court, Belfast.
Jim O’Neill was killed in February 1976 during an IRA arson attack on a furniture warehouse on the Antrim Road near the New Lodge – Gerry Fitt’s house next door might have been the ultimate target (Belfast Child); Robert Allsopp appears to have accidentally shot himself in March 1975 (Irish Peace Process). Both were members of Na Fianna. The flute band (Fb) is named in their memory.
Below the portraits of Jim O’Neill and Robert Allsopp is written “Glaine inár cgroí, neart inár ngéaga, beart de reír [réir] ar [ár] mbriathar.” [Purity in our hearts, strength in our limbs, action consistent with our words]
Above: “Roll of honour – South Armagh Brigade Óglaigh Na hÉireann. ‘We must take no steps backward, our steps must be onward, for if we don’t, the martyrs that died for you, for me, for this country will haunt us for eternity'” [Maura Drumm, from an anti-internment rally in Dunville Park on 10th August, 1975 (RN)]
Below: “Join Sinn Féin – Bígí linn”. Raymond McCreesh, one of the dead 1981 hunger strikers, was from the (relatively) nearby Camlough. “‘You cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom’ – Padraig Pearse”
“South Armagh Brigade roll of honour Óglaigh Na hÉireann. This garden of remembrance is dedicated to the volunteers of the Irish Republican Army and to the men and women of South Armagh who played their part in the struggle for Irish freedom with integrity, courage and determination. I measc laochra na hÉireann go raibh a n-anam dílis. ‘There is no height or bloody fight a freeman can’t defy/There is no source or foreign force can break one who knows/That his freewill no one can kill and from that freedom grows.'” The poetry is from Bobby Sands’s poem The Crime Of Castlereagh.
“The British government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland.” (Last Statement, 1916)
“James Connolly 1868-1916 James Connolly was born in June 5th 1868. In 1810 he became organiser for the Irish Transport And General Workers Union in Belfast. In 1913 he co-founded the Irish Citizen Army. He was one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation and commanded HQ in the GPO during the 1916 Rising. He was executed by the British on May 12th 1916.”
“Nora Connolly O’Brien 1893-1981 Nora Connolly was the 2nd daughter of James Connolly. Nora was a member of Cumann Na mBan and the Gaelic League in Belfast. She played an organisational role in the ICA in the run up to the 1916 Rising. She was a trade unionist and remained so throughout her life.”
Local IRA volunteers are commemorated in multiple stones in the Twinbrook memorial garden. On the main wall – which is a new addition – are listed Sean Keenan, Michael Ferguson, Lily Campbell, Mary Keenan, Eddie Keenan, Mary McKee, Hugh McKee. On the obelisk on the left (see previously Twinbrook & Poleglass IRA) are Gerard Fennell, John Rooney, Bobby Sands, Frankie Ryan. On the stone to the right – which was previously outside the railings (see M03008) – are the twelve deceased Troubles-era hunger strikers.
“The day will dawn when the people of Ireland this desire for freedom. It’s then we will see the rising of the moon.”
“I have sacrificed for the republic all that man holds dear – my wife, my children, my liberty, my life. – Wolfe Tone”
“The road for suffering is paved with suffering, hardships and torture, carry on my gallant and brave comrades until that certain day. – Tom Williams”
“I too have fought for my freedom not only in captivity but also outside where my country is held captive. I have the spirit of freedom that cannot be quenched. [– Bobby Sands]”
“This monument has been re-dedicated by the people of Twinbrook and Poleglass in honour of those volunteers of Óglaigh na hÉireann who gave their lives for Irish freedom.”
A tarp is added to the Ardoyne memorial garden putting the 12 deceased hunger strikers from the modern Troubles alongside those who were executed for their part in the Easter Rising. “The ideals behind the Proclamation, the Easter Rising and the hunger strikes are the ideals which drive Sinn Féin today, social equality, economic and political freedom and the believe [sic] that all the people of the island should benefit from the labour of the island. It is for this reason that this signatories, the hunger strikers and the thousands of others gave their lives.”