Léana An Dúin – Unbowed, Unbroken

Cú Chulainn stands dying, an inspiration to republicans fighting against the British (rather than Queen Medb), including those Lenadoon locals whose portraits adorn the apex: Tony Henderson, John Finucane, Tony Jordan, Brendan O’Callaghan, Joe McDonnell, Laura Crawford, Mairéad Farrell, Patricia Black, Bridie Quinn (Bridie O’Neill in the previous version of this mural). Repainted, with plaque on the right: “This mural, dedicated to the patriot dead of Lenadoon, was unveiled by Gerard O’Neill, Easter 2009.”

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney


West Tyrone Command

Updated version of the monument to West Tyrone Command (seen in 2005) – perhaps with new fencing. A modern volunteer stands on the left, Cú Chulainn on the right. “In proud memory of Vol. Charles Breslin age 20, Vol. Michael Devine age 22, Vol. David Devine age 16. West Tyrone command, Ógliagh na hÉireann. Killed by crown forces near this spot23 Feb. 1985.” The three were killed in an alleged shoot-to-kill incident. Obituaries in An Phoblacht. Fountain Street, Strabane.

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

The Supreme Sacrifice

These are close-ups of the IRA memorial in Derry’s City Cemetery (“Erected Easter 1975”, with the roll of honour extended around the base and then onto additional stones, and a plaque added in 1991 on the 75th anniversary of the second hunger strike and seen first in 1994). “Arna tógáil An Cháisc 1975, ag Briogáid Dhoire, Ógliagh na hÉireann in ómós agus i gcuimhne ár gcomrádaithe a rinne a ardíobairt go saortar ár dtír dhúchais.”

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

Ulster’s Defenders

Ulster’s defenders, past and present, from Cuchulainn “Ancient defender of Ulster from Gael attacks”, via the 1893 UDU and WWI soldiers memorialised in the towers at Messines and Thiepval, to the modern UDA/UFF: “In memory of the officers and volunteers of A. Coy. UDA/UFF West Belfast Brigade who unselfishly dedicated their lives in defence of their country.”

There was also a Cuchulainn mural on Newtownards Rd in 1992 (updated in 2005), as well as ‘past defenders’ in the form of B Specials and UDR (1992 | 2005).

Among the volunteers listed on the stone, 19 year old Alan Simpson was shot in his home in nearby Highfield Drive.

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Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney

Freedom Corner

This is a complete set of images of the UDA’s “Freedom Corner” along Newtownards Road, Belfast. The use of Cuchulainn as a loyalist icon (the mural is in its second incarnation – for the first, see Defender Of Ulster From Irish Attacks) rests on the theory that the people of mythical Ulster are different from those in the rest of Ireland and are related to ancient Scots: Dalaradia was “was a kingdom of the Cruthin in the north-east of Ireland and parts of Scotland in the first millennium.” The “Ulster Nation” flag/shield (which also appears in the final image) is a St Patrick’s cross on a blue background with six-pointed star and red hand, the flag of the Ulster (Northern Ireland) independence movement.

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Copyright © 2005 Peter Moloney

Leana An Dúin Unbowed Unbroken

The dying Cú Chulainn (as portrayed in bronze by Oliver Sheppard, in a statue installed in the GPO in 1935) is used as a symbol for the locals from Lenadoon area of west Belfast who fought for freedom (“saoirse”): Tony Henderson, John Finucane, Brendan O’Callaghan, Joe McDonnell, Laura Crawford, Mairéad Farrell, Patricia Black, Bridie O’Neill (subsequently changed to Bridie Quinn).


Copyright © 2002 Peter Moloney

Ten Hunger Strikers

The lower part of the long wall in Bishop Street, Derry, in 1988. From left to right: a funeral volley fired over a scroll (blank in the first shot, filled-in in the fifth; Cú Chulainn dying; portraits of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers; Bobby Sands’s “spirit of freedom” quote (shown in the final image) which concludes “I remain what I am – a political prisoner of war”; a celtic cross; “Free All POWs” (similar image to Racecourse Road); and a lark in barbed wire over a Tricolour.

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Copyright © 1998 Peter Moloney