I’m Not A Criminal

“Vol. Kieran Nugent – the first blanketman. ‘I’m not a criminal – the Brits will have to nail prison clothes to my back.'”

This mural was originally launched in February surrounded by a selection of posters from the era (see The First Blanketman and for close-ups see the post at Extramural). These have all now been stripped away and the red background (which was present for the previous mural – see Ciarán Nugent) has been repainted.

Rockville Street, Belfast


Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Stand As One

“Make a difference – Join RNU – Be committed – Stand as one – Implement 12th August Agreement! – End strip searches – End controlled movement.” Cogús is the POW department of the RNU, no longer on-line at http://www.republicannetwork.ie. The board is on the rear of Free Derry Corner, which has its own Visual History page.

Lecky Road, Derry.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Francis Hughes

For the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, the Dockers & Carters mural was replaced by a large mural of republican heroes on Northumberland Street, with Francis Hughes at the centre. (For more in-progress images, the completed mural, and a list of the portraits, see X00384.)

Northumberland Street, Belfast

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Hunger Striker Mosaics

For the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, the mosaics of the Troubles-era hunger strikers are mounted around the blanket-men board and above the Phoenix in Clowney Street; for a few years they were previously at the Falls-Beechmount corner.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

The First Blanketman

IRA prisoner Kieran Nugent is reputed to have said – upon being imprison after the removal of Special Category status in 1976 – “I’m not a criminal – the Brits will have to nail prison clothes to my back.” The mural is a February repainting of Ciarán Nugent and for the launch it was surrounded with posters from the period. Rockville Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Chains And Bonds Have No Part In Us

“I have no prouder boast to say, I am Irish and have been privileged to fight for the Irish people for Ireland. If I have a duty, I will perform it to the full with the unshakable belief that we are a noble race and the chains and bonds have no part in us.” – Francis Hughes. The ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers along with Frank Stagg and Michael Guaghan are featured in this Navan Street, Armagh, mural. In the centre, between the words of Francis Hughes and a “Youth Against H. Block/Armagh” protester are blanket men Hugh Rooney and Freddie Toal.

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Copyright © 2010 Peter Moloney

The Unsung Heroes

“In proud and loving memory of all local volunteers, prisoners of war, republican activists and the unsung heroes who died of natural causes having served the cause of Irish republicanism [“sean óglach” on the individual plaques]. Together in unity you formed a bond which gave true meaning to the undefeated risen people. Your deeds of bravery and resistance will never be forgotten by the people of greater St. James’s. In your honour the quest for Irish freedom continues.” With the famous “our steps will be onward” quote from Máire Drumm at an anti-internment rally in Dunville Park on 10th August, 1975 (RN). Coiste Cuimhneacháin Lár Na bhFál/Ard Na bhFeá [Memorial committee of mid-Falls/Beechmount].

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Copyright © 2010 Peter Moloney

Not Spain, Not France

“1650-2009: 350 years of occupation, 350 years of resistance. Catalan language has been spoken since VIII century. Nowadays, after 350 years of occupation and prohibition, there are 9 million Catalan speakers. The spirit of revolt against the Spanish kingdom and French state is still alive. The struggle of the Catalan people continues against the existing discriminations. Not Spain, not France.” “Saoirse na hÉireann, Llibrtat Països Catalans”. In Clowney Street next to the ‘1969 Phoenix’ mural which dates back to 1981.

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Copyright © 2010 Peter Moloney

Fir Na Pluide/Blanket Men

“Fir na Pluide: i ndiaidh do Rialtas na Breataine stadás polaitiúil a tharraingt siar i 1976 mar chuid dá straitéis le Cuma coirpeach a chur ar an streachailt poblachtach. Dhiúltaigh cimí poblachtacha cloí de rialacha príosiún, a chur iallach orthu obair phríosúin a dhéaneamh agus éide phríosúin a chaitheamh. Ar an ábhar sin, séanach éadach ar bith ar na cimí diomaite de phluid agus diútaíodh cead dul amach as a gcilliní nó caidreamh a dhéanamh le cimí eile. Ó 1978-1981 b’éigean daofa gabhal ar stailc folchta agus mar gheall air sin séanadh aiseanna folctha agus leithreas orthu. D’fhulaing siad córas millteanach brúidiulachta a mhair ó 1976-1981 a raibh d’aidhm aige toil na gcimí – cimí óga a bhformhór – a chloí. D’fhag an tréimhse brúidiúil sin a lorg ar chuid mhaith de na cimí agus bíonn an tráma acu go fóill.”

“The Blanket Men: When political status was withdrawn by the British Government in 1976 as part of their strategy to criminalise the republican struggle, Republican prisoners refused to conform with prison rules which demanded that they wear prison uniform and carry out prison work. They were denied any clothing with the exception of a blanket and denied exercise or to associate with any other prisoners. From 1978-1981 prisoners were forced onto a no wash protest, as a result of which they were denied washing and toilet facilities. They were subjected to a regime of brutality that lasted from 1976-1981 aimed at forcing the mainly young protesters to confirm [sic] with prison rules. Many of the prisoners were scarred and brutalised by their experiences and live with the trauma of that time.”

Clowney Street, above the Phoenix.

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney