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“The Blanket Men: When political status was withdrawn by the British Government in 1976 as part of their strategy to criminalise the republican struggle, Republican prisoners refused to conform with prison rules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.

M04943 M04941 [M04932]

Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

In Aghaidh Impiriúlachas Na Breataine In Éirinn

“I gcomóradh na stailceoirí ocrais a fuair bás i mBloic-H na Céise Fada sa bhiain 1981 agus i ndíl chuimhne ar ár cróga go léir a thug a raibh acu ar stailc ocrais in aghaidh impiriúlachas na Breataine in Éirinn. This memorial stone is erected to commemorate the deaths of 10 republican volunteers who died in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh prison in the cause of Irish freedom. Their supreme sacrifice changed the course of Irish history forever. Their suffering and subsequent deaths showed the inhumane barbarity of a British government in its attempts to deny our people their liberty and rights as a free nation.”

M04576 [M04569] [M04570] [M04571] [M04572] [M04573] [M04574] [M04575]

Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

The Conveyor Belt

Stages of the “conveyor belt” – arrest by the Army, trial before a Diplock court, strip searches in Long Kesh and Armagh, the dirty protest, supported by an RAC [Relatives Action Committee], and finally, hunger strikes – are recreated in murals and reenactments on flat-bed lorries along the Falls Road for the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike.

M03284 M03273 M03293 M03283 M03286 [M03287] M03291

Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney

Remember The Hunger Strikers

“Remember the hunger strikers, 25th anniversary.” Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg, who died on hunger strikes in 1974 and 1976 and included in a line of portraits alongside nine of the deceased 1981 hunger strikers; Bobby Sands is shown in the large mural on the right hand side, next to blanket men Hugh Rooney and Freddie Toal.

M03178 M03179 M03180 [M03181] [M03182] [M03183] [M03184] [M03185] [M03186] [M03187] [M03188] [M03189] [M03190] [M03191] [M04520]

Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney

The First Blanketman

IRA volunteer Kieran (here Ciarán) Nugent spent nine months in Long Kesh as a Special Category prisoner in 1975. When he was arrested again in 1976 and sent to the H Blocks, the status no longer existed and he could no longer wear his own clothes. He refused to wear a prison uniform and spent his first night naked. On the next day he was given a blanket and so became the first blanket man. Rockville Street, Belfast.

M02550 [M02551]

Copyright © 2005 Peter Moloney