“Years from now they will ask you where you were when your comrades were dying on hunger strike. Shall you say that you were with us, or shall you say that you were conforming to very system that drove us to our deaths.” The mural is to Mickey Devine, with a smaller (and much older) plaque to Patsy O’Hara (the plaque was previously information about Devine). Both were INLA volunteers and both died in the 1981 hunger strike, along with Kevin Lynch; Liam McCloskey was taken off the strike by his family after 55 days.
In addition to three plaques, a wrought-iron head-piece, multiple flag-pole holders and railings fencing in a small area, this mural in Clós Ard An Lao/Ardilea Close in Ardoyne uses painted discs for each of the twelve hunger strikers (the ten in Long Kesh 1981 and two from the 70s in English prisons, Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg – the twelve also featured in Derry’s Spirit Of Freedom mural), rather than painting their likenesses directly onto the wall. The two quotes are from Bobby Sands “Let our revenge by the laughter of our children” and Michael Gaughan “Let there be no bitterness on my behalf to achieve a united Ireland”.
The items above the mural are new, compared to 2010. The plaque on the left is to people who died “in defence of the area” and on the right to those who died “of natural causes” who endured discrimination, hardship, suffering, imprisonment.
“Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” For the thirtieth anniversary (30ú comóradh) of his death on May 5th, 1981, a board in Twinbrook remembering IRA volunteer, hunger striker, and MP, Bobby Sands.
“Wear an Easter lily – i gcuimhne ar an stailc ocrais.” The title phrase and the lily are typically used in calls to remember the rebels of 1916 (see e.g. the mural this one replaces) but here it is (also) employed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike. The lark is a symbol of political prisoners, the green ribbon was used in the campaign to free them as part of the Agreement; the watchtowers of Long Kesh/Maze are shown. Mural in Beechmount Ave/Ascaill Ard na bhFeá
The birthplace of Francis Hughes, IRA volunteer, the RUC’s most wanted man, and second hunger striker to die in 1981, is commemorated on Scribe Road (perhaps from “scríob” (for “furrow”), Bellaghy. “From the people of south Derry.”
[The people of Derry remember the hunger strikers] Scenes from the rally for the 2010 National Hunger Strike Commemoration, August 15th, 2010, in Hunters Park, Bellaghy. The left-hand painting is signed by a Short Strand artist and Marty Lyons; the right-hand painting is of the capture of native son Francis Hughes.