Peace With Justice

The ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers were preceded in the 1970s by two prisoners who died in English prisons: Michael Gaughan (d. 1974 WP) and Frank Stagg (1976 WP). The larger of the two quotations here is from Stagg: I want my memorial to be peace with justice. The protesters on the left date back to a 1981 poster which was used on the first mural – for both, see I’ll Wear No Convict’s Uniform. The proclamation and the Tricolour lie on the grass.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

St James’s Support The Hunger Strikers

This is a late-life shot of the mural at the corner of Hugo Street. There are now two windows in the mural, graffiti has been blacked out across the lower third, and the mural on the side wall (to the left of image) has gone completely.

You can track its history to this point by comparing this image with those from 2006 | 2002 | 2001.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Kieran Doherty TD

“Vol. Kieran Doherty, Óglaigh Na hÉireann, age 25, commenced his hunger strike on May 22 and tragically died on Sunday afternoon 2nd Aug 1981. Kieran was elected TD by the people of Cavan and Monaghan in their support of the prisoners’ campaign for political status.” “It is not those who inflict the most but those who endure the most who shall conquer in the end – this [paraphrase of 1920 hunger-striker Terence MacSwiney] was one of the last messages sent out of the H-Blocks by Vol Kieran Doherty TD.”

The mural on the stairs has been removed – compare with 2004, which also has close-ups.

This portrait and plaque to Doherty are at the bottom of Slemish Way at the junction with the Andersonstown Road; there is a memorial stone at the top of Slemish Way on Commedagh Drive.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Beidh An Bua Againn Go Fóill

“Tógadh an leach cuimhneacháin seo ag muintir an cheantar i gcuimhne an Óglaigh [Óglach] Réamonn Mac Raois a fuair bás ar an 21 Bealtaine 1981 i ndiaidh lá agus seasca ar stailc ocrais sna H-Blocanna. Rugadh Réamonn ar an 15 Feabhra 1957 ag Páirc Naomh Maolmhaodhóg. … Seasann an deich gcrann atá curtha taobh thiar den leacht chuimhneacháin do na firéin [fíréin].”

“This monument was erected by the people of the area in memory of IRA Volunteer Raymond McCreesh who died on May 21st 1981 after 61 days on hunger strike in the British H-Block prison at Long Kesh. Raymond McCreesh was born on February 25th 1957 at St Malachy’s Park, Camloch. … The ten trees planted behind the monument represent the ten men who died in the H-Blocks in 1981.”

There is a mural to McCreesh on the gable of Teach Réamoinn Mhic Raois – see Keep On Marching.

Newry Rd, Camlough

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

The Spirit Of Freedom

There are a couple of interesting elements in this 30th anniversary hunger strikers mural in the Bogside. The frame is formed by chains (as seen previously on the Bobby Sands mural in Belfast) rather than knot-work, the names of Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan are mixed into the list (rather than appearing together at the beginning or end), both the lark and the dove are included, and – most unusual and possibly unique – is the Irish translation of Bobby Sands’s saying “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children”: Bainfear ár ndíoltas amach leis an gháire dár bpáistí. (And, as a super-extra bonus, the Irish has been – correctly – painted without tittles.)

“Derry remembers 1980-1981 hunger strikes. Rededication of mural 20th August 2011 on the 30th anniversary of Óglach Mickey Devine.”

Westland Street, Derry

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

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Copyright © 2012 Peter Moloney

The Very System That Drove Us To Our Deaths

“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.

Chemical Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

New Lodge Hunger Strikers

Here is a complete set of all 12 murals to the Troubles-era hunger strikers, two each on six of the New Lodge “houses” (tower blocks) from June and July of 2011. Some were shown in this 2002 post.

A map of the murals and houses is available at Extramural Activity.

Hughes: M06932A [M06932b] [M06932c] [M06932d]
Sands: M06933a [M06933b]
Devine: M06934a [M06934b] [M06934c]
Lynch: [M06935] M06935a [M06935b]
McElwee: M06936a [M06936b]
O’Hara: M06937 [M06937b] [M06937d] [M06937p]
McCreesh: M06938 [M06938b]
Gaughan: [M06939] M06939a [M06939b]
Stagg: M06940a [M06940b]
Hurson: M06941a [M06941b]
Doherty: M06942 [M06942b]
McDonnell: [M06943] [M06943b] M06944 [M06944b]

Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney