Understand The Past

“Understand the past – and build a better future le chéile Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.” “The past” in this case is the Battle Of St Matthew’s (“Chath Naomh Máitiú”), one of the formative events of the Provisional IRA (“Óglaigh na hÉireann”) (WP). The “better future” is symbolised by the dove and the absence of a weapon in the arms of the central figures – compare to this Derry mural from 1985. The mural was unveiled as part of the commemorative events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Battle.

Mountpottinger Street, Belfast.

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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

The Republican People Of Greater Ballymurphy

“This monument was erected by the republican people of greater Ballymurphy in proud and loving memory of all those volunteers from the area who gave their lives in the fight for Irish freedom.” Volunteers McParland, Kane, Maguire, Meehan, Sloan, McCormick, Campbell, Magee, Dougal, McCrudden, Clarke, Parker, Quigleey, Mulholland, O’Rawe, McGartland, Mulvenna, Pettigrew, Bryson, Teer, Stone, McGrillen, Tolan, McWilliams, Delaney, O’Neill, Jordan, Doyle, McCracken, McGeown. “Unveiled by Gerry Adams 12th May 1985. I ndíl cuimhne i gcónaí ag na poblachtánaigh ón cheantar Barr Cluanaí. Also in memory of the civilians who died at the hands of the British Army, RUC, UDR, and loyalist extremists.” The launch date of 1985 refers to the plaque’s former location in Glenalina Road (seen in 2001 and 2002).

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Copyright © 2010 Peter Moloney

Micky Devine

“This memorial is dedicated to the memory of Volunteer Micky Devine, Irish National Liberation Army and H-Block martyr who gave his life on 20th August 1981. Also dedicated to his nine brave comrades. ‘Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community – the men of no property’ – Theobold Wolfe Tone” Brandywell Avenue, Derry.

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

The Lurgan Ambush

“Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann. Óglach Sean Burns, Óglach Gerva[i]se McKerr, Óglach Eugene Toman. “But they dared to hold their heads up high and never once did fail to declare their wish for freedom like true sons of the Gael” – The Lurgan Ambush (A poem by Ita Green)”. The IRA volunteers were three of the six people shot in Lurgan in three incidents in November and December of 1982: Seamus Grew, Roddy Carroll, Michael Tighe. The deaths of the six would be investigated by the Stalker Inquiry into the shoot-to-kill policy.

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

You Lost Your Lives But Will Never Die

The river Mourne flows through Strabane town, home to 20 IRA volunteers and Sinn Féin activists who died during the Troubles: Fian Tobias Molloy, Vol. Eugene Devlin, Vol. Seamus Harvey, Vol. Gerard McGlynn, Vol. Jim McGinn, Vol. Neil Lafferty, Vol. Patrick Cannon, Vol. Peter McElchar, Hugh Devine, Vol. Michael Devine, Vol. David Devine, Vol. Charles Breslin, Vol. Josie Connolly, Vol. Danny McCauley, Patrick Shanaghan, Vol Damian Brolloy, Jim McAleer, Ivan Barr, Charlie McHugh.

“You’ve come to know the winds that blow, the glory that surrounds you. You hills that flow from Knockavoe, to wrap their warmth around you; on Irish streets in August heat, thro’ dusky dark December, you lost your lives but will never die, as long as we remember.” The author of the poem is unknown. Fountain Street, Strabane.

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney