Catalonia 300

“Catalonia & Ireland – Soirse • Llibertat”. Centralised Spanish rule dates back to the Nueva Planta decrees (WP) made by Philip V (shown upside-down in the first zero) between 1707 and 1716. These formed a single Spanish nation and citizenry and ended various regional identities including Catalonian. Fahan Street, Derry.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

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Clonard Martyrs

“I gcuimhne na mairbh dílis” [“In memory of the faithful dead”] “Clonard martyrs C coy 2nd battalion Belfast Brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann roll of honour.” The right-hand plaque commemorates “civilians murdered by loyalists and British forces during the course of the conflict”. “I measc laochra na nGaedheal go raibh siad – go ndeana Dia trócaire ar a nanamacha”.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

The Graves Of Patriot Men And Women

From left to right, the three stones read “We remember all those who played a part in our struggle locally. No part was too great, and none was too small. ‘Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.’ Bobby Sands”, “In proud and loving memory of our dear friends and comrades Vol Sean Dolan, died Oct 1941; Vol Joe McGinley, died Aug 1943; Vol Jim O’Hagan, died 19th Aug 1971; Vol Kieran Fleming, died 2nd Dec 1984; Vol Danny Doherty, died 6th Dec 1984; Vol Gerard Logue, died 22nd Mar 1987. I measc laochra na nGael go raibh siad.”, “‘Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations’ Patrick Pearse.” This IRA memorial garden is between Rose and Mimosa courts, off Trench Road, Derry.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

Sean Martin

IRA Volunteer Sean Martin is at the centre of these panels in Beechfield Street, in the Short Strand, Belfast. The image in the apex of the house depicts his death in nearby Anderson Street (which no longer exists; roughly where Arran Street is). milltowncemetery.com (link now dead) reports that Sean Martin “was killed in April 1940 during a lecture on arms and a Millis hand grenade in a small terrace house in Anderson Street. In the course of the lecture Sean, who was giving the instruction, had dismantled the grenade, and was putting it together again. The detonator which he was using was thought to have been a dud one. In demonstrating how to throw the grenade, he pulled out the pin and released the lever. Hearing the hissing sound of the fuse he realised that the detonator was live and that the grenade was about to explode. He rushed to the window with the intention of throwing it out on to the street, but some children were playing outside. In the few seconds left to him, Sean had to make that terrible choice; shouting to the others to get out of the house – he pulled the grenade into himself with his two hands and leaned over the kitchen table with the grenade covered by his whole body. The device exploded and blew him right across the kitchen, killing him instantly. All the others escaped uninjured.” The Irish at the bottom reads “Grádh níos fearr ní raibh ag duine na a bheo a thabhairt ar son a chomrádaithe” – a translation of John 15:13.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

The Supreme Sacrifice

These are close-ups of the IRA memorial in Derry’s City Cemetery (“Erected Easter 1975”, with the roll of honour extended around the base and then onto additional stones, and a plaque added in 1991 on the 75th anniversary of the second hunger strike and seen first in 1994). “Arna tógáil An Cháisc 1975, ag Briogáid Dhoire, Ógliagh na hÉireann in ómós agus i gcuimhne ár gcomrádaithe a rinne a ardíobairt go saortar ár dtír dhúchais.”

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

Let Us Swear By Joe’s Martyred Blood

“This plaque commemorates IRA vol. Joe McDonnell who lived in this house prior to his capture on 14th Oct 1976. Joe later died at 5.11 am on 8th July 1981 after 61 days on hunger strike in the h blocks Long Kesh. ‘Let us swear by Joe’s martyred blood never to waver of fail til the true united Irish socialist republic stands forth before the nations, a testimony to the worthiness of our case.’ Óglach calma dobhirste. [A strong, unbreakable volunteer]” Lenadoon Avenue, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

An Stailc Ocrais

For the 25th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike [stailc ocrais], a prisoner reaches for a lark (the spirit of freedom) bathed in sunbeams like a beatific vision. “Go dtreoraí cuimhne bhur níobairtí agus íobairtí denár dtírghráthóirí náisiún beo bocht chun bua.” [“May the memory of your sacrifices and the sacrifices of our patriots guide a desperate nation to victory.”] The sentence is attributed to Bobby Sands but the source is unknown – please get in touch if you can place it. Andersonstown Road, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

Kieran Doherty

“I gcuimhne ar Vol. Kieran Doherty TD, [IRA] Briogáid Bhéal Feirste, 0f 54 Commedagh Drive, rugadh 16ú Deireadh Fómhair 1955, elected TD for Cavan/Monaghan 18th June 1981, a fuair bás 2ú Lúnasa 1981, after 73 days on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. ‘It is not those who can inflict the most, but those who can endure the most, who will conquer in the end.’ [Terence McSwiney]” The memorial stone is in Commedagh Drive, Belfast, just west of Doherty’s home.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney