The Flight Of The Earls

In 1607 – “400 bliain” after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland – 50 years of newly-asserted English control, most recently at the hands of Charles Blount – who defeated the pair in the Nine Years’ War – and Arthur Chichester – who, as O’Donnell is shown reading, was “appointed Lord Deputy in Ireland” in 1605 – compelled Earls Hugh O’Neill of Tyrone and Rory O’Donnell of Tyrconnell to depart Ireland on a ship bound for Spain in order to petition for Spanish support in reclaiming the lands and status they were losing under English rule. They ended up in Rome instead and never returned, ending the period of Gaelic chiefs rule in Ireland and making way for the plantation of Ulster.

The pair of plaques on the left indicate that the mural was painted as part of the Re-Imaging Communities Programme’ (top) and launched by President Mary McAleese on June 19th (bottom). Even though the subject was historical, the state funding for the project required the removal of a sword from O’Neill’s right hand; he is shown instead clutching the collar of his cloak. For more on the re-imaging programme, see Visual History 10.

“Imeacht na nIarlaí. I ndiadh 400 bliain … that the eternal values of liberty and democracy have prevailed and the sons and daughters of the planter and the Gael have found a way to share the land of their birth and live together in peace.”

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

Sean Mac Diarmada

“Sean Mac Diarmada 1883-1916 a bhí ina chónaí i Sráid de Buitléir sa bhiain 1905.” [who was living in Butler Street in the year 1905]. Seán MacDiarmada was born in Leitrim, left for Glasgow at age 15, but after two years returned to Belfast in 1905 (working on the trams) and – according to the new mural above – spoke from the back of a coal lorry in Clonard Street, outside the Clonard branch of the Ancient Order Of Hibernians. MacDiarmada was for a short time an AOH member, before moving on to the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Irish Volunteers, which led to his participation in the 1916 Easter Rising and execution on May 12th of that year. Havana Way, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney

The Undauntable Thought

Michael Ferguson Sinn Féin MLA 25-10-53–25-9-06. Sean Keenan Sinn Féin 9-5-50–31-7-06. “It lights the dark of this prison cell/it thunders forth its might/it is the undauntable thought, my friend/the thought that says ‘I’m right'” – Bobby Sands”. Keenan was son of Derry republican Seán Keenan.

“Óglaigh na hÉireann. Óglach Patricia Black 28-11-71–15-11-91. Óglach Frankie Ryan 23-9-66–15-11-91. Beirigí bua.” The pair died near London when a bomb exploded prematurely.

On Pantridge Road, which runs into Michael Ferguson Roundabout at its eastern end. (See Teeling Family.)

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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.”

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

For Irish Freedom In The West Tyrone Area

“In proud and loving memory of all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom in the West Tyrone area”. “Go luí cré ársa Thír Eoghain go héadrom ar uigheanna ár laochrai uaisle.” [May the ancient Tyrone clay lie lightly on the graves of our noble warriors.] Michael Devine, Eugene Devlin, Gerald McGlynn, Danny McCauley, Jim McGinn, Peter McElchar, Jim McAleer, Seamus Harvey, Charles Breslin, Tobias Molloy, Neil Lafferty, Patrick Shanaghan, Patrick Cannon, Davide Devine, Joseph Connolly, Damian Brolly. For the actual headstone, in Strabane Cemetery, see Stabane’s Republican Graves.

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney

Stailc Ocrais

Twelve hunger strikers prior to the 1981 strike are included in this Shaws Road board: on the left: Thomas Ashe, Mountjoy 1917; Michael Fitzgerald, Cork 1920; Terence McSwiney, Brixton 1920; Joseph Murphy, Cork 1920; Joseph Witty, Curragh 1923; Denis Barry, Newbridge 1923; Andrew Sullivan, Newbridge 1923; Tony D’Arcy, Arbour Hill 1940; Jack McNeela, Arbour Hill 1940; Seán McCaughey, Portlaoise 1946; Michael Gaughan, Parkhurst 1974; plus on the right: Frank Stagg, Wakefield 1976.

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Copyright © 2008 Peter Moloney