Meon Na Saoirse

The 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes are both commemorated in this black flag with the lark in barbed wire representing the “Spirit of freedom”. Falls Road, Belfast

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

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Hunger Strikers Memorial

The hunger strikers memorial in Rossville Street, Derry, was launched in 2000. The central “H” carries the names of the ten deceased 1981 strikers, while the stones to either side carry the names of other republicans to have died on hunger strike: Thomas Ashe 1917, Michael Fitzgerald 1920, Joseph Murphy 1920, Terence McSwiney 1920, Joseph Whitty 1923, Denis Barry 1923, Andrew Sullivan 1923, Tony D’Aroy 1940, Jack McNeela 1940, Sean McCaughey 1946, Michael Gaughan 1974, Frank Stagg 1976.

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

Our Revenge Will Be The Laughter Of Our Children

The Sinn Féin offices and shop on the Falls Road at Sevastopol Street were torn down and rebuilt in 2000. A mural had been on the gable wall since 1982, initially advertising An Phoblacht/Republican News, and later included Bobby Sands. (1989 white | 1990 blue)

The mural on the new gable, shown above, removes the full An Phoblacht/Republican News masthead and instead includes the visual part of it (most prominent in the earliest mural An Phoblacht – Official Organ): the crest of 1798’s United Irishmen – “Equality” and “It is new strung and shall be heard” around a harp and the cap of liberty.

Otherwise the wall is devoted to “Irish republican, revolutionary, poet, Gaeligeoir, visionary” Bobby Sands/Roibeairt Ó Seachnasaigh, adding another famous saying of his, namely “our revenge will be the laughter of our children” alongside “everyone, republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play”.

The mural also adds a border of breaking chains (and a lark) and (not visible in the apex) a phoenix. The multi-coloured border is perhaps the most unusual element, working with the sky-blue background and Sands’s smiling face to give the mural a positive feel.

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

Our Revenge Will Be The Laughter Of Our Children

For the 20th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, this freestanding “H” was constructed along the Falls Road, Belfast. Across the centre bar are the words of Bobby Sands “our revenge will be the laughter of our children” and images of IRA (Tricolour) and youth (Sunburst) volunteers firing over a lark encircled in barbed wire.

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

Ten Hunger Strikers

The lower part of the long wall in Bishop Street, Derry, in 1988. From left to right: a funeral volley fired over a scroll (blank in the first shot, filled-in in the fifth; Cú Chulainn dying; portraits of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers; Bobby Sands’s “spirit of freedom” quote (shown in the final image) which concludes “I remain what I am – a political prisoner of war”; a celtic cross; “Free All POWs” (similar image to Racecourse Road); and a lark in barbed wire over a Tricolour.

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Copyright © 1998 Peter Moloney