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

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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

Conflict Or Compromise

Barbed wire divides the quadrants, with poppies providing an upper border and Ulster Banner and Union Flag below. In the top left is the A company mural from across the street. The bottom right reproduced (or at least is based on) an 1990s mural of the same name in Dover Place (lower Shankill) in Belfast. The other quadrants and centre contain images relating to the 36th (Ulster) Division and WWI. The two other images are from the low wall to the front right.

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Copyright © 2007 Peter Moloney

The Five Demands, 2006

A very different ‘Five Demands’ from Sinn Féin on the 25th anniversary of the hunger strike: “1. The Irish Government should produce a Green Paper on Irish Unity. 2. The work of the All Ireland Ministerial Council should be expanded and additional All Ireland Implementation Bodies created. Westminster MP’s elected in the 6 Counties should be accorded speaking rights in the Dail [sic]. 3. Voting rights for Presidential elections should be extended to citizens in the six counties. 5 The Irish Government should actively engage with the British Government and Unionism to promote and seek support for re-unification.”

The original ‘Five Demands’ are given as “1. The right to wear our own clothes. 2 The right to refrain from prison work. 3. The right to free association with fellow prisoners. 4. The right to organise recreation and leisure activity – with one letter, parcel and visit allowed per week. 5. To have remission lost, as a result of the blanket protest, restored.” For versions of the five demands from the period, see one | two | three.

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Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney

Twinbrook & Poleglass IRA

 

“This monument has been re-dedicated by the people of Twinbrook and Poleglass in honour of those volunteers of Óglaigh Na hÉireann who gave their lives for Irish freedom.” Gerard Fennell, John Rooney, Bobby Sands, Frankie Ryan. “Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann”. “[Like the lark,] I too have fought for my freedom not only in captivity [where I now languish] but also [while on the] outside where my country is held captive … I have the spirit of freedom that cannot be quenched.” (Bobby Sands, The Lark And The Freedom Fighter, 1979)

The final image is of the adjacent hunger strikers stone. It will later be moved and repositioned inside the (extended) fencing.

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Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney

Cumann Na Fuiseoige

Established in 2004, Cumann Na Fuiseoige (The Lark) is “ag soláthar spórt Ghaelaigh don phobal sa cheantar Coilin” [providing Gaelic games to the people in the Colin area]. The club is named after the image of the lark (and barbed wire) used by Bobby Sands in his 1979 article The Lark And The Freedom Fighter. The choice of emblem proved controversial – Slugger.

Previously: a fundraiser for the club.

Jasmine Corner, Belfast

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Copyright © 2006 Peter Moloney