A mural from 1st Shankill Somme association (Fb) commemorating the Battle of the Somme, with soldiers running through no-man’s land and the Ulster Tower memorial. With support from the Govan Somme Association, Grapes Bar, Glasgow.
“Praise youth and it will respond – the laughter of our children – the joy of our hearts.” A young Bobby Sands is shown in the front right, part of the Stella Maris soccer squad for 1967; he would later “respond” by becoming an IRA volunteer and hunger striker.
The hunger strikers plaque was previously to the left of the (previous) mural; out of picture is another plaque, to the deceased from the “greater Newington area” – see Out Of The Ashes Of 1798.
Here are three republican boards, framed: on the left, “Belfast Brigade ONH”; above right, “Until all are free we are all imprisoned – support all republican POWs – RNU (Fb)/Cogús (Fb); below right, the deceased 1981 hunger strikers. The lettering on the left reads “Join the Republican Network For Unity”, and below everything there is a Bobby Sands quote: “We all know the reason that we are being tortured – because we are political dissidents, POWs, and we won’t bend the knee or conform” (from Thoughts From The Shadows).
“I measc laochra na nGael go raibh a n-ainmeacha … [twelve dead hunger strikers] … ‘Oh lonely winds that walk the night to haunt the sinners oul, pray pity me a wretched lad who never will grow old, pray pity those who lie in pain, the bondsman and the slave, and whisper sweet the breath of God upon my humble grave’ – Bobby Sands [Weeping Winds poem]. Erected by McCreesh–McCabe Cumann on 17th March 2002″
Bobby Sands grew up and went to school in Rathcoole but in 1972, when he was eighteen, the family home was attacked. They moved to Twinbrook, where Sands joined the IRA (Bobby Sands Trust | WP). A nearby installation on the footpath claims that Twinbrook is the “Home Of Bobby Sands“.
This mosaic is near the Twinbrook home, on the same wall that was the site of the Carol-Ann Kelly mural. Kelly was killed two weeks after Sands’s death.