Bobby Sands Corner

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.

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Copyright © 2012 Peter Moloney

The Spirit Of Freedom

There are a couple of interesting elements in this 30th anniversary hunger strikers mural in the Bogside. The frame is formed by chains (as seen previously on the Bobby Sands mural in Belfast) rather than knot-work, the names of Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan are mixed into the list (rather than appearing together at the beginning or end), both the lark and the dove are included, and – most unusual and possibly unique – is the Irish translation of Bobby Sands’s saying “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children”: Bainfear ár ndíoltas amach leis an gháire dár bpáistí. (And, as a super-extra bonus, the Irish has been – correctly – painted without tittles.)

“Derry remembers 1980-1981 hunger strikes. Rededication of mural 20th August 2011 on the 30th anniversary of Óglach Mickey Devine.”

Westland Street, Derry

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

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Copyright © 2012 Peter Moloney

All Our Dead

In addition to three plaques, a wrought-iron head-piece, multiple flag-pole holders and railings fencing in a small area, this mural in Clós Ard An Lao/Ardilea Close in Ardoyne uses painted discs for each of the twelve hunger strikers (the ten in Long Kesh 1981 and two from the 70s in English prisons, Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg – the twelve also featured in Derry’s Spirit Of Freedom mural), rather than painting their likenesses directly onto the wall. The two quotes are from Bobby Sands “Let our revenge by the laughter of our children” and Michael Gaughan “Let there be no bitterness on my behalf to achieve a united Ireland”.

The items above the mural are new, compared to 2010. The plaque on the left is to people who died “in defence of the area” and on the right to those who died “of natural causes” who endured discrimination, hardship, suffering, imprisonment.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

A Four-Letter Word

Two sides of the same board, in the front yard of Connolly House (Sinn Féin headquarters on the Andersonstown Road). Top, “sometimes it takes a 4-letter word to be heard … vótáil Sinn Féin” with four moments of protest – votes for women, Civil Rights, Sands’s election, Sands. Bottom, 95th anniversary Easter Rising commemoration with (1981 hunger striker) Pat Sheehan as the main speaker.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

IRA Final Salute

“30th anniversary of the hunger strike. 5th May 1981. IRA final salute. IRA Vol. Bobby Sands, MP Fermanagh South Tyrone.” Gerry Adams watches on as a funeral volley is fired over Sands’s coffin. Whiterock Road, Belfast by Lucas Quigley. Also new is the plaque naming the wall as “Dorothy Maguire Corner”, after the 19-y-o shot in 1971, a member of Cumann Na mBan.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney