Cuchulainn, defender of Northern Ireland: “Here we stand, here we remain: we simply want to take our God-ordained place as indigenous Ulster people, understanding and living out our identity without shame, retaliation, or indignation against those who have caused harm to our past and tried to castrate our culture, our identity and our place on this island.”
A seven-year old Setanta become Cú Chulainn (Culann’s Hound) after killing the beast by driving a sliotar (the ball used in hurling) down its throat. “Mol na nóige [sic] agus tiocfaidh sí” [as written: praise the young and it will flourish]
The theme “Remember the fallen from war” is illustrated by a bombed-out Ballymacarret library on Templemore Avenue and St. Patrick’s church, which is just across the street from the mural, both of which were hit during the blitz in 1942, a police land rover, Cuchulainn, and (representing peace??) Stormont. We are supposed to remember the dead because (perhaps) their deaths were, while necessary, misguided as means to peace, at least according to the saying along the bottom (sometimes attributed to Einstein): “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” If you have a better interpretation, please leave a comment.
The mural was imitated on the hoarding around the Cultúrlann on the Falls Road during its renovation – see X01279.
Kevin Lynch captained the Derry Under-16 hurling team to an All-Ireland trophy (see X02866). The hurling half of the local Dungiven CLG was renamed in his honour after the INLA volunteer died after 71 days on hunger strike in 1981. “Misneach ‘s dilseach” [Courageous and loyal]. Lynch is shown here in a setting of ancient Ireland, reminiscent of Setanta/Cú Chulainn. Main Street, Dungiven.
Cú Chulainn stands dying, an inspiration to republicans fighting against the British (rather than Queen Medb), including those Lenadoon locals whose portraits adorn the apex: Tony Henderson, John Finucane, Tony Jordan, Brendan O’Callaghan, Joe McDonnell, Laura Crawford, Mairéad Farrell, Patricia Black, Bridie Quinn (Bridie O’Neill in the previous version of this mural). Repainted, with plaque on the right: “This mural, dedicated to the patriot dead of Lenadoon, was unveiled by Gerard O’Neill, Easter 2009.”
Updated version of the monument to West Tyrone Command (seen in 2005) – perhaps with new fencing. A modern volunteer stands on the left, Cú Chulainn on the right. “In proud memory of Vol. Charles Breslin age 20, Vol. Michael Devine age 22, Vol. David Devine age 16. West Tyrone command, Ógliagh na hÉireann. Killed by crown forces near this spot23 Feb. 1985.” The three were killed in an alleged shoot-to-kill incident. Obituaries in An Phoblacht. Fountain Street, Strabane.
These are close-ups of the IRA memorial in Derry’s City Cemetery (“Erected Easter 1975”, with the roll of honour extended around the base and then onto additional stones, and a plaque added in 1991 on the 75th anniversary of the second hunger strike and seen first in 1994). “Arna tógáil An Cháisc 1975, ag Briogáid Dhoire, Ógliagh na hÉireann in ómós agus i gcuimhne ár gcomrádaithe a rinne a ardíobairt go saortar ár dtír dhúchais.”