Fáilte Go Dtí West Belfast

“Welcome to west Belfast”. West Belfast is portrayed as a place of music, sport, and dancing, whose landmark buildings and streets are under the watchful eye (and sword) of the goddess Ériu.

The image of the little boy with the “I [heart] Belfast” stickers and a bag of sweets, standing in the waste ground of Divis flats, is a photograph from the early days of Féile An Phobail/West Belfast Festival. 

On the Divis Street side, characters in the style of cartoonist Cormac (see e.g. Notes) are “Promoting west Belfast tourism” for “Fáilte Feirste Thiar”, “www.visitwestbelfast.com“. The attractions touted are: “Bop at the August “fleadh”. “Craic agus ceol” (for Robert Ballagh’s dove coming out of the concrete block, see Féile An Phobail 2008), “The only thing you have here is “choice”. Tar isteach agus (lig do scíth)”. “Bain sult as. Tá mé ag éisteacht le Raidió Fáilte 107.1 FM”, “For more ideas on things to do, visit Oifig Fáilte at An Chultúrlann. There’s really nice food there too! at Caife Feirste”, “If it’s history you want go on a cemetery tour “City or Milltown””, “Enjoy a walk on ‘Sliabh Dubh’ (The black … … mountain)”, “Make sure you visit the “Irish republican history museum” at Conway Mill” (with ‘Long Kesh University Of Freedom’ sweater; “Sinn Féin touts” is not a sweater but graffiti.)

Some in-progress shots from May and July can be seen at Extramural Activity.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Peace With Justice

The ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers were preceded in the 1970s by two prisoners who died in English prisons: Michael Gaughan (d. 1974 WP) and Frank Stagg (1976 WP). The larger of the two quotations here is from Stagg: I want my memorial to be peace with justice. The protesters on the left date back to a 1981 poster which was used on the first mural – for both, see I’ll Wear No Convict’s Uniform. The proclamation and the Tricolour lie on the grass.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Maghaberry Concentration Camp

“End forced strip searches, end internment [at] Maghaberry concentration camp”. Republican prisoners are held in the Roe House at Maghaberry. Several republican prisoners (as many as five) are conducting a “dirty protest” in response to conditions and treatment, including integration with loyalist prisoners (Irish Echo | BBC). The green ribbon as an emblem goes back to the campaign after the ceasefire to release POWs – here is a mural from 1995.

Divis Street, on the so-called “International” wall.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

St James’s Support The Hunger Strikers

This is a late-life shot of the mural at the corner of Hugo Street. There are now two windows in the mural, graffiti has been blacked out across the lower third, and the mural on the side wall (to the left of image) has gone completely.

You can track its history to this point by comparing this image with those from 2006 | 2002 | 2001.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

I’m Not A Criminal

“Vol. Kieran Nugent – the first blanketman. ‘I’m not a criminal – the Brits will have to nail prison clothes to my back.'”

This mural was originally launched in February surrounded by a selection of posters from the era (see The First Blanketman and for close-ups see the post at Extramural). These have all now been stripped away and the red background (which was present for the previous mural – see Ciarán Nugent) has been repainted.

Rockville Street, Belfast

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Uachtarán Na nDaoine

Sinn Féin hoardings in Andersonstown, first at the former Andersonstown RUC barracks supporting Martin McGuinness as Sinn Féin candidate for “The people’s president” and then two at Connolly House, again supporting McGuinness and announcing the (now passed) Sinn Féin Ard Fheis: i dtreo poblacht nua – towards a new republic.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Kieran Doherty TD

“Vol. Kieran Doherty, Óglaigh Na hÉireann, age 25, commenced his hunger strike on May 22 and tragically died on Sunday afternoon 2nd Aug 1981. Kieran was elected TD by the people of Cavan and Monaghan in their support of the prisoners’ campaign for political status.” “It is not those who inflict the most but those who endure the most who shall conquer in the end – this [paraphrase of 1920 hunger-striker Terence MacSwiney] was one of the last messages sent out of the H-Blocks by Vol Kieran Doherty TD.”

The mural on the stairs has been removed – compare with 2004, which also has close-ups.

This portrait and plaque to Doherty are at the bottom of Slemish Way at the junction with the Andersonstown Road; there is a memorial stone at the top of Slemish Way on Commedagh Drive.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney