Women have appeared in murals, graffiti, and memorials as volunteers (in CNR murals as members of Cumann na mBan and Cumann na gCailíní and in PUL murals only once, in a UVF mural), prisoners, hunger strikers, victims (of plastic bullets), activists, electoral candidates; as Prime Minister, Queen Of England, and the Empress Of India; as the virgin Mary, as angels ferrying the dying and dead, and as representing “Mother” Ireland and Northern Ireland and Britain.
- Loftus Mirrors: William III & Mother Ireland, 1990. (Reviewed by Fowler Oxford Art Journal, 1991, 14.2)
- Rolston “Women On The Walls”, Crime, Media, Culture, 2017/2018, 14.3
- Morgan & Fraser “Women and the Northern Ireland Conflict: Experiences and Responses” in Dunn, 1995. Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland
- Edgerton “Public Protest, Domestic Acquiescence: Women in Northern Ireland’ in Caught up in Conflict: Women’s Responses to Political Strife, 1986, Ridd and Calloway (eds)
- Buckley & Lonergan “Women and the Troubles, 1969–1980” in Terrorism in Ireland, 1983, Alexander & O’Day (eds)
- Herstory.ie photo essay
- Helen Cammock’s film The Long Note is on the role of Derry women in the civil rights movement
“Victory to our blanket-women” in Ballymurphy.
“We’re the fighters and we are strong. We are the 1st Batt. of the Cuman [sic] na gCailini [sic] girls!”
“We must grow tough but without ever losing our tenderness.”
An angel watches over the hunger strikers.
The virgin Mary shoots beams of light over the hunger strikers.
(1981 M00184 This image of male and female refusing prisoners is used throughout. See also 2010 M06289 | 2011 M07302 | 2011 M07524 | 2012 M08704)
Margaret Thatcher, UK prime minister, adversary of protesting prisoners.
Female members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Cumann na mBan, and the Southwest African People’s Organisation (from Namibia) drawn within the symbol for woman.
(1985 M00290 Also 1983 X05531)
Ireland as woman, reminiscent of Liberty leading the French revolutionaries.
“I have always believed we had a legitimate right to take up arms – Mairéad Farrell”, one of the Gibraltar 3.
(1988 M00591 See also 2001 M01455 | 2003 M01967 | plaque 2008 M04470 | 2008 M04584 | 25th anniversary 2013 X00979 | M09248 | M09378)
“Deserted – well, I can stand alone.” Farmer’s wife as symbol of Ulster at the time of Home Rule and WWI.
“For the revolution to triumph there mist be emancipation of women.”
“Stop strip searches.”
“How is freedom measured? By the effort which it costs to retain it.”
“Only our river runs free.”
(1990 M00929 Women with binlids are included as part of many murals. For just two examples, see below 1997 M01351, and 2011 M06733 | 2011 M03997 M07239)
“Women against oppression”
1991 “Where are women now” – a board for International Women’s Day, in Derry, possibly on FDC (see M00984)
1994 Spirit Of Freedom – two female pensioners remonstrating with a paratrooper.
Saoirse/Lark/Ribbon By Andrea Redmond
early/mid 1990s. “Ulster’s Finest.” Two female UVF volunteers carry Uzis. As far as we know, this is the only PUL mural showing armed females (S00007). The mural was plastered over in 1996 because the gable is next to Hollybank primary. Some of the pebbledash wore away in January/February of 2020 to reveal the mural – still in fair condition – beneath (X07740).
With the on-set of the ceasefire and the peace process, murals depicting women and their role in the struggle disappear (as do images of male volunteers, etc). This does not, however, mean the end of women in CNR murals. As with males in murals, the depictions become ‘historical’ (and, as a subset, ‘memorial’), of women who have fought for the nationalist cause across time, such as Bernadette Devlin, Winifred Carney, Mary Ann McCracken, Countess Markievicz, and Mairéad Farrell.
“Bernadette” (Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) by the Bogside Artists.
Miriam Daly was a leader in the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), the political wing of the INLA.
(2001 dating to 1996 M01453 See also M02739 | M04022 | M05146 | Socialist Hero M05274)
Two Cumann na mBan murals side-by-side in Hawthorn Street, the one on the left celebrating Winifred Carney (from Belfast) and Nora Connolly (living in Belfast) at the time of the 1916 Rising.
(2001 dating to 1996 M01452)
(For more Winifred Carney see, ITGWU (2007 M03822) | appears in Oceanic mural M05066 | Antrim Road renamed “Winifred Carney Street” (2012 X01663) | appears in ICTU 2013 X01369 | ITGWU Workers’ Day (2015 X02574) | Carney & Casement (2016 M13170) | appears in (2016 X03471) | appears prominently in 2016 X03694 “armed with a typewriter and a Webley” (according to her WP page) shown typing up communications by candlelight in the GPO.)
(2001 dating to 1996 M01451)
Roisin McAliskey (daughter of Bernadette) was arrested in 1996 in connection with a mortar attack on a British Army base in Germany and held in Holloway prison (London) until March 1998.
(1997 M01337 See also M01314 | M01723)
“Interned without charge – Free Róisín and her baby” for International Women’s Day 1997
Mary Ann McCracken was an abolitionist and social reformer. Brother Henry Joy led the Antrim uprising of the United Irishmen in 1798 and was executed for it.
(1997 M01348 See also her “blue plaque” 2010 M05655. She is included as a minor figure in other murals, such as the Frederick Douglass mural in Northumberland St.)
Mairéad Farrell, Margaret Thatcher (“Wanted”), and women from a Relatives Action Committee dressed in blankets – for the classic photographs of such, see Do You Care?. See also 2012 M08649 for inclusion in a Dungiven mural.
Irish dancer as symbol of Gaelic culture. “Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí” = “Encourage youth and it will flourish”
200th anniversary of the 1798 rebellion, by Andrea Redmond.
(2004 dating to 1998 M02254)
Heroine Of 98 (Betsy Gray)
(1995 J0657 S00081)
UN Day For The Eradication Of Poverty, by Andrea Redmond
Countess Constance Markievicz
Who Killed Rosemary Nelson?
20th anniversary of the first hunger strike, in Long Kesh and Armagh Women’s Gaol.
(2001 dating to 2000 M01458)
“Diana Queen Of Hearts”
Women Through The Century
“The Death Of Innocence” by the Bogside Artists – Annette McGavigan was 11 when she was shot.
Nora McCabe, plastic bullet victim, with plaque
Countess Markievicz outside the GPO in 1916.
(2005 dating to 2001 M02271)
Carol Ann Kelly, killed by a plastic bullet, by Andrea Redmond
Generic female volunteer with historical predecessors.
Anne Parker (Glenalina 5)
Ballymurphy Cumann na mBan. Anti-clockwise, they are Maura Meehan, Anne Marie Pettigrew, Dorothy Maguire, Eileen Mackin, Catherine (Cathy) McGartland, Anne Parker. (All but Mackin are included in the Greater Ballymurphy plaque.)
Máire Drumm, Mairéad Farrell, binlid bashers, unknown girl, with Countess Markievicz in the centre.
“Forward to freedom” – generic female volunteer.
A number of murals were painted to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 50th anniversary of accession (1952) and coronation (1953)
Sinn Féin candidate Bairbre De Brún
(2004 M02242 See also M04916 on a bonfire! | M05159.
Martina Anderson 2011 M06597 | 2013 M09945 | 2014 M10926.
Mary Lou McDonald 2011 M06720 | 2012 M07979.
McDonald & Michelle O’Neill 2016 M13182)
A century of women’s work, from child-care and hand-wringing the washing in 1904 to using computers and graduating from university in 2004.(2005 dating to 2004 M02356)
For International Women’s Day in 2004, a modified version of Jim Fitzpatrick’s iconic Che Guevara print was turned into “Cher” Guevara, with the slogan “Yes, you can try this at home.”
“How is freedom measured”
Annie Blair resident of Cluan Place, which is divided from the Short Strand be a “peace” line.
Britannia, symbol of the British empire.
Palestine – Ireland
The image of a PUL woman defending the farm while her husband is off at war (see above in ‘How Is Freedom Measured’ and ‘Deserted! Well I can stand alone’) is augmented with a post-partition scene in which she – now masked – “guards her husband against sectarian attack from across the border”.
Falls Curfew plaque
Celtic heroine with wolves
(2006 dating to much earlier M03195)
Sinn Féin’s Máire Drumm giving the Wolfe Tone address at Bodenstown
“Vote Peggy O’Hara”
(2007 M03407 | M03411 | M03413)
Kate Nash, brother of one of the Bloody Sunday victims and campaigner
Máire Drumm plaque
“Women unfree will never be at peace” graffiti, with “Fuck up and make the tea” retort.
Cúchulain [sic] & Queen Maeve
A youthful Queen Elizabeth II in the Village (south Belfast).
(2012 dating to 2007 X00613)
Vol. Rosemary Bleakley
(2008 M02409 M04403)
Workers in Ross’s linen mill
(2009 M04760 | 2012 M08902)
We Too Are Strong
Women On The Shankill
Lenadoon Women In Struggle
Countess Constance Markievicz as founder of Fianna Éireann
Maureen Sheehan Centre
Women Of Inspiration (St James’s)
Women Too, by Joanne Vance
Sandy Row Womans Group
Angel On WWI Battlefield
Armagh Hunger Strike/Relatives’ Action Committee
Roll Of Honour
Red Hand Of Ulster Pop Stars
Women Through The Ages
International Women’s Day 2011
Women Munitions Workers
Free Marian Price
(2011-2013 M06846 | M06946 | M06947 | M06949 | M07287 | M07507 | M07637 M07685 M07687 | M07689 | M07919 | M07921 | M07988 | M08077 Whiterock Rd | M08197 | M08261 | M08332 | M08345 | M08361 | M08461 | M08492 | M08511 | M08599 | M08600 | M08786 | M08831 on a bonfire! | M08890 | M08907 | M09249 Int Wall | M09398 | M09415 | M09419 | M09420 | M09548 | M09985 | M10009 | M10016 | M10057 | M10059 | M10231 | M10296 | M10933 | M10961 |
Added to murals M08276 | M08275 | M08273 | M08277 | M08279 | M08281 | M08284 | M08286 | M08288 | M08290 )
UDR Carrick plaque
(2013 M09639 M10770)
Dorothy Maguire Corner
Men And Women Of Willowfield
Frederick Douglass (incl. Angela Davis, Rosa Parks, Rosie The Riveter)
Banquet by Rita Duffy, depicting women from the Shankill Women’s Centre in clothing from suffragettes to the present. The piece was originally on Argyle Street, just off the Shankill, before being moved to the Cupar Way “peace” line to be covered in tourists’ signatures.
(2012 dating to 2011 in Argyle Street X00644)
Goretti McDonnell at the funeral of husband (and hunger striker) Joe
2012 International Women’s Day
Mary Austin, Kathleen Clarke, Annie McWilliams
(2012 M07995 – individually M08048 M08049 M08050)
Margaret McAnaney tombstone
Susan Morrison tombstone
South Down Roll Of Honour
James & Nora Connolly
Political Status Now!
RIP Dolours Price
2013 International Women’s Day
(2013 X01133 M09216)
Eileen Hickey (includes woman banging binlid)
Cahoon/Beattie/Rice Ard An Lao
2013 Avondale House
Stop Domestic, Sexual & State Violence
Christie Beattie plaque
Safety Pin & Easter Lily
Suffragettes (Donegall bridge)
Flax Flowers by Deirdre Robb
2014 International Women’s Day
Cumann na mBan 100
Mary McConville SF
Theresa Villiers Ballymurphy Massacre Inquiry
Maya Angelou (Say No To Racism)
Orangefield Men And Women
Derry Women Made More Than Shirts
Kathleen Thompson (Oak tree glass)
Women Of The Struggle
Mna Na hÉireann
To All The Women Of The Shankill
Women’s Voices Matter
C na mB/Éire (GPO 1916)
Peggy O’Hara (mother of Patsy) & Margaret Devine (sister of Michael)
Mná na hÉireann (Rockmount)
Corr sisters, Farrell, anonymous volunteers (Unbowed, Unbroken)
Dr Anne For Derry
Heating Empty Barns (Arlene Foster DUP)
Michelle And Arlene Holiday Special
Anonymous memorial plaques
Newry Socialists (2012 M08519)
Belfast Brigade (2012 M08552)
Beechmount garden (2008 M04426)
Falls Memorial Garden (M08851 | M08854 binlids)
Turf Lodge Memorial Garden (M08909)