James Connolly was concerned not just with the political independence of Ireland but its economic independence: both political and economic liberty were required in order for the human being to live freely. The quote in the image above comes from Connolly’s 1897 essay “Socialism & Nationalism”. The economic context is clear when we read a little more broadly:
“To the tenant farmer, ground between landlordism on the one hand and American competition on the other, as between the upper and the nether millstone; to the wage-workers in the towns, suffering from the exactions of the slave-driving capitalist to the agricultural labourer, toiling away his life for a wage barely sufficient to keep body and soul together; in fact to every one of the toiling millions upon whose misery the outwardly-splendid fabric of our modern civilisation is reared, the Irish Republic might be made a word to conjure with – a rallying point for the disaffected, a haven for the oppressed, a point of departure for the Socialist, enthusiastic in the cause of human freedom.” (marxists.org)
The St. John Vianney youth club board in Cooke Street has been replaced with a mural. The elements are the same – the ‘success’ key still unlocks the world in the palm of a hand and the message is “Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?” – but the colour-scheme is now various pinks.
The Bobby Sands mural in Sevastopol Street has been given a facelift, including the blocking-up of a vent on Sands’s left cheek. Kieran Doherty and Joe McDonnell have been added in place of the medallions on each side. On the side-wall and … Continue reading →
The mural of Padraig Pearse’s famous quote (“The fools, the fools …”) at the east end of Brompton Park has been replaced by the stencils above and below from the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (irpwa.com): “Oppose the isolation of Republican prisoners!” and “Stop strip searches!”. The final image is an older but similar stencil from the top of the Whiterock Road.
Here are two final images from the south side of the Donegall Road bridge over the Victoria Street line, one about Titanic and the other about locals awarded the MBE. “I was in Lifeboat 13. I always remember that. My … Continue reading →
“The scars on this stone were caused in the German air raids of the second world war. Despite severe damage to the building, the Belfast Telegraph was published without interruption.” The masonry above forms part of what was the old front door of the offices, at the corner of Royal Avenue and Library Street.
The life of a child in the New Lodge of the 1900s was one of poverty, disease, mill work, and being displaced by German bombers in 1941, with only a lamppost swing and marbles for relief. (It was also in black-and-white.) The struggle for young people’s rights “to be loved, to family life, to freedom of expression, to life, to your own beliefs, not to be bullied, to be safe from war, to privacy, to play, to be happy” continues in the panels on the right-hand side.