Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

The city of (London)Derry takes its named from the Irish word “doire” meaning “oak wood” (and generically a “grove”) and the oak leaf is often used as a symbol of the city (here are 11 murals with oak leaves from the Peter Moloney Collection – Murals). In the mural above, in addition to the three leaves on the right-hand side, we also have some acorns.

The moniker “maiden city” is derived from the city’s resistance to sieges throughout its history, most famously in 1689 (again – a variety of images from Peter Moloney). The walls of the old city are shown above the river Foyle, with landmark buildings such as the Peace Bridge (see Waterside, Cityside, Quayside) behind them.

Mural by Inkie (ig) in Carlisle Road.

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Christmas In Prison

A crude engraving about the size of your hand found on the wall of the B-wing yard in Crumlin Road Gaol (now a tourist attraction and conference centre): a Celtic cross with knot-work and “Jim Keenan – Xmas 1942”.

Below is a picture of the gaol from September 15th, 1942, thirteen days after Tom Williams was hanged (see the plaque to his memory in Bombay Street).

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The Central Antrim Regiment

As this plaque in the Factory area of Larne indicates, the 2nd battalion of the Central Antrim regiment (of the Antrim division) of the Ulster Volunteers was drawn from Larne. Edward Carson reviewed the entire regiment at Drumalis in Larne on July 11th, 1914, (here is a postcard depicting the review) where he was presented with the colours of the 2nd from a Lady Smiley of First Larne Presbyterian. (The colours of the 1st and 2nd battalions are included below; the colours of the 3rd (Carrickfergus) Battalion can be seen at Sam’s Flags.) In the Royal Irish Rifles of WWI, Central Antrim became the 12th battalion (War Time Memories Project); its members included Larne man Rifleman Robert King.

“The Clydevalley flute band [Fb] proudly remembers all who served in the [Antrim Division,] Central Antrim Regt, 2nd Larne Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force. Lest we forget.”

The plaque is on the gun-running mural and next to a King Billy mural in Greenland Drive. Both murals were seen previously in 2016; see Amazing Night At Larne and Civil & Religious Liberty.

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No Island Is An Island

Two criticism of neoliberal globalism in Frederick Street, Derry: above, a rationale for the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “Fuck NATO – warmongers”; below, “Sinn Féin globalists” – criticism of Sinn Féin’s support of Ireland’s membership in the European community (which is possibly a critique from the far-right National Party (web), according to the Guardian).

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Men Are From Earth, Women Are From Earth

A draft of the up-coming decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn ‘Roe v. Wade’ was leaked by Politico magazine on Monday but this ‘Venus’ symbol for ‘female’ on Sliabh Dubh is a response to a decree by powers closer to home, namely the assertion by a west Belfast priest that Catholics should restrict themselves to Aontú or the DUP when choosing whom to vote for, because their platforms forbid abortion (Belfast Media | Sunday World).

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” is attributed to comedian George Carlin.

Previous uses of the ‘venus’ symbol: Abortion Rights Now | We Too Are Strong | Lenadoon Women In Struggle

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Lucky Fives

The slot machine last year came up with a 55 Scottish league title for Rangers and Rangers fans across Belfast celebrated with stickers and flags (Let Us Shout Joyfully | Order Restored | 55 | F*ck Your Ten In A Row | Blues Brothers | We’re Back | Legends Never Die) and also the stencilled electricity box from Berlin Street, west Belfast (above) and the furniture and barrel (below) from Sandy Row, south Belfast. This year is not looking so good, as they are six points down with three games to go (SkySports).

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It’s On!

Voters go to the polls today for the NI Assembly elections, with the potential for significant changes compared to previous years: a CNR party – Sinn Féin – is predicted to win the most seats and votes for the first time in the 100-year history of Northern Ireland (LucidTalk). Here is a third and final batch of electoral hoardings and placards (previously: What Did You Do In The Election? | Had Enough?). Above: SDLP hoping to “deliver” a Tiny Life “miracle baby”; second: UUP‘s “Northern Ireland deserves better” and Alliance‘s “Together we can”; third, (Lucozade,) SDLP “working” for west Belfast, IRSP “Demand better”, and Aontú “Life, unity, economic justice”. in CNR west Belfast; fourth, TUV‘s “Principle, integrity, strength”; fifth, the Socialist Party’s “We can’t live with capitalism” along with independent Elly Odhiambo (occasional columnist in Belfast Media publications) in south Belfast. Not included here are Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, the Green Party, the PUP and the DUP.

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At Home And Abroad

Two types of mourner at the grave of a fallen WWI soldier: on the left, comrades in arms; on the right, members of the family they left behind.

Work on the mural began in December, 2021, but progress seems to have stalled. One of the bayonets is in outline as is the giant poppy overheard. The effect is that the scene seems to be taking place under the stars.

Ashmore Street, Belfast

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Racism Energy

Here is a selection of graffiti art/wild-style writing from Belfast, including (above) “Racism is small dick energy” on the Cupar Way “peace” line and “Warehouse” in Warehouse Lane.

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The Cobwebs Of The Past

In his statement in response to the news of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (11 April, 1998), John Hume said, “This process is not about the victory or defeat of nationalism or unionism. It is about something much greater. Today, as Fergal Keane said in relation to South Africa, we can take collective breath and begin to blow away the cobwebs of the past. We can begin to break the bondage of fear which has so damaged our people and our country, difficult and demanding though this will be in the coming days and weeks.” (CAIN)

Commissioned by the Grand Central bar (Derry Journal) in Great James Street (whose side-wall the mural is on) and painted by Peaball (ig) an art group (including Donal O’Doherty, formerly of UVArts – Belfast Live).

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