McKelvey & Steele

This tarp, above the office of Sinn Féin Poblachtach and the Happy House on the Falls Road, celebrates two previous generations of IRA leadership. Joe McKelvey was commander of the Belfast Brigade of the IRA in the War Of Independence but against the Treaty; he was executed in December, 1922, for occupying the Four Courts in June (WP). Jimmy Steele was a leader in the Belfast IRA from the 1920s to 1960s and the first editor of Republican News; he died shortly after the split (WP).

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Be My Voice

Two cases are currently under deliberation concerning the establishment of abortion services in Northern Ireland after the vote in Westminster during the suspension of Stormont. One, heard in May, was taken by the NI Human Rights Commission in support of services (BBC), and the other, heard last week, was brought by SPUC (web) alleges that the NI Secretary lacks the authority to direct Stormont to establish services (BBC).

The pro-life stencil shown here is on the Antrim Road, below the Fortwilliam shops.

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From The Plough To The Stars

“A free Ireland will control its own destiny from the plough to the stars.” James Connolly explained the significance of “the plough in the stars” (Ursa Major) as a symbol of Irish revolutionary socialism. He and Seamus Costello, heroes of the IRSP (web) are painted on James Connolly house in Chamberlain Street, Derry. Also home to Teach Na Fáilte, the Republican Socialist Ex-Prisoners group.

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Perverting The Course Of Justice

Here is another set of images concerned with the on-going search for answers related to the death of teenager Noah Donohoe and to the PSNI inquiry into his death. It is now 67 weeks since Noah’s death and a new Facebook page has been set up to campaign for justice, and a petition to demand the resignation of Chief Constable Simon Byrne. These images are from the upper Falls and New Lodge areas of Belfast.

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X08466 X08548 [X08547] [X08546] [X08545] X08544 X08463

Serving Their Community Through Transport

“In memory of all taxi drivers – public and private – who were murdered by loyalists/British crown forces during the conflict serving their community through transport.” This is the side wall to a larger mural to black taxi drivers which has been in place since 2001, was repainted in 2011, and is again looking in rough shape.

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Genocide In Ireland

Photography was still in its infancy in 1850 and would not appear in newspapers until the 1880s (LoC). Instead, newspapers used illustrations to bring their stories to life. This board in Ard An Lao (Ardoyne/Bone) – “An Gorta Mór [The Great Hunger] 1845-1851 – The Great Irish Famine” – combines three of them to serve as a background for other images and information.

On the left is Family Being Evicted From Their Home In Rural Ireland.

At the centre is Searching For Potatoes In A Stubble Field from the Illustrated London News. ILN images are a staple of Belfast muraling on the Great Hunger: they were previously used in 1995 (An tOcras Mór in the New Lodge), 1999 (Ireland’s Holocaust on the Whiterock Rd), 2002 (An Gorta Mór in Ardoyne). (Here is a list, with links, of all of the illustrations of Ireland in ILN from the period 1845-1852.)

On the right is food arriving from the USA in the famine of 1879-1880.

See also The Mass Graves Of Ireland.

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More Blacks, More Gays, More Irish

The old shop-window sign of the Irish experience in England “No blacks, no Irish, [no dogs]” is repurposed and reclaimed positively by the RNU in the Colin area, with the rainbow flag, Irish tricolour, and Nelson Mandela (alongside James Connolly) below the skyline of Belfast. For the original, see previously Oppose Racism | No Dogs, No POWs

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Victory To The Republican Prisoners

Victory to the republican political prisoners from across the ages – “H-Block to Maghaberry” – but also from Ireland to Palestine.

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Lifford Remembers The Hunger Strikers

“Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann” [they died for Ireland’s freedom] Although it’s the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, this Lifford (Co. Donegal) board includes Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg who died in English prisons in the 1970s.

If you can explain the flag in the centre, please get in touch. The wide shot, below, includes a call to rally for 100% Redress, No Less.

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Unrepentant Republicans

These two new boards along the Falls Road were mounted by Belfast RNU (tw), commemorating the actions of Billy McKee, Alec Murphy, and Brendan Hughes in 1969 at the onset of the Troubles, and of Máire Drumm and “the brave women of Belfast who stood up against the might of the British” in bringing the Falls Curfew to an end. (This board was previously a mural on Divis Street.)

McKee and Hughes are profiled in a D Company mural in the number one spot of the International Wall. Murphy died in 2019 “unrepentant” of his republicanism (which was prompted by the Falls Curfew) and in particular his conviction along with Harry Maguire for the Corporal Killings (Irish News | BelTel). For a personal obituary, see The Pensive Quill.

For the plaque and board to the left of the wide shot below, see The Falls Road Massacre.

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X08366 X08364 [X08365] X08367 launched June 17, 2021