Donncha Mac Niallais

“Óglach, gaeilgeoir, gníomhaí, Cara. Ár mbuíochas leat. [Volunteer (in the IRA), Irish-speaker, activist, friend. Our thanks to you]” Mac Niallais was imprisoned in 1976 (Belfast Telegraph) and went on the blanket – here is his mother, Mary, protesting his treatment: Do You Care? Upon his release in 1986 he took up community work and political activism in Derry, including a prominent role the parade protests in the mid-90s (see No Sectarian Marches | No Consent No Parade). (Derry Journal) The mural is by local artist Razer (BelTel).

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Costs Are Rising. And So Must We!

“It’s not a cost of living crisis, it’s capitalism – Join the fight for a socialist republic.” Here are images of the Lasair Dhearg (web) “We Can’t Afford …” campaign in Derry’s Bogside. “We can’t afford … heat, electricity, to eat, a home.” “Ireland: 1.1 million living in poverty, 312,000 of them are children.” “Waiting on a home: 103,218; empty homes: 188,000”

For the same campaign in Belfast, see We Can’t Afford. Free Derry Corner has its own Visual History page.

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Every Child Needs Someone To Look Up To

This mural is alternatively entitled ‘Baby Jake’ after the nephew of its creator, artist RAZER (Fb) (Belfast Live). It was painted on a wall at the site of the old Gasyard for the 30th Gasyard Féile.

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Republican Prisoners Still Exist!

“Foremost in my tortured mind is the thought that there can never be peace in Ireland until the foreign, oppressive British presence is removed, leaving all the Irish people as a unit to control their own affairs and determine their own destinies as a sovereign people, free in mind and body, separate and distinct physically, culturally and economically.” The quote is from day one of Bobby Sands’s hunger strike diary (March 1st, 1981) and the photograph is a 2007 image of a cell in the H-4 (Irish Times).

“Maghaberry – Portlaoise – Hydebank. Republican prisoners still exist!” IRPWA (web) board on Divis St, Belfast, replacing the Sands & Hughes mural – see Cairde Agus Comrádaithe.

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Bill Of Shame

A rally against the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy And Reconciliation) Bill takes place later today, congregating at City Hall after marching from three locations around the city (the McGurks Bar memorial in north Belfast), Divis tower in west Belfast, and Cromac Square near the Markets. The Bill passed the House Of Commons in July despite criticism from all sides, including the DUP, Alliance, and the SDLP – Colm Eastwood called it “shameful” and a “whitewash” (Breaking News). One criticism of the bill is that the body it would establish (the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery) must not place at risk the national security of the UK, which is taken to mean protection for UK government officials (Irish Central). It is also thought not to be compliant with the Human Rights Act (ITV
| BelTel).

The rally is organised by the Time For Truth campaign (web).

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The Big Plastic Pledge

The Foyle Maritime Festival encourages people to pledge to reduce their use of plastics, so that the amount of plastic entering the seas and waterways is reduced. London-/Derry was host to the ships sailing in the Clipper 2022 Race in July and to accompany the festival, Derry City & Strabane Council had two murals painted by Peaball (ig) at Foyleview apartments. The Council had a competition to name the seal; the winner was “Ronan” or “Rónán” meaning “little seal” in Irish (ig video). The octopus does not appear to have a name.

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Defund The Police

These are new IRSP (web) boards along the Falls Road, opposite the leisure centre and below the IRA memorial garden, highlighting two of the organisation’s most pressing concerns: the PSNI and housing.

“The deadly web of corruption: Funding Scams, Sectarianism, MI5 Special Branch, Internment by Remand, Diplock Non-Jury Courts, Political Policing, Public Interest Immunity Certificates, Collusion/Coverups”,” “Defund – disarm – disband”

“Drop the rents – west Belfast demands affordable housing and an end to landlord exploitation.”

“96% of Divis residents do no support the PSNI” was seen previously – see For A Socialist Republic – and “Divis ’81” replaces the 40th anniversary hunger strike board.

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Kieran Abram

Here are two new boards in the fast-growing gallery on the Falls Road below the IRA memorial garden – with three more spots ‘reserved’ for Cogús and the IRSP.

The first is to Kieran Abram. In the early hours of July 5th, 1992, Kieran Abram was knocked to the ground and kicked to death by loyalists in running battles with nationalists on North Howard Street, near the old British Army sangar. Four people were convicted of manslaughter in the case (Judiciary NI).

The second is to PIRA volunteer Charlie Hughes, who was killed in 1971 in the feud with the OIRA. (For more, see The Struggle Continues.)

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Saoirse Go Deo

The 1918 ‘Representation Of The People’ act gave 8.4 million women in the United Kingdom the right to vote (WP). (For the two women on the left holding the ‘Votes For Women’ sign, see Women’s Hall And Cost-Price Restaurant.) In that same year, Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to Westminster and became Sinn Féin Minister For Labour in the first Dáil Éireann that was established as an alternative. Ten years earlier, she had co-founded Na Fianna Éireann with Bulmer Hobson. The names of Derry fianna are listed on the right. “Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.” (This board replaces the former Fianna mural that celebrated the centenary in 2009.)

To the left is a “Join RSYM” stencil with the names of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers; to the right is a picture of the memorial across the street to the dead of the 3rd battalion of the Doire Brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann.

“But while Ireland is not free I remain a rebel, unconverted and unconvertible. There is no word strong enough for it. I am pledged as a rebel to the one thing – a free and independent republic.”

“Ach a fhad is nach bhfuil Éire saor, seasfaidh mé an fód mar cheannairceach, gan géilleadh, gan athrú. Níl focal dá bhfuil atá chumhachtach go leor. Tá gealltanas tugtha agam mar cheannairceach, cuspóir amháin a chur i gcrích – poblacht shaor agus neamhspleach.”

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Tree For Unity

Here are two tree-plantings around Free Derry Corner. First (above) is the olive tree representing solidarity with Palestine. March 30th, 2022 was the 46th anniversary of Land Day, a day of general strikes and protests against an Israeli plan to confiscate about 5,000 acres of land in the Galilee, in order to settle Israelis there and alter the demographics in the area. In the rioting that broke out, six people were killed by IDF and police. (WP) “This olive tree was planted on the 30th March 2022 to commemorate Land Day in Palestine and the shared struggle between Ireland & Palestine” (Derry Journal report on the day’s events.)

Second (below) Crann Na Saoirse is a Sinn Féin initiative (tw | e.g. Fb) to plant trees that will “grow tall in a free United Ireland”.

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