What Would Socrates Do?

Holy Cross [Boys] Primary School [“HCPS”] distributes student into four “houses” within the school for motivational purposes but unlike the four houses of Hogwarts (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin) these are named for famous philosophers. Students in all seven years take one hour of philosophy a week – staff are trained by The Philosophy Foundation (HCPS Prospectus) – and they now have a mural just outside the school gates to encourage them in the four “R”s – “reflective, reasoned, responsive, re-evaluative”. The mural shows a student sitting in the pose of Auguste Rodin’s Le Penseur/The Thinker, bringing to mind sayings of the four philosophers: (from left to right) “Quality is not an act, it is a habit” – Aristotle; “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think” – Socrates; “He who knows only his own side knows little” – JS Mill; “Philosophy begins in wonder” – Plato.

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X08177 X08158 X08176 X08174 [X08173] X08178 X08175 Brookfield St Mickey Doc Marty Lyons “To find yourself, think for yourself.”

For A Socialist Republic

“Saoirse go deo.” INLA volunteer Kevin Lynch went on hunger strike 40 years ago yesterday, May 23rd, 1981. He would die 71 days later, on August 1st. His funeral is depicted above, part of a new IRSP/IRSM board commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strikes. The board is flanked by two other IRSP boards, one against the PSNI (“96% of Divis residents do not support the PSNI – defund, disarm, disband”) and one dedicated to founder Seamus Costello (“He was the only one who truly understood what James Connolly meant when he spoke of his vision of the freedom of the Irish people.” – Nora Connolly at Costello’s funeral)

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Staff Captain Joe McCann

Joe McCann was IRA/OIRA OC in the Markets area of Belfast. He was famously photographed among burning buildings in Inglis’s bakery, during protests against the introduction on internment, crouched beneath a Starry Plough and holding an M1. (For more, see Battle Of The Markets, which features the same photograph.) For McCann’s death the following year (on April 15th, 1972) see Joe McCann. This new board replaces a tarp in the same location: see On The Brink Of Sectarian Disaster.

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X08135 X08134 [X08136] Clondara St civil rights for everyone Liam mcmillen republican movement soldier of the people James Nora Connolly

Reclaim The City

“Land for people not for profit.” About 900 people have been living in the former Woodstock Hospital – renamed Cissie Gool House – in Cape Town, South Africa, since 2017, in an on-going dispute with the city over housing and redevelopment of the site. In the most recent twist in the long-running tale, the occupants, campaigning under the name “Reclaim The City”, won a court battle to ensure that a survey of the residents must be undertaken by their own attorneys; the survey is ostensibly for the purposes to determine their eligibility for re-housing but the activists say it is a first step to eviction. (See IOL one | two | three | four.) “CMYC [Clonard Monastery Youth Centre web | Fb] supports the city Cape Town and Cissie Gool house”.

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An Stailc Ocrais

On this today 40 years ago, Francis Hughes, the second of the 1981 hunger strikers, died after 59 days without food. The flag is flying over Groves Reilly Corner in CNR west Belfast.

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This Image Is Blessed

Faustina Kowalska was a Polish nun who claimed to have visions of a suffering Jesus from age 19 onwards, including one at age 26, of Jesus with red and white rays emanating from his heart and issuing instructions to have the vision painted – it appears here on the right. Kowalska died at age 33 in 1938, of tuberculosis, and was canonized in 2000 (WP). The “H Block Martyrs” pursued a vision of a United Ireland, and likewise died young, of starvation; this is the 40th anniversary of their deaths.

Both Kowalska placards are marked “This image is blessed. Please do not remove.” It is not clear if the hunger striker tarp on the left has also been anointed.

At Groves Reilly Corner.

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No Profit On Pandemic

A “European Citizens’ Initiative” allows for legislation to be put before the European Commission if one million signatures are collected supporting it (europa.eu). Signatures are being collected for a petition to ensure that EU-funded work on Covid-19 is shared worldwide by a group calling themselves “No Profit On Pandemic” and “Right2Cure” (web | tw). The mural takes the place of the vandalised George Floyd mural that was replaced with a place-holder reading “#BLM – back soon”.

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X08103 X07729 [X08104] X08102 Divis St

The Death of Sean McCartney

“History of the death of Sean McCartney. This memorial was placed here on Saturday 8th May 2021 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Vol Sean “Johnny” McCartney of no. 55 Norfolk Street, Falls Road, Belfast. Sean was a volunteer of “D” Company 1st battalion Belfast Brigade Oglaigh na hEireann, when he was killed in action, aged 23 years old. He died while on active service with the 3rd Northern Division, 3rd County Cavan Brigade flying column during the Irish Republican War of Independence. He was shot twice during an ambush and gun battle with the British Army RIC and Black and Tans on Sunday 8th May 1921 on Croghan Mountain at the Lappanbane stretch of the Lappanduff Mountain, Co. Cavan. His body was then mutilated by the Black and Tans. Sean’s body was kicked, stamped on, danced on and tied by the ankles and feet to a Crossley Tender military vehicle and dragged along mountain lanes in an attempt to instill fear in the local Co. Cavan community. The 32 county Irish republic based on the self determination of the Irish people which Sean and many others fought and died for has yet to be achieved. Sean will always be proudly remembered by his extended family circle in Ireland and Canada.” McCartney is buried in Milltown cemetery.

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X08113 falls road

The Centenary Of Oppression

‘Parliament Buildings’ were not opened until 1932 – 102 years after Stormont Castle and eleven years after partition and the formation of Northern Ireland – but it has largely taken over the meaning of “Stormont” and has become synonymous with the Northern Ireland government in all its forms over the century, a century of – as this Lasair Dhearg poster in CNR west Belfast has it – “pogroms, sectarianism, job discrimination, police brutality, imprisonment, collusion, housing discrimination, Orange supremacy, torture, internment, special powers, state sponsored death squads, language discrimination, gerrymandering, women’s rights denied, colonialism.”

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Love Your Neighbor

The water has turned into hand sanitiser outside St John’s Catholic church on the Falls Road, opposite the City Cemetery. Admission to services requires booking on-line in advance and wearing a face covering is “strongly recommended by Falls Pastoral Community”.

See also: Freedom Of Religion.

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