National Republican Easter Commemoration

Republican political party Saoradh (web | fb) are organising a ‘National Republican Easter Commemoration’ on the Saturday before Easter Sunday (which is April 1st, this year). The parade is expected to be led by a colour party and marchers in combat gear (Irish NewsBelTel).
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St Joseph’s

Here are three stained glass windows from St Joseph’s in Sailortown. The designer of the glass is unknown – please get in touch if you know. The church was built in 1880 and has been idle since 2001; both the exterior (which we profiled in November 2017) and interior are in need of restoration. A plan exists to turn the building into a heritage centre (BMG).
For more church glass, see Townsend Street Presbyterian.
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Equality Can’t Wait

2017 update on the 2016 #BuildHomesNow stencil in the New Lodge from the PPRProject, detailing the shortage of housing. “Waiting for a home: 2458. Homes built: 112”.
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Join Today

This Ardoyne hoarding for Saoradh the “revolutionary republican party ” (web | fb), uses a pike (for 1798 Rebellion), the Sunburst (traditionally used by Fianna Éireann), and the Starry Plough (from the Irish Citizen Army of the Easter Rising). Cut off at the top is a red star of socialism.
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The Wreckage

In the blitz of Easter Tuesday, 1941, more than 900 people died, 1,500 were injured, and half the houses in Belfast were damaged (WP). According to Elaine Hogg’s research in the ‘Darker Side Of Belfast’ series, 100,000 people left the city in the remainder of the month, due to shock, fear, and the squalid conditions and unruly behaviour that followed the bombing.
For close-ups of the left-hand side and the middle of this mural see York Road Civil Defence Hall and Anti-Aircraft Guns.
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Anti-Aircraft Guns

In 1940, Belfast was protected by thirty-eight anti-aircraft guns. The German Luftwaffe flew a reconnaissance flight over Belfast on November 30th, 1940 and a test mission of eight planes on April 7th, 1941 concluded that Belfast’s defences were, “inferior in quality, scanty and insufficient” (Elaine Hogg/Glenravel History). 150 bombers would blitz Belfast the following week, on Easter Tuesday, April 15th, and the seven guns that had been in operation ceased firing, believing, falsely, that RAF planes were also in the sky (WP). This is the second image from a mural in St Aubyn Street; the first was on the Civil Defence Hall there.
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York Road Civil Defence Hall

As mentioned in a recent post about Dalaradia, the HUBB community centre (web | Fb) in north Belfast has, since 2010, been based in what used to be a World War II Civil Defence air-raid shelter, which it cleaned and renovated (Tele). The original hall is depicted in this mural on the side of the HUBB. Belfast was bombed by the Germans four times in April and May of 1941.
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Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff

“Don’t huff, don’t puff – stay away from that stuff.” The three little piggies give the big bad wolf some grief for his “dope” habit. The message is directed at the kids in the Fortwilliam Youth Centre in Mount Vernon. “You only live once.”
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Kingdom Of Dalaradia

The HUBB community centre is host to a number of social groups, including those represented in the mosaic above: the Old Comrades group, the Seaview chapter of the Royal British Legion, North Shore and Ladies Somme memorial groups, a spotlight (perhaps in connection with the Civil Defence bowling club? – the HUBB is in what used to be a civil defence building), and the Kingdom of Dalaradia society. According to the eponymous web site, Dalaradia was “was a kingdom of the Cruthin in the north-east of Ireland and parts of Scotland in the first millennium.” Hence, perhaps, the red hand of Ulster and the Scottish thistle.
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Benny’s

Benny’s Café was opened after the Ship Bar – run by Benny Coyle – was blown up in 1972 by a loyalist car bomb, killing two children, Clare Hughes and Paula Strong. (A memorial plaque is on the front of St Joseph’s.) Benny’s is the last remaining business in Short Street in Sailortown (BBC-NI).
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