Fáilte Feirste Thiar

“Welcome to West Belfast.” The sights of nationalist west Belfast are depicted in (part of) a new mural by Mickey Doherty and Marty Lyons on the side wall of the tourist office. From left to right: The (2015) Bobby Sands mural in Sevastopol Street, tourists at the IRA D Company memorial garden on the lower Falls, Conway Mill, Divis tower, RISE at the bottom of Broadway (better known as the “Balls on the Falls”), the Falls library, the “international wall” in 2012 (with marchers in support of a nondescript international cause, crocodiles for the Irish language, and gay rights), St Peter’s pro-cathedral, a black taxi, the Connolly statue outside Comhairle Phobail an bhFál, and the model for the new Casement Park stadium.
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Is Deontóir Mé/Yes I Donate

500 people took part in the 10K Na Ceathrún Gaeltachta/Gaeltacht Quarter 10K last Sunday to raise awareness for organ donation. Youngster Dáithí Mac Gabhann (Donate4Daithí Fbtw) has become the face of the Irish-language campaign; his Facebook site has a gallery of 300+ images from the race. The mural above is on the Whiterock Road. You can register as a donor with the NHS.
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Dumnie Pamiętane I Nigdy Nie Zapomniane

“Proudly remembered and never forgotten.” For Armistice Day, 2018 – the one hundredth anniversary of the end of WWI – the ‘Band Of Brothers’ mural, which celebrates the contribution of Polish airmen stationed in Northern Ireland to the Battle Of Britain in WWII, was partly covered over with a vertically aligned Polish flag, obscuring fire damage from August(?) seen in the third image. The wreath of poppies is in fact next to the Kitchener mural.
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Centuries Of Struggle

This is one of the stained glass windows inside the Felons’ Club on the Falls Road in Andersonstown, showing Irish revolutionaries from the 1798 Rebellion, through the Easter Rising and Civil War, to the recent “Troubles”.
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Cairde Agus Comrádaithe

“Friends and comrades” – IRA volunteers Brendan Hughes (“The Dark”) and Bobby Sands were leaders of the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes, respectively. Hughes survived when the first strike was called off after 53 days; Sands died in the ’81 strike after 66 days of fasting. “IRPWA” is the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association (Fb | tw); Saoradh (web | tw) is a hard-line left-wing republican party.
The mural to the left shows Palestinian double-amputee Saber Al-Ashkar, protesting as part of the Great March Of Return.
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The Fight For Rights

It’s still anybody’s guess as to how Brexit will happen in March, 2019. This week, the ball is in the court of the hard-Brexiteers as they decide whether or not to challenge Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservative Party. Political parties in Northern Ireland claim to be “fighting” for their side – such as this Sinn Féin board on Falls Road – but in practice this means only looking on with fascination and anxiety. “The fight for rights continues – 1968-2018. Don’t let the DUP/Tories take away your rights through Brexit.”
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From The River To The Sea

Saoradh’s (web | tw) support of Palestinian rights continues with its most ambitious mural to date. Previously: Resistance Is Not Terrorism | Ireland Stands With Palestine
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The Past And The Present

“Fáilte go Cnoc na Foinse – Welcome to Springhill.” There are a dozen new boards on either side of the Ballymurphy entrance to Springhill, highlighting positive aspects of the community, such as the work of Mother Teresa and four Missionary Sisters Of Charity from 1971-1973, the Upper Springfield Festival of 1973 (later revived in 1988 and years following as the Springhill Festival), Tara Stores and The Craft Centre, set up as a form of local enterprise in an area of mass unemployment, and the Springhill Community House, still in operation today but going back to Des Wilson and Noelle Ryan. There is no explicit mention of the 1972 Springhill-Westrock Massacre, though there is a picture of Fr Noel Fitzpatrick on the south side of the street, which will be featured in a separate post.

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If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be In Your Revolution

Communism and the Connolly Youth Movement (web | tw | Fb) compete with a Menagerie (front | side | car-park) flyer for the for the attention of young people in Divis Street, Belfast.
In her autobiography, Living My Life, Emma Goldman wrote, “At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face … he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. … I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. … If it meant that, I did not want it.” (p. 56)
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Mar Uachtarán

Voters in the Irish Republic go to the polls today (October 26th, 2018) to elect a president. Northerners cannot vote, though a referendum to allow residents of Northern Ireland to vote in presidential elections is expected in 2019 (BelTel). Nonetheless, these posters for Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada are at the Glen Road/Falls Road roundabout in west Belfast.
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