Kieran Nugent

The first blanket man, Kieran Nugent (obituary at An Phoblacht), is back in the first spot of the Divis Street wall, where he has resided, with brief interruptions, since 2005. Most recently, a board with the same image as this one was replaced by part of the 1916 centenary mural (see Young Ireland); before that, he was moved further down the wall to the hunger striker mural (along with Mairéad Farrell) to make way for a pro-Catalan mural.
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Use The Veto, Leo

“First round” Brexit negotiations between Europe and the UK required an agreement in principle on the land border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (a member of the EU). President of the European Council Donald Tusk went to Dublin at the beginning of December to declare that as a member Ireland (and prime minister Leo Varadkar) would have a veto over whether “sufficient progress” had been made (Irish Times), which the the Sinn Féin board above urged him to use. The DUP objected to any “special status/stádas speisialta” for NI, rejecting the wording proposed on December 4th. An agreement was reached on December 8th which would (somehow) both preserve Northern Ireland’s similarity to the rest of the UK without requiring a “hard border” with the Republic.
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Chuckle Babies/No Walls

The story of the lead image is told in the images below. First, Paul Doran and Mark Ervine paint a mural of two “Chuckle Babies” (images 2 and 3 – see also Mark’s baby for Hit The East) between Imagine and the Frederick Douglass mural with its recently Xed out Aung San Suu Kyi and obscured by the recently-painted lower gates of the “peace” line on Northumberland Street (image 4). Secondly, the mural is covered in French posters from the 1970s – which visitors were encouraged to sign and leave messages on – as “Act 1” of the No Walls project involving KRM (Cherif and Geza, a couple from France and Germany), Paul Doran, and Londoner John Costi, and which also included an exhibition in the Titanic museum (pdf of the full project). Some of the posters and writing were ripped off (to be used in Act 2) on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 (video at the Irish News) to reveal again the babies (final image).

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text: X04643 X04588 X04651  X04642 1000 words

A Taste Of Tradition

The Whiterock Flute Band was founded in 1962 by the the local Temperance Lodge and drew on areas near the now nationalist areas of New Barnsley, Moyard, Whiterock, and the upper Springfield for its membership. Over the years has seen the route of its annual parade changed “by the authorities or at the whim of nationalists” (band history pages one | two | three).
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text: X04645 X04644 lawnbrook road new barnsley moyard springmartin woodvale whiterock springfield highfield shankill

Courage Is The Foundation Of Integrity

“With courage and vision you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity. – Mark Twain.” This new board above the Red Hand Commando mural in Glenwood Street honours three UVF men who turned to politics and community work: Augustus (Gusty) Spence, who was among the earliest members of the UVF and after release in 1984 joined the PUP and set up the Shankill Activity Centre; David Ervine, also a UVF and PUP leader – see David Ervine and Memory Chair; Plum Smith, a founder member of the RHC and later shop steward and PUP leader –see RIP Plum Smith.
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Díchoilínigh D’Intinn

“Decolonise your mind” and “Give a yell!” (or “Let’s go!) (in Irish “Lig do Liú”) on the Falls Road at Waterford Street, west Belfast. Previously: Liú Lúnasa 2016.
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text: X04466 X04667 Falls Rd

Free The Innocent

The JFTC2 campaign (Justice for the Craigavon Two Fb | web) continues with this banner on Northumberland Street, demanding the release of John-Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville, convicted of killing of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll in 2009. Sponsored by Cogús.
Previously: 2014 murals in Ligoniel and New LodgeJFTC2 on the mountain | Justice in Hugo Street
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Join The IRNC

Here is another Irish Republican National Congress (Fb | webboard. Where the first (in Beechmount) featured a Maid Of Erin harp, this one features assault rifles and some nasty barbed wire.
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text: X04554 northumberland st

On The Other Side

The stained glass above depicts a scene from Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress, where Valiant-for-truth crosses over to his Father’s house. The glass was unveiled in 1922 in memory of “John Sinclair Martin of the 5th Royal Irish Rifles and his son Robert T Martin” (Beechgarave | History Hub Ulster).
Below is ‘Charity’ from the trio of ‘Faith, Hope, and Charity’ by Wilhelmina Geddes, unveiled 1914-02-08. 2016 saw the publication of a biography of Geddes (BelTelIrish Times).
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Shankill Fathers

Eight silhouetted men ride on an elephant while the faces of a dozen more Like Sure Start, the Great Shankill Fathers’ Forum is perhaps part of the Greater Shankill Partnership. It does not appear to have any independent on-line presence.
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text: X04631 Shankill Rd