The Last Post

One female and one male volunteer stand with bowed heads in the Republican memorial garden in Beechmount Avenue.
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text: X04022 X04023

Campaign For Truth

The McGurk’s Bar bombing of December, 1971 killed fifteen people – the most in a single incident during the troubles – capping what had already been a bloody year, including the “Ballymurphy Massacre” of July, in which 11 died, and starting another round of killings that would spread into the new year. Campaigners for an inquiry were busy this week in both Dublin and Belfast (Irish News).
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text: X02893 “At 8:47 pm on saturday december 1971 a no-warning bomb planted by british terrorists exploded on the doorstep of family-run mcgurk’s bar. fifteen innocent men women and children perished. those who were not crushed or slowly asphyxiated by masonry where horrifically burned to death when shattered gas mains burst into flames beneath the rubble. nearly the same again were dragged from the debris alive. in the aftermath of the atrocity the british and unionist governments RUC police force and military disseminated disinformation bomb was in-transit civilians guilty by association if not complicit in this act of terrorism despite a mountain of forensic evidence witness statement escaped into the night for 40 years since campaigned constitutionally and with great dignity themcgurksbarmassacre.com”

The Truth Will Out

Calls for “truth” and “justice” concerning the killing in August, 1971, of 11 people from Ballymurphy, by the 1st Parachute Regiment during Operation Demetrius, the beginning of internment.
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text: X02903 beechmount ave

“11 people in west Belfast from the Greater Ballymurphy neighbourhood were murdered by the British Army as internment without trial was violently carried out on August 9th, 1971. Proper police investigations were never undertaken and one has served a day in prison for causing these deaths. The familys of those murdered deserve and demand the truth be told by the state about its policies and actions of those who carried them out.”

Unsung Heroes

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“In memory of the all the unsung heroes off [sic] this area who’s [sic] hardship, sacrifice and support during this struggle for Irish freedom will never be forgotten by the Belfast Brigade óglaigh na h-éireann.” The plaque depicts the work of print-makers (“Smash H-Block Armagh”), marchers carrying portraits of hunger strikers (“Mid Falls supports the women of Armagh”), bin-lid rattlers, and muralists (the mural shown is Free Ireland, which was at the bottom of Beechmount Avenue).
Previous work from Hugh Clawson: The Lark And The Bin Lid | Conway Mill
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text: X04026 X04025

Hearts & Minds

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“This police force is after your hearts and minds. The true face of this force: harrasses [sic] and stalks Republicans and their families; works hand in glove withe MI5, NCA and British Army; uses informers to spy and up ‘Persons of Interest’; gives immunity to criminals in return for information. From RUC to PSNI – unchanged, unchanging, unchangeable.” IRSP poster in Oakman Street.
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text: X04018

The Lark And The Bin Lid

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Two metalworks by sculptor and painter Hugh Clawson (whose name can be seen on the bars in the upper image) featuring the lark as the ‘spirit of freedom’ (from The Lark And The Freedom Fighter). In the image above, the lark breaks through the bars of a prison cell, and in the image below, it flies in front of an “H” made of bricks, carrying a bin lid. (For a lark carrying a rifle, see Lark Of War and Armed Resistance.)
“In memory of all Irish martyrs who have died on hunger strike in the fight for Irish freedom. Their inspiration and courage will always be remembered by the republican movement and republican family (mid Falls).”
Previously by Clawson: painting inside Conway Mill.
Previously from the Beechmount memorial garden: The Dying Volunteer.
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text: X04020 X04021 Beechmount Ave the supreme sacrifice

The Truth Costs Nothing

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The British soldiers on the right of the board above are given red berets to indicate the Paratroop Regiment, which was the regiment involved in Derry’s Bloody Sunday.
“Springhill–Westrock massacre. Belfast’s Bloody Sunday. Time for truth! On the 9th July 1972 a team of British Army snipers took up firing positions in Corry’s timber yard overlooking the nationalist Springhill/Westrock estates. Within less than an hour five civilians lay dead and two critically wounded. Among the dead were three teenagers, a father of six and a priest on his way to administer the last rites to the dead and injured. There has never been a proper police investigation, and not one solider has spent a single day in prison in connection with their deaths. The families deserve, and demand the comprehensive facts be told by the British establishment. The truth costs nothing.”
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text: X02901 Beechmount Ave

Hasta La Victoria Siempre

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“¡Hasta la victoria siempre!” (“Ever onward to victory!”) was a saying of Che Guevara’s. It is used in this mural as a valediction to Che comrade and long-time Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died at the end of November (2016). The portrait of Castro is perhaps this Korda image of Castro entering Havana after the deposition of Batista in 1959.
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text: X03998 Beechmount Ave

Life Springs From Death

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The new replacement board commemorating the Gibraltar 3 (Mairéad Farrell, Dan McCann and Seán Savage “executed by British crown forces 6th March 1988) uses words from Pearse’s oration at the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa. Not the more common “the fools, the fools …” but “Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations” (used previously in Strabane in 1990 – M00860). The board is “dedicated to the memory of Thomas and Edith Haddock”.
Here is the previous board. The border in the image above is from the board before that, which is shown below (M01455).
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text: X03944 Hawthorn St
m01455

History Is Written By The Winners

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Queen’s University lecturer in economic history Miriam Daly took over as chairwoman of the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party) after founder Seamus Costello was killed in a feud with the IRA. Daly was shot dead in 1980 by the UDA/UFF in her Andersonstown home in 1980. (Interview with husband Jim Daly.)
A long-standing and much-graffitied 1996 mural, History Is Written By The Winner (painted by son Donal Daly among others) was replaced in 2014 by a Joey Ramone mural for a U2 video competition (Murals Of Innocence). The new board shown in today’s images was launched yesterday (Sunday 2016-12-04) to a crowd of about 200. As the final image shows, the PSNI were also “in attendance”.
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text: X03961 X03959 X03958