Godfather Of Legal Betting

“Clark Groves was born on the 14th May 1889. A naval officer, in WW1, he fought at the Battle of Jutland. After the war he worked as a fitter in Harland & Wolff before using his de-mob money to establish a bookmaking business here in 14 Manderson Street (since demolished), at the back of the Old Clock Bar. The bookie’s ‘Pitch’ was very like the ones seen in the TV series ‘Peaky Blinders!’ At this time, running a betting business was illegal. Clark, and a number of other bookmakers, founded the Turf Guardians Association and led a successful campaign to have their businesses legalised. Years later, a local bookie told Clark’s grandson that he and his colleagues owed their livelihoods to ‘Old Godfathers’ like Clark. Clark was a generous, popular man. He helped out many local people over the years, lending money for funerals, weddings and education costs. It’s said that he ‘married and buried them on the Newtownards Road!’ He died on 28th May 1957, just two weeks after his 68th birthday. His funeral was the biggest seen before or since in the area. The trolley buses to Dundonald Cemetery were full of people and those who couldn’t get on walked the length of Newtownards Road to be there. A measure of the man for sure. Clark Groves was the annual summer football tournament that was played at ‘The Hen Run,’ the home of Dundela FC. It was known as the Clark Groves Cup. – Stephen Beggs”

Connswater Street, Belfast

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X07829 X07830 heritage fund unsung people who built community in east belfast eastside partnership

Possessed

“‘Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan’ – Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican”. According to Wikipedia, Amorth performed “tens of thousands” of exorcisms during his lifetime, though notes that people can be possessed by more than one demon at a time, which inflates the numbers. His favorite film, naturally enough, was The Exorcist. (WP)

Previous calls to prayer in west Belfast during the year of the coronavirus: Rediscover The Power Of The Rosary | Prayer In The Time Of Coronavirus.

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Follow Your Heart

Hearts are painted on the ground outside Seaview Primary School, 2 metres apart, so that children can maintain physical distance from one another when lining up.

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Our Nation As A Whole

Mairéad Farrell (on the right of the image above) was arrested for planting a bomb at a hotel in Dunmurry in April 1976, one month after Special Category Status for republican prisoners had been revoked. Kieran Nugent (on the left) began the “blanket” protest in September that year and Farrell was the first person to join the protest, when she arrived in Armagh women’s prison to begin her fourteen year sentence. She later took up a dirty protest and joined the 1980 hunger strike. She stood for election in 1981 (in Cork), but, unlike “Óglach Bobby Sands, MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone”, was not successful. (WP)

“I am oppressed as a woman and I am oppressed as an Irish person. Everyone in this country is oppressed and yet we can only end our oppression as women if we end the oppression of our nation as a whole.” Máiread [sic] Farrell

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X07823 Ardilea “They may hold our bodies in the most inhumane condition – But while our minds remain free our victory is assured.” Óglach Bobby Sands, MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, died on the 5th of May 1981 after 66 days on Hunger Strike.

Arlene Must Go

Brexit has happened and people, particularly hauliers and smaller retailers, are having trouble adjusting to the fact that Northern Ireland remains within the EU customs union and single market for goods, which means additional paperwork for goods moving between NI and Britain (BBC | Belfast Live). The current disruptions will likely be overcome in due course but the presence of a border is symbolically powerful. This east Belfast graffitist is unhappy with the outcome: “No Irish sea border – [DUP leader] Arlene [Foster] must go.” George Osborne, former UK chancellor and now editor at the London Evening Standard, called the DUP’s decision to reject Theresa May’s deal “stupid” (BelTel) and the FT called the DUP nationalism’s “secret weapon” (ft.com). The Tele wonders if Gavin Robinson is angling for a crack at the leadership (BelTel).

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Belmont Rd

The Glorious Dead

Four of the 700 NHS staff in the UK to die of Covid during the pandemic have come Northern Ireland, the most recent being dementia specialist Alan Henry in Antrim hospital (Express | BelTel | iTV). In the south, Defence Forces have been deployed to three nursing homes while 6,400 health workers are off sick (Irish Times). The mural above shows a masked nurse and doctor among a field of poppies. For the black-and-white boards above, see Connswater Commemorates.

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X07831 ACT Initiative East Belfast Connswater Community & Leisure

Irexit

When it was launched in September 2018 (Irish Times), the Irish Freedom Party (web | tw) found some support in at least one north Belfast stencilist. But murals and graffiti that don’t meet with universal approval draw public replies: “Irexit … is a shite ideology perpetuated by fascists. My 32 counties doesn’t do racism. No pasaran!”

Some previous debates: Multiculturalism Is Genocide | We Won’t Have Carson | A Dialogue On The Nature Of Art

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The Old IRA

Cúchulainn stands dying; the raven on his shoulder will signal his death. “This memorial is dedicated to all the brave and gallant men and women of the Old IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann) and Cumann na mBán who fought in all of the campaigns from the 1920s War of Independence onwards.”

The Irish tricolour with crossed rifles was the flag of the Irish Volunteers (Óglaigh na hÉireann), the splits in which gave rise all the subsequent IRAs.

For a roll of honour 1916-1966, including some profiles, see Treason Felony.

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Road Sign

Speed limits in Northern Ireland are set by the Department Of Infrastructure/An Roinn Bonneagair after consideration of all relevant factors. The residents of Tern Street, Belfast, have instead used a decades-old mode of public communication – wall painting – to ask motorists to slow down around the sharp turn just off Dee Street.

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Inter City Regiment

“Rangers ICF [Inter City Firm – football ultras] supports our troops, particularly those who might be accused of crimes on “Bloody Sunday 1972”. The flags are hanging outside Bar Berlin, home of the Berlin Loyal RSC (tw).

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