Be My Voice

Two cases are currently under deliberation concerning the establishment of abortion services in Northern Ireland after the vote in Westminster during the suspension of Stormont. One, heard in May, was taken by the NI Human Rights Commission in support of services (BBC), and the other, heard last week, was brought by SPUC (web) alleges that the NI Secretary lacks the authority to direct Stormont to establish services (BBC).

The pro-life stencil shown here is on the Antrim Road, below the Fortwilliam shops.

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Perverting The Course Of Justice

Here is another set of images concerned with the on-going search for answers related to the death of teenager Noah Donohoe and to the PSNI inquiry into his death. It is now 67 weeks since Noah’s death and a new Facebook page has been set up to campaign for justice, and a petition to demand the resignation of Chief Constable Simon Byrne. These images are from the upper Falls and New Lodge areas of Belfast.

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Serving Their Community Through Transport

“In memory of all taxi drivers – public and private – who were murdered by loyalists/British crown forces during the conflict serving their community through transport.” This is the side wall to a larger mural to black taxi drivers which has been in place since 2001, was repainted in 2011, and is again looking in rough shape.

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Genocide In Ireland

Photography was still in its infancy in 1850 and would not appear in newspapers until the 1880s (LoC). Instead, newspapers used illustrations to bring their stories to life. This board in Ard An Lao (Ardoyne/Bone) – “An Gorta Mór [The Great Hunger] 1845-1851 – The Great Irish Famine” – combines three of them to serve as a background for other images and information.

On the left is Family Being Evicted From Their Home In Rural Ireland.

At the centre is Searching For Potatoes In A Stubble Field from the Illustrated London News. ILN images are a staple of Belfast muraling on the Great Hunger: they were previously used in 1995 (An tOcras Mór in the New Lodge), 1999 (Ireland’s Holocaust on the Whiterock Rd), 2002 (An Gorta Mór in Ardoyne). (Here is a list, with links, of all of the illustrations of Ireland in ILN from the period 1845-1852.)

On the right is food arriving from the USA in the famine of 1879-1880.

See also The Mass Graves Of Ireland.

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Gin Tonic

Eimear’s Wish (web | tw) last night launched a fundraising and blood cancer awareness campaign selling gin with a bottle raffled to supporters attending the first Irish League match of the new seasons between Glenavon and Portadown; it has the support of many soccer, rugby, GAA, and bowling clubs – this is the tarp outside Seaview on the Shore Road, Belfast. “Crusaders FC & Eimear’s Wish working together to raise stem cell donor awareness in Northern Ireland and create hope for people with life threatening illness.”

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Still Fighting The War

After a ten year run, the Crusaders FC mural (2010 | 2012) has been reverted (1996 D00711 | 2002 J1204) to a UVF hooded gunman mural.

For the other recent murals, see Respect, heritage, culture and Defending Ulster From Gaelic Attacks.

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Move At Your Own Risk

There is pressure to remove the Tigers Bay bonfire in Adam Street because it is built on Department Of Infrastructure land next to the Duncairn Gardens “peace” line and has been the site of anti-social behaviour such as golf balls being hit into the New Lodge (Irish News | BelTel). In response comes the message: “Move at your own risk – FTPSNI”.

A bonfire on the Comber Greenway (next to the Stranger Kings murals) was removed late Saturday night (BelTel | Belfast Live).

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Danny Barrett

“A little boy of fifteen years/was chosen thus to die./As a British soldier aimed his gun/And never questioned why!/The shots rang out, the echo[e]s still/Young Danny fell, shoot to kill./They shoot to kill & kill & kill/Oh please God stop them/But no one will.” Danny Barrett was shot and killed on July 9th, 1981 – a day after Joe McDonnell’s death and on evening of the same day as the shooting of Nora McCabe – by a single shot from a British army observation post on top of Ewart’s Mill. The mural in his memory is in Havana Way, close to his Havana Court home, where he been sitting on a garden wall talking to a friend. For a full account, see Free Ireland or watch video of his sisters in front of the new mural. For the Lawrence/Hammil board in Brompton Road, see Same Story, Same Bigotry.

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What Would Socrates Do?

Holy Cross [Boys] Primary School [“HCPS”] distributes student into four “houses” within the school for motivational purposes but unlike the four houses of Hogwarts (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin) these are named for famous philosophers. Students in all seven years take one hour of philosophy a week – staff are trained by The Philosophy Foundation (HCPS Prospectus) – and they now have a mural just outside the school gates to encourage them in the four “R”s – “reflective, reasoned, responsive, re-evaluative”. The mural shows a student sitting in the pose of Auguste Rodin’s Le Penseur/The Thinker, bringing to mind sayings of the four philosophers: (from left to right) “Quality is not an act, it is a habit” – Aristotle; “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think” – Socrates; “He who knows only his own side knows little” – JS Mill; “Philosophy begins in wonder” – Plato.

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Modern Family Living

The first four units of these 3 bedroom semi-detached houses on the Cavehill Road, collectively called “Kyle Mews“, will be available in mid October, by which time the construction wall with its “No surrender” graffiti from the neighbouring Westlands should be gone.

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