Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen, And Ardoyne

Martin Meehan joined the IRA in 1966 and was one of a few IRA volunteers defending Catholics in Ardoyne (Ard Eoin) in August 1969. Rioting did not cease there until the 16th, when British troops were finally deployed to the Crumlin Road to block mobs coming from the Woodvale and Shankill. Meehan resigned after the failure of the IRA to defend Ardoyne, Clonard, and Divis. This Magill article from the time summarises the IRA’s actions as “late, amateur and uncertain”.(Meehan would later rejoin the IRA and PIRA.)

After a few years honoring Seán McCaughey (see Chains And Bonds Have No Part In Us), Martin Meehan’s image (along with an RNU phoenix) is back on the Ardoyne Avenue gable that bears his plaque. The title of today’s post is based on the song “The Night We Burnt Ardoyne“.

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Billy Hanna

“William ‘Billy’ Hanna” murdered 21/6/1978. We will remember. Pride Of Ardoyne FB.” On the 40th anniversary of his death, a memorial plaque and cross were mounted at the top of Ardoyne Road to Billy Hanna, founder member of the Pride Of Ardoyne. The word “murdered” is notable. Hanna was shot in an SAS ambush of a PIRA attempt to bomb the Ballysillan post office depot; it is alleged that the SAS snipers opened fire without warning and discharged 170 rounds (An Phoblacht). An alternative interpretation of the event might put the focus instead on Hanna being caught in the crossfire (BBC-NI) or mistaken for an IRA member (Sutton).

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Still The People Spoke

The first Dáil Éireann met in 1919 in the wake of a Sinn Féin sweep of the elections of 1918. Current leader Mary Lou McDonald addressed her deputies at a centenary commemoration, recounting the rise of the party: “They banished us, imprisoned us and bereaved us. But still the people spoke.” The mural above presents a montage of historical images, from the women of Wicklow (Barton) and Dublin (Mulcahy) being urged to exercise their new right to vote (also Arthur Griffith in East Cavan), to Bobby Sands and Owen Carron, to Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. (Cormac’s Fight Back was turned into a mural on the Springfield Road.)
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Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall

James Connolly was executed on May 12th, 1916. Both the (freshly painted) Connolly plaque shown above and the Martin Meehan mural on the adjacent wall paint the struggle of the republican prisoners and the Provisionals of the ‘Troubles’ as descendants of 1916’s Easter Rising. Several name-plaques have been added to (what is now officially titled) the ‘Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall’ compared to the number seen in September.
For close-ups of the door and sculptured rocks, see Father Time.
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Join Saoradh

This space on Ardoyne Avenue was used for “cultural” murals from 1997 to 2015, when Stair Na Gaeilge was replaced by Resistance. In its latest incarnation, Saoradh (web | tw – the organisation’s Facebook page is currently blocked) have made a small addition to the side-wall in the centre of the image above.
For the larger pieces, see Homes!!! and Lidl On Equality.
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Marrowbone Company, Belfast Brigade

The Marrowbone (or simply “the Bone”, perhaps from the Irish “Machaire Bothán”) is an area of north Belfast between Ardoyne and Cliftonville. Ardilea Close is home to four memorials to local republicans: on this wall, the plaque on the left is to “men and women from this and past generations who died from natural causes having dedicated their lives to the cause of Irish freedom” while the one on the right is to “those who showed courage in the face of adversity by giving aid, shelter and support in defence of the area.” Only one of the original walls mentioned the IRA (see Bone Memorial), as well as the 2014 addition of a Fianna memorial – Hark To The Tramp Of The Young Guards of Éireann. The new mural commemorating F company of the 3rd battalion – as well as the associated Cumann na mBan, Cumann na gCailíní and Fianna – can be added to these.
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#AchtAnois

An Dream Dearg (tw | Fb) takes its campaign for an Irish-Language Act (Acht Na Gaeilge) to the streets of Ardoyne after a deal to introduce such an act collapsed in February (BBC-NI | Irish Times).
Balholm Drive; there is an identical mural on the International Wall on Divis Street.
Previously:  An Dream Dearg | An Lá Dearg
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Door Into The Dark

“This wall is dedicated to all those ex prisoners that found themselves imprisoned as a result of British occupation of our country. The plaques on the wall are in memory of those former POW’s who have since passed away.” There are five plaques already on the wall, to Patrick Quinn 2017, Buller Holland 2007, Henry McErlean 2015, Martin Meehan 2007, Seán McCaughey 1946. For the large stones, see yesterday’s Father Time. Replaces Rhythm Of Time.
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Father Time

Ardoyne republican Sean Colligan was interned during the troubles and spent his life as an activist in the area, particularly in organising the Ardyne Fleadh (via Saoirse32). He died of a heart attack (in 2004?) but his stone carvings survive him. Two were already in front of the Mass Rock mural, and three more have been added in front of a new commemorative wall for former POWs (to be featured tomorrow).
Colligan was among those thanked for their help on the Malcolm X mural.
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The Proclamation

Robert Ballagh’s 1916 Proclamation was first painted as a mural by Mo Chara Kelly and Risteard Ó Mhurchú in 1991 for the 75th anniversary of the Easter Rising (see Cáisc 1916 which also contains the Ballagh piece). That version stood for ten years on the Whiterock Road. It has reproduced again in Ard An Lao above the hunger strikers, after the removal of several plaques (see All Our Dead). “With special thanks to Hugo Óg Wilkinson”.
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text: X06110 our revenge will be let there be no bitterness