Politics & Prayer

The New Lodge grotto in honour of Mary, adjacent to various murals in support of republican POWs, has been repainted (see previously) with images of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary, Our Lady Of Fatima, and the trio above, showing St. Joseph the carpenter, Mary, and St Patrick(?)

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I’ll Come Back Another Day And Do No Wrong

Being a human is hard and being a good human is harder. But art (the Queens Of The Stone Age ‘God Is In The Radio’) gives us the inspiration to keep coming back for another try. Graffiti on a McHugh’s poster in the New Lodge.

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Imprisoned In A Glass Tower

“Eithne – daughter of (Evil Eye) Balor and maternal grandmother of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Eithne was imprisoned in a glass tower on Tory Island because of a prophecy that a child of hers would grow to defeat Balor in battle. Despite Eithne’s imprisonment the prophecy was fulfilled.” This Eithne is in the foyer of the “house” (tower block) that bears her name: Teach Eithne in the New Lodge. 

Le buíochas do Mícheál Ó’D as an iontráil.

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X07136 X07137 [X07138] painted by DD and ML Creating common ground green spaces and sustainable communities programme lottery funded

No One Left Behind

“In this together. No one left behind. Ireland thanks you.” Essential workers – “NHS – Store Workers – Call Centre Workers – Transport Workers – Factory Workers” – have carried on working for the last seven weeks despite the lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Next to The Great Hunger.

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Ghosts Of The Supermarket

Earl Street and Sussex Street used to be sandwiched between wings of the largest tobacco factory in the world, Gallahers, which took up seven acres between York Street and North Queen Street. The factory was partially demolished in 1990 and became Yorkgate shopping centre and the two streets are roughly now the back and front entrances to the Tesco supermarket. These two plaques (both on North Queen Street) are to former residents. William Campbell, a H&W joiner, might have witnessed the construction of Gallahers (in 1897 – Look Again) before dying on Titanic in 1914. Francis Liggett, an IRA volunteer, was shot and killed by British forces during an attempted robbery of the Royal. (He is also remembered in a mural in St James’s near the site of his death and home – see Liggett & Brady.)
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X06907 X06908 “William Campbell, an Apprentic Joiner at Harland & Wolff, lived in Earl Street, a site now occupied by the shopping centre. He was a member of the company’s Guarantee Group for RMS Titanic and lost his life on the voyage.” “Francis died on 18th January 1973 on IRA active service on the grounds of RVH hospital. Francis was shot dead dead by undercover British soldiers after an exchange of gun fire. 27th January 1948 – 18th January 1973. Francis family home was close to this spot.”

In The Hell Of My Prison Cell

“Free Matt Johnston” IRPWA/Saoradh stencils below Teach Ghráinne in the New Lodge, calling for the release of Maghaberry prisoner (and New Lodge resident) Matt Johnston. Johnston was given four years for his part in a tiger kidnapping in 2008 and appears to have ben re-arrested in late 2017 (Irish News | RN). He was one of the prisoners involved with a “bigoted screw” that led to graffitied threats against Maghaberry prisoner warders (RN | El Norte | Derry Journal).

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Dan McCann

Although originally from Clonard in west Belfast, at the time he was shot by the SAS in Gibraltar (along with Mairéad Farrell and Sean Savage) IRA volunteer Dan McCann was living in the New Lodge, site of this recently-added plaque in his memory. (He was previously included in a 3rd battalion Belfast Brigade mural on New Lodge Road.)

There are also new plaques to TC Campbell and Seamus McCusker.

“Óglach Dan McCann: On March 6th 1988 Dan was gunned down in Gibrlatar along with two IRA comrades Óglach Mairead Farrell and Óglach Sean Savage.”

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Hoods Will Be Dealt With

AAD [Action Against Drugs] circulated lists of alleged drug dealers in north and west Belfast in July (Belfast Live), and in August members brandishing a gun and a club posed beside graffiti in the New Lodge urging residents to ‘take back their community’ (BelTel); there have also been attacks on the houses of alleged anti-social elements (BelTel). However, in much of the graffiti, such as the piece above threatening “drug dealers, hoods, and house breakers”, “AAD” has been scored out, indicating community dissatisfaction with the vigilantes.

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Teach Ghráinne

“Óglach Tony ‘TC’ Campbell was shot dead by the British Army as he walked along Edlingham Street on February 4th 1973 as he returned home from celebrating his 19th birthday. TC was one [of] six New Lodge residents murdered which was later referred to as the “New Lodge Six Massacre. … Tony lived in 13D Artillery House [now Teach Ghráinne].” Campbell was hit 17 times (BBC).

“Óglach Seamus McCusker was murdered by members of the Workers Party [as part of the PIRA-OIRA feud] on this spot [New Lodge Road outside Artillery House] on the 31st October [1975]. At the time of Seamus’s killing he was on his way to deal with a local resident’s complaint.” McCusker was killed two days after the PIRA shot Robert Elliman in the Markets; a few hours after McCusker’s death, Tom Berry of the OIRA was killed in Short Strand.

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Murdered By Those Who Followed In Their Footsteps

The “Provisional” split from the IRA in early 1970 and the feud between the Provos and the “Official” IRA went on intermittently throughout the 70s. This board on Teach Oisín in the New Lodge commemorates three local OIRA members who were (or, were thought) killed in the feud (John) Mario Kelly was killed in Newington near his home in November 1975. Trever [Trevor] McNulty, education officer for the Republican Clubs and OIRA, was shot by the Provisionals in the entrance hall of Alexander House (later Teach Fhinn) in the New Lodge. 11 people, mostly OIRA, died in the feud in the two weeks from the tail end of October into November (CAIN). The third person shown is Patric​k​ McGreevy from Carlisle Square, a youth member aged 15 or 16 (hence the Gal Gréine) who was shot from a passing car outside a café on Clifton St​reet. Originally his killing was thought to be part of the feud (which explains his inclusion here), but it is now generally accepted that he was shot by the UVF (Lost Lives). 
The genealogy of the republican movement goes through the pike-men (silhouettes on the left and right) of 1798 and 1803 to the Easter Rising (the quote from James Connolly: “The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland and the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour”)
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