Murdered By Cowards

The “cowards” in this case are the members of the UDA who killed Rockett in front of his girlfriend and 18 month old child in an attack on her house in the lower Oldpark, during the feud between the UVF and UDA, sparked by Johnny Adair’s “loyalist day of culture” and removal of the UVF from the lower Shankill. In response to the purge (and attacks on the Rex bar), the UVF killed Bobby Mahood and Mr Jackie Coulter. Rockett was killed by the UDA in retaliation for their deaths; 1,000 people attended Rockett’s funeral (Irish Times). After Rockett died, the UVF killed David Greer, and the UDA then killed PUP member Bertie Rice in Tiger’s Bay on October 31st.

“In proud and loving memory of Vol. Samuel Rockett, ‘B’ Coy. 1st Belfast battalion, Young Citizens Volunteers. Murdered by cowards 23rd August 2000. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him.””

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Highfield Festival

Plans for the Highfield estate were drawn up and approved in 1945, converting a green-field site in the foothills of Black Mountain between the Ballygomartin, West Circular and Springfield roads. The first houses were completed in 1948 (Belfast Forum.) The community hall sits at the centre of the estate. UDA bomb-maker Michael Wright died there in a premature explosion in 1980 (Sutton) and there used to be a UFF mural on the side. This was replaced in 2000 (C01505) and again in 2006(?) (M04512) with the current mural (entitled “Whiterock Festival” after the cross-community event sponsored by the City Council’s ‘Good Relations’ fund (one | two) showing Highfield kids having fun with music provided by a DJ, band, and the Whiterock Flute Band (Fb) drum.

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The Body And Blood

Local artist Paul Morrison (webFb) was asked to paint a shrine for Corpus Christi church in Westrock/Springhill. As his main subject he chose Mother Teresa, who lived and worked in the area with four nuns from 1971 to 1973 before being put out (allegedly) by the Catholic church. Morrison also painted portraits of the sixteen victims of the Ballymurphy and Springhill/Westrock massacres of 1972, including the one of John Dougal, shown below, as well as clerics Noel Fitzpatrick (from St John’s) and Hugh Mullan (from Corpus Christi itself).

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Not Playing Ball

“We will never accept a united Ireland” – unionist graffiti at the Springfield Road pedestrian entrance into Highfield.

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I Can Has Gráinne?

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Hard Pressed

Conway Street used to run all the way from the Falls to the Shankill but was divided into two in response to the intense rioting of August 1969. Makeshift barriers were constructed along the Falls at the bottom of Conway Street and others, soon to be replaced by the permanent barrier. Although the so-called “peace” line largely does its job, the wall is itself a form of oppression to those living in its shadow. “No surrender” to the op(p)ressors. Graffiti on Conway Street above (i.e. Shankill side of) the “peace” line.

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Áras Uí Chonghaile

James Connolly worked in Belfast from 1910 or 1911 to 1916 as a labour organizer, before being executed on May 12th, 1916, for his part in the Easter Rising. He lived in Glenalina Terrace on the Falls Road (An Phoblacht | the plaque over the door) a few blocks above the visitor centre in his honour which opened in spring 2019. (There is video from each of the Official Opening and the Grand Opening, which NVTv also covered extensively.)

The new mural shown here is on the so-called “International Wall” on Divis Street, next to Welcome To West Belfast and Merdeka.

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Welcome To West Belfast

Tourists to West Belfast/Feirste Thiar are given a tour of the sights on a black taxi tour: (clockwise from left) the entrance to Milltown Cemetery at the edge of Andersonstown, a trio of murals (the Bobby Sands mural on the side of the Sinn Féin offices; the Easter Rising mural in Beechmount Ave; the Acht Anois fáinne on Divis Street (also in Ardoyne)) with a march taking place, Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiaich, gaelic football and hurling, Divis tower, Conway mill, and the Falls library. This is the third such tourist mural in the area, after one at Divis tower (Gateway To West Belfast) and one on the offices of Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Go West! | Fáilte Feirste Thiar | The Conlan Revolution).

Replaces Willowbank Huts from the centenary mural.

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Community Policing

“The face of community policing?? Not in our name. Reject all forms of British political policing in Ireland.” The 32 County Sovereignty Movement lost its Facebook page this month, but its poster campaign against harassment and imprisonment of members continues.

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Her Old Tradition Of Nationhood

“Saoradh salute the men and women of violence,” namely the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation, the women of the 1970s IRA, and modern “dissidents” with home-made weapons.

The plaque on the left is to the IRA’s Pearse Jordan, next to the centenary celebration of the Proclamation, Ag Fíorú Na Poblachta. The board was been moved to this Falls Road location from Ardoyne; it replaces an anti-RUC/PSNI mural.

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