Rusty Guns

Vintage graffiti in Elswick Street, west Belfast, commenting on the quality of matériel available to Óglaigh na hÉireann and perhaps a specific reference to the discovery of an arms dump in woods near Dunleer (Guardian). [Update: for context see GAABoard; hat tip to ejsalty] The group disbanded in 2018, with a new group – the Irish Republican Movement – vowing to fight on (Irish News).

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1st Shankill Somme Association

The Shankill Somme association (Fb) uses the Ulster Tower in Thiepval, France, as its emblem. The association celebrated its 20th anniversary last February (2020) with a parade (gallery of images).

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Stronger, More United

The Shankill Road pays to tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised more than 30 million pounds for the NHS, after his death on February 2nd, with a tarpaulin on the fence of the community garden. The flowers are from current Belfast mayor, Frank McCoubrey of the DUP. Elsewhere, Sinn Féin members of Fermanagh & Omagh council did not join their colleagues in expressing condolences (Impartial Reporter).

See previously: Different Wars, Always Heroes | You’ll Never Walk Alone

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Alter Ego

“PSNI Out” is the latest message on Sliabh Dubh from Gael Force Art, mounted in response to what it sees as disparate treatment of nationalists – intruding, ostensibly on Covid-related grounds, upon a flower-laying ceremony in commemoration of the attack on the Sean Graham bookies shop on the Ormeau Road (Feb 5th, 1992) and arresting one of the victims, Mark Sykes (RTÉ) – and unionists – PSNI monitoring but not confronting a UVF show of strength in Pitt Park (iTV). Michelle O’Neill called the Ormeau incident “a watershed moment for public confidence in policing” (Irish News); one officer has been suspended. The writing on the mountain is seen here over the Captain America panel of the wall of superheroes, enhanced versions of their human alter egos: Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Clark Kent, etc.

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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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V For Victory

August 15th, 1945, saw the end of the second World War in the Pacific theatre, effectively ending the war as a whole. The 75th anniversary of the event was celebrated on the Shankill by and Up! Culture + Arts. Belfast Councillor (and 2020 High Sheriff) Nicola Verner has video (tw) of the tarp on the float that paraded along the Shankill on the day itself. With sponsorship from the Executive and the Greater Shankill Partnership (tw).

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Another Year Has Come And Gone

41 Fallswater Street, west Belfast, has been blocked up, with a “No parking” sign in the front window, for over a decade without any sign of renovation.

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Stay Safe And Wear A Mask

A six-week lockdown began at midnight last night with restrictions including an overnight curfew and an end to all “close contact” services (Belfast Live). Shown today are two of larger posters in Sinn Féin’s ‘wear a mask’ campaign, featuring Paul Maskey and Fra McCann, MP and MLA for Belfast West.

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Reifreann Anois

“Referendum now”. On this day 100 years ago (1920-12-23) the ‘Government Of Ireland Act‘ – the fourth Home Rule bill – was passed in the UK parliament, partitioning Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, both within the UK. The rest, as they say, is history, history we are still living out. Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald claimed (in an interview with Owen Jones of the Guardian) that Irish unity would be achieved this decade. Martin McGuinness said in 2003 that unity would be achieved by the centenary of the Rising (Indo) but that year has come and gone. (Feb poll | Oct poll)

Previously: #TimeForUnity | Time For Irish Unity

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Bonies

Photographer Mariusz Smiejek (web | ig) was born in Poland in 1978 but moved to Northern Ireland in 2011, which is when he started taking pictures of bonfires – in areas such as Highfield, the Village, and the Shankill – and the people around them. The full gallery for his ‘Bonies’ project is available on his web site.

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