Pain Is Real

“… but so is hope.” World Mental Health Day was October 10th, and in support of the cause and their “elephant in the room” report (with Belfast Youth Forum and Children’s Law Centre), the Northern Ireland Youth Forum (Fbtw), with the support of Peace IV funding, produced this mural on Northumberland Street, just above the security gates.
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Community Activist Extraordinaire

John Leathem, chairman of the Divis Tower Falls Residents’ Association, died in his flat on the 19th floor of Divis Tower in August last year (2017), after returning to the Tower four years previously when he was diagnosed with cancer (Irish News | Tele). He was described by Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann as “a champion for the people of no property” (An Phoblacht). This new mural is outside his former office on the first floor.
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Brian Stewart

13 year-old Brian Stewart died on October 10th, 1976 – 42 years ago today – six days after being hit by a plastic bullet fired by the King’s Own Scottish Borders near his Turf Lodge Home. He was buried three days later, on October 13th – what would have been his fourteenth birthday. (For the long search for justice, see sister Marie Stewart | sceptic peg | saoirse32).
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Decolonisation

“In memory of our fallen INLA volunteers, upper Springfield area: Hugh Ferguson, Ronnie Bunting, Noel Little, Hugh O’Neill, Micky Kearney, John McColgan, Paddy “Paddybo” Campbell. Comrades: Barry “Baz” McMullan, Sean “Shanto” fleming, Harry O’Hara, Paul Collins, Bernado Brownlee, Emmanuel Kelly, Michael Conlon, Billy Lynch, James “Harpo” Murray, John Kennaway. Saoirse go deo [freedom forever].” Ferguson was the first member of the INLA to die, in 1975 in the feud with the OIRA. Bunting and Little/Lyttle (both Protestants) were shot dead in 1980 in Bunting’s Andersonstown home by masked gunmen from the UDA or SAS with RUC complicity.
Whiterock Road, Belfast, next to the Kevin LynchMarian PriceKevin Lynch wall.
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Belfast Taxis Community Interest Company

“Serving the community for over fifty years.” BTCIC is the current name for what was previously the West Belfast Taxi Association. Black taxis have been running up and down the Falls since 1970, providing an alternative form of transportation to local people during the Troubles when buses were cancelled or, as in this picture, burnt out and used as barricades. They now, in addition, provide tours of the murals (such as the Bobby Sands mural in Sevastopol Street) and Belfast city. Taxi Trax has a web site but here provides a phone number for those already at the International Wall, where there has been a black taxi mural since 2003. There are other WBTA murals in Beechmount and Ardoyne. The painters have signed the mural: Doherty’s Coal Merchant and Lyons Tea.
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Ireland Stands With Palestine

Republican political party Saoradh (tw | Fb) ignores the hospital stencil and pastes up a poster expressing solidarity with Palestine.
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Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

Northern Ireland last night beat Israel 3-nil in a soccer “friendly” at Windsor Park. Gael Force Art took to Sliabh Dubh (Black Mountain) to support Palestinians and the BDS Movement, saying there’s “nothing friendly” about Israel’s human rights record (the full GFA statement is here).  Other protests – and counter-protests – took place elsewhere in the city (BelTel).
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Ruling By Fooling

The line “Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art – with great Irish fools to practice on” comes from a piece by a James Connolly article in The Irish Worker in 1914. It is used here in the context of what the “Good Friday [Agreement] has delivered: the copper fastened partition through the consent principle & triple locking border poll provision; gerrymandering using peace walls for population control; 70% Protestant, 100% unionist police force; internment by remand; revoking of licences; and miscarriages of justice; sectarianism; total polarisation of mindset; 18 peace walls in 1998 59 peace walls in 2018; sectarian allocation of social housing; almost 500 lives lost to suicide.” In contrast, 32CSM declares that the Declaration Of Independence (in English | as Gaeilge | it was also translated into French) by the Dáil in 1919 is “the only mandate the Irish people need”.
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The Ghosts Of The Martyrs

“In proud and loving memory of all local volunteers, prisoners of war, republican activists and the unsung heroes who died of natural causes having served the cause of Irish republicanism. Together in unity you formed a bond which gave true meaning to the undefeated risen people. Your deeds of bravery and resistance will never be forgotten by the people of greater St. James’s.” With the famous quote from Máire Drumm at an anti-internment rally in Dunville Park on 10th August, 1975 (RN). Coiste Cuimhneacháin Lár Na bhFál/Ard Na bhFeá [Memorial committee of mid-Falls/Beechmount].
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Join Republican Sinn Féin

This vintage nail-up is in Thames Street, next to the Red Devil. It appears to simultaneously mark the end of (Provisional) Sinn Féin (in 2001 – perhaps because of calls for IRA disarmament) while urging people to join Republican Sinn Féin, which split from PSF in 1986 over the decision to take seats in the Dáil.
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