The Pogrom Of August 1969

This August marks the 50th anniversary of what are euphemistically called “The Troubles”. The Battle Of The Bogside (Derry) began on August 12th; in Belfast, fighting began on the night of August 14th and before dawn three people in the Divis Street area were dead: Protestant Herbert Roy and Catholics Patrick Rooney and Hugh McCabe, both shot in the Divis flats complex by the RUC’s Shorland armoured cars. (Two other Catholics were killed in rioting in Ardoyne.) This new board is on Divis tower, next to the plaque commemorating Rooney and McCabe.

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X05989 X05990 “Ar eagla go ndéanfadh muid dearmad” [for fear we would forget/lest we forget] “erected by the falls commemoration committee” ‘time for truth” “malone road fiddles”  “barricades stay until demands are met”

Another World

In addition to inking tattoos at Shankill Road’s Cusick Tattoos (tw | Fb | ig), Kamil Lodynski (Cultivar) painted the electrical box out front.

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Groves Reilly Corner

Throughout the Troubles the junction of the Glen and Falls Road was home to an intensely fortified RUC barracks. The barracks was demolished in 2005 and gradually redeveloped over the years. In January (2019) it was renamed in honour of activists Emma Groves and Clara Reilly who campaigned for decades against plastic bullets (Groves was blinded in 1972 by a plastic bullet fire by a Paratrooper) and founder members of Relatives For Justice (web). For images from the launch, see Irish Examiner.

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Light Of The World

Disney character Lumière (from Beauty And The Beast) is joined by bobble-head Pope Francis and bobble-head Jesus on the dashboard of a van parked on the (Protestant) Shankill Road.

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In The Heart Of This Vibrant City

“Gardiner Square” will be a new development at the junction of Gardiner and N King streets, where a Union Flag now flies. The promotional materials for the development tout Belfast’s business potential and promise that  it is a “short walk” to the “highly anticipated Tribeca Project“. It’s not clear whether the flag will still be flying when the units open. (See previously: the plethora of UVF boards in the Village in response to the on-going redevelopment of the Village (from 2012 to the present).
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Morpeth Street, Ulster

The “Ulster” street sign is partially obscured by all of the streamers but the decorations leave no doubt as to the allegiance of this householder to the UK.
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Welcome To The Shankill Road

A new ‘Welcome To The Shankill (Road)’ mural in Gardiner Street, replacing the one that had been there since (at least) 2009 (see Welcome To The Shankill).
The mural is a version of the old Beverley Street ‘welcome’ mural (by Blaze FX), with the same four panels (parades/bonfire, blitz, sports, murals) and the same three hands. But instead of “Proud, Defiant, Welcoming” we now have “Proud, Resilient, Welcoming”. (I Am Not Resilient in the lower Shankill complains that the word is used to justify neglect and/or maltreatment.)
It escaped no one’s notice that Irish is not included among the many languages expressing a greeting. Also Ulstèr Scots. (Also French, for some reason. Polish is included – “Witamy”). (See similarly “No Irish” in the lower Shankill estate but also All Flags Are Welcome in Divis, which omitted the Union Flag.)
The claim that the Shankill area dates back to AD 455 is used in The Original Belfast. The claim was made by the Greater Shankill Partnership.
Despite the appearance of bricks, the main panel is not in fact a mural but a board.
Held over from the old mural are the two strips of ‘famous faces’ on the left and right (see below).
Images of the July 10th launch from sponsors Alternatives.
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X06703 X06704 X06705 norman whiteside baroness may blood william conor henry montgomery wayne mccullough jimm wornock james cunningham johnny mcquade

Pinky And The Brain Share A New Domain

Arlene Foster (Pinky) and Michelle O’Neill (The Brain) in the grasp of Theresa May (Elmyra Duff). The two genetically-modifed mice are hell-bent on world domination but being only mice lack the power to implement their plans. Elmyra is obsessed with pets while being oblivious to their needs (WP), an allegory for what Brexit is doing to Northern Ireland politics. Mural by Paul Doran, Mark Ervine, and Naomi Ervine in the no man’s land between the security gates on Northumberland Street. With sponsorship from Springboard Opportunities (tw | Fb).

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Idols Of The Tribe

A holy trinity of Liverpool FC flag, the west Belfast “peace” line, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Finn Square, Belfast.
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Cross Roads

You can enter the Finn Square cul de sac, but you might not make it out.
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