Ballymurphy Massacre Interactive Tour

The starting-point for the Ballymurphy Massacre tour (below) is on the so-called International Wall (at the corner of Divis Street and Northumberland Street) but the first site is two miles away, in Springfield Close. The third stop, shown above, commemorates the lives of Joseph Corr and John Laverty, killed in separate incidents by British Army paratroopers (distinguished by their red berets) on August 11, 1971, at the top of the Whiterock Road.

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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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We Have Hit Five

The Westrock bungalows were aluminium prefab houses built in 1949 during the post-war housing shortage next to Springhill and Ballymurphy. British troops fired on the area from the high position of Corry’s timber yard in the summer of 1972; their bullets could go through the walls. Five people were shot dead, including a priest. The plaques shown are in the memorial garden in Westrock Drive.

“On the evening of July 9th 1972 British marksmen mounted an unprovoked and sustained attack on this community. Among the snipers[‘] victims lay five dead. Gunned down during efforts to bring aid an succour to the wounded. Still waiting for justice to their memory and for freedom of the truth.”

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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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New Language Loading

03403 2016-04-21 Whiterock Biodh Gaeilge+
Above is a pro-Gaelic (Irish-language) mural on the Whiterock Road, with signs in Irish being held by young people protesting cuts to social services (on the left) and (on the right) a short poem: “Tá Fraincis ag na Francaigh/Tá Gréigis ann sa Ghréig/Tá Iodáil[i]s ag na hIodálaigh/Bíodh Gaeilge ag na Gaeil.” That is: the French have French, the Greeks Greek, the Italians Italian; let there be Irish for the Irish.
Loading? The mural has been in this (unfinished) state since October, 2015. And: the third line in fact has initial “L”s rather than “I”, which suggests — if a fada is added over the “o”s and the final “is” removed from “lodáilis” — “the loaders have loading(s)”!
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text: X03403 Lodáils hLodálaigh irish language we love our services is grá linn ár seirbhisí

Céide Bhaile Uí Mhurchú

03298 2016-02-21 Céide Bhaile Uí Mhurchú+
Some residents of Ballymuprhy Drive have erected their own Irish-language street sign. The council has not erected one because a substantial number of residents did not respond to a survey. The primary resident behind the move, Eileen Reid, contends that the 2/3rds is unreasonable. (Irish Times | Belfast LiveIrish News)
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03297 2016-02-21 Céide Bhaile Uí Mhurchú w+
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Gie’s A Hand O’ Thine

2014-09-02 HandsCrop+
“A friend is a hand that is always holding yours no matter how close or far apart you be; A friend is someone who is always there and will always always care. A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.” A new community mural in Ballymurphy shows locals seated in a circle of hands. Among the surrounding quotes (visible in the second image, below) are two lines from Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne (“And there’s a hand my trusty friend [fiere] And gies [gie’s] a hand to [o’] thine”, and, “We’ll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang sang [syne]”)
The other lines are from …
I’ll Tell Me Ma (“Out she comes as white as snow, rings on her fingers a bells on her toes”, and, “My Aunt Jane she called me in, she gave me tea out of her wee tin”)
I Know My Love (“I know my love by her way of walking”)
The Gypsy Rover (“The gypsy rover came over the hill, down through the valley so shady”)
The Fields Of Athenry (“Low lie the fields of Athenry, where once we watched the small free birds fly”)
The Cobbler (“Oh, my wife she is humpy, she’s lumpy, my wife she’s the devil, she’s black, and no matter what I may [do] with her, her [tongue it goes clickety-clack]”)
and a skipping song (“On the hillside stands a lady, who she is I do not know”)
A wide shot (third below) shows the other two murals on this stretch of Ballymurphy Road: Between and Bryson-Mulvenna.
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2014-09-02 Hands+

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Fly Like An Eagle

2014-09-02 Eagle+
The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, white-headed sea-eagle (WP)) is typically found only in North America, but the one above can be found in Ballymurphy.
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At The Centre Of Health & Well-Being

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Images of Padre Pio, the Capuchin friar, and Our Lady with a sacred heart adorn the outside of the Centre For Health & Well-Being in Ballymurphy’s bullring. Wide shot below.
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text: X02283 X02282 blessed virgin mary corpus christi rosary

Working Class Heroes

2014-11-08 WorkingClassHeroes+
Last Saturday (2014-11-08) saw the launch of a new mural in Ballymurphy Crescent, celebrating local IRA volunteers and community workers.
The doves at the top of the mural are in the style of Robert Ballagh’s “Legacy Of The Hunger Strikes” though there are 12 doves here rather than 10. Marty Lyons holds a copy of Ballagh’s piece in an image below, along with an image on which the halberd and pistol around the beret and gloves in the bottom of the mural are based – the rifles of the original are absent. (Possibly by Patrick Magee, the Brighton bomber (WP) – please confirm by e-mail or comment.)
Left-hand portraits (counter-clockwise from top): Eileen Gray, Margaret Campbell, Annie Adams, Kathleen Moore, Lizzie McGivern, Joe Reid, Rosaleen Russell, Mary Armstrong, Agnes Robinson, Eileen Reid.
Standing (l-r): Fra Toner, Gerry Campbell, Liam Mulholland, Paddy Tier, Sean Connolly, Michael Kane, Liam McParland, Sean Doyle, Cllr. Sean Keenan, Pat McGeown.
Kneeling (l-r): Jim McGrillen, Francis Toner, Jr., Jimmy Duffy, Tony McAlister, Billy Carson, Cormac McArt.
The main figure is (and remains from the previous mural) Tommy “Toddler” Tolan, who escaped from the Maidstone in 1972 and served time in the cages at Long Kesh. (See Lost Lives entry #1956 and An Phoblacht.) In the original (2001) version of the ‘Safe House’ mural, he was dressed in fatigues (image at CAIN), but this was changed within 18 months to a brown suit (image at CAIN | detail at ExtrAct), similar to the way he is portrayed here.
The mural took some time to complete – the fifth image, below, shows one of the artists on a scaffold with #stoptorycuts on Sliabh Dubh – partly because more and more figures were added. Update 2014-11-26: In an unusual move, the launch of the mural was advertised by a board (rather than flyers), in this case at Dorothy Maguire Corner on the Whiterock Road – see the final image, below.
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2014-11-25 WorkingClassHeroesFull+
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2014-11-08 WorkingClassPlaque+
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text:  X02348 X02401 X02349 X02290 X02287 X02288 X02289 X02403 the mural was unveiled by johnny doc 8th november 2014 remember our volunteers committee an trá ghearr abú