Don’t Emigrate – Agitate

Emigration of Irish nations outstripped their returning counterparts for most of the 2010 but stabilised in 2018 (Irish Times). (Migration data for NI nationals could not be found.) This Connolly Youth Movement (cym.ie | ig | tw account currently suspended) sticker on Northumberland Street street sign encourages young people to stay and work for change at home.

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Big Love, Belfast

“Grá mór” [lots of love] on an electrical box in Ardmoulin Street. Artist unknown.

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The Falls Road Massacre

Muralist Gerard ‘Mo Chara’ Kelly (whose catalogue of work can be seen in a separate site) and others from Gael Force Art (Fb) have mounted a three-piece memorial for the centenary of the Falls Road Massacre in which four people were killed – one of them being Mo Chara’s great uncle Jimmy Shields – in a 5-minute shooting spree by a “special patrol” on the night of the funerals of three men killed by the ‘RIC Murder Gang’ (see the 2007 post). For more background see the memorial’s Facebook page.

More than 500 people were killed in Belfast from 1920 to 1922; for details and their locations see The Social Geography Of Violence During The Belfast Troubles.

“These four innocent local men were murdered by an RIC/British Army death squad near this spot in [September 28th] 1920: James Shields, William Teer, Robert Gordon, Thomas Barkley.” With perhaps the first appearance of a hashtag on a plaque: #fallsroadmassacre1920

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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 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”

Gateway To West Belfast

Fáilte Feirste Thiar‘s second mural (the first is outside its offices in the middle Falls – see Go West) reinforces the claim that (republican) west Belfast begins as soon as you cross the motorway, five minutes’ walk from the city centre. Coiste’s tour of republican murals begins at Divis Tower and the new mural already seems to be drawing tourists – see the final image, below. The previous Coiste mural (M04900) has been deleted and incorporated into the mural, promising touraists “a unique walking tour by former political prisoners”.

The mural is a mix of landmarks – the new Raidió Fáilte building (which is located just below the mural), Divis tower, St Peter’s, Conway Mill, the so-called “international wall” of murals, the Bobby Sands mural, the Falls library, the new James Connolly centre, Cultúrlann, and Milltown cemetery – cultural images (Irish dancing and Féile An Phobail) – and sporting images (clubs include Immaculata ABC, Gort Na Móna GAC, St Paul’s GAC). A gay pride ‘rainbow’ stripe runs below the Divis Street portion. Before the previous mural was painted (M07533), there was a Gateway To Belfast board at this spot.
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X06650 X06649 X06653 [X06651] Marty Lyons Micky Doherty

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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Life In The Old Dogs Yet

In addition to their Easter parade in April (Irish News) and large hoarding celebrating Charlie Hughes and Leila Khaled at the corner of Northumberland Street, IRA D Company’s presence in Divis now includes a cut-out assault rifle and tricoloured “IRA” mounted on the light pole.
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Ireland Stands With Catalonia

Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, will address the regional parliament today, the first time since the referendum on October 1st and the violence that accompanied it. He threatened to announce an independent Catalonia within 48 hours of the poll, but today might in fact be the day (Irish Times | Guardian).
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Do Not Touch

Towards the end of August the advertising hoarding at the corner of Divis and Northumberland Streets was covered with brown paint and a warning scrawled along the bottom rail: “D-Coy wall – Do not touch – Belfast D Coy wall” (though the two “D”s were painted over). (See the second image.)
A few weeks later, the banner above was added, showing the men of the northern IRA’s D Coy “active service unit” (“ASU”), between images of the (Troubles-era) D Coy mural and memorial garden (PMC | Extramural). A direct line between the IRA of  and the PIRA unit is possible – some of the Northern Division went with Joe McKelvey, leader of the 3rd Division, to Dublin to support the anti-Treaty forces (WP) though most of the northern IRA accepted the assurance that the six counties would soon join the South. (For some guesstimates at the number of northerners who served pro-Treaty, see treasonfelony.)
 
But perhaps only an ideological heritage is intended, that the Black Mountain unit of 1921, and the D Coy of the Troubles, and the contemporary D Coy, alike aim at (Nothern) Irish independence.
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