Áras Uí Chonghaile

James Connolly worked in Belfast from 1910 or 1911 to 1916 as a labour organizer, before being executed on May 12th, 1916, for his part in the Easter Rising. He lived in Glenalina Terrace on the Falls Road (An Phoblacht | the plaque over the door) a few blocks above the visitor centre in his honour which opened in spring 2019. (There is video from each of the Official Opening and the Grand Opening, which NVTv also covered extensively.)

The new mural shown here is on the so-called “International Wall” on Divis Street, next to Welcome To West Belfast and Merdeka.

Click and click again to enlarge (to 1200 x 1800)

Copyright © 2020 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f4.3, 1/1000, ISO 80, full size

X06988

Welcome To West Belfast

Tourists to West Belfast/Feirste Thiar are given a tour of the sights on a black taxi tour: (clockwise from left) the entrance to Milltown Cemetery at the edge of Andersonstown, a trio of murals (the Bobby Sands mural on the side of the Sinn Féin offices; the Easter Rising mural in Beechmount Ave; the Acht Anois fáinne on Divis Street (also in Ardoyne)) with a march taking place, Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiaich, gaelic football and hurling, Divis tower, Conway mill, and the Falls library. This is the third such tourist mural in the area, after one at Divis tower (Gateway To West Belfast) and one on the offices of Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Go West! | Fáilte Feirste Thiar | The Conlan Revolution).

Replaces Willowbank Huts from the centenary mural.

Click and click again to enlarge (to 1200 x 1778)

Copyright © 2020 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f4.9, 1/1000, ISO 80, full size 3120 x 4624

Click and click again to enlarge (to 1800 x 1200)

Copyright © 2020 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f3.3, 1/200, ISO 800, full size 4896 x 3264

Click and click again to enlarge (to 1200 x 1800)

Copyright © 2020 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f5.1, 1/80, ISO 80, full size 3264 x 4896

X06989 X06990 X06991

Fallen Comrades Of The INLA

This is a new INLA board to deceased volunteers Danny Loughran and Matt McLarnan, Paul (“Bonanza”) McCann, Martin McElkerney, and Gino Gallagher. The new addition here is Martin McElkerney, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March last year (2019) (Guardian). Shots were fired over McElkerney’s coffin (tw). He was released under the terms of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement after 12 years for his part in a booby-trap bombing of two British soldiers, one of whom died, in which two children also died.

For basic information on the deaths of the other four, see this IRSP page on the previous mural.

Click and click again to enlarge (to 1800 x 1118)

Copyright © 2020 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f4.3, 1/80, ISO 200, full size 4832 x 3000

X06992

Merdeka

Merdeka! Independence! West Papuans live under Indonesian rule since 1962 when United States, in the guise of the UN, “entrusted” the territory to Indonesia in exchange for a captured CIA pilot (WP). Leader-in-exile Benny Wenda is shown here against a backdrop of the flag of (independent) West Papua, the Morning Star, shown here hanging vertically.

The adjacent mural expresses solidarity with the Syrian Kurds – see Rojava Offensive.

Click to enlarge (to 1200 x 1854)

Copyright © 2019 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f5.1, 1/500 ISO 80, full size 2592 x 4560

Click to enlarge (to 2000 x 1180)

Copyright © 2019 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f3.7, 1/500 ISO 80, full size 4896 x 3672

X06839 X06840 divis st Mickey Doherty

Rojava Offensive

“In solidarity with the Kurdish fighters YPG/YPJ. Against ISIS, fundamentalism & patriarchy.” Turkey commenced its ‘Rojava Offensive’ on Tuesday (October 9th) with airstrikes along the border with northern Syria in the autonomous area of Rojava (Guardian). Its aim is to establish a “safe zone” 20 miles deep along the entire length of Kurdish-controlled Syria. Standing against them are the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), including YPG and YPJ units – Yekîneyên Parastina Jin are the Women’s Defense Units, an all-female militia from Rojava founded in 2013 (WP).

Not involved are US forces – US President Trump withdrew American forces in advance of the attack, a move decried by both Democrats and Republicans as a betrayal of Kurdish partnership in the campaign against ISIS, which took 11,00 Kurdish lives (WP). Trump added insult to injury by defending the move on the grounds that the Kurds “did not help us with Normandy” (Guardian). You would expect no less from the man who on Monday touted his own “great and unmatched wisdom” (tw).

The mural above, which reproduces a popular poster on social media, is on the International Wall.

Click to enlarge (to full size)

Copyright © 2019 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f4.6, 1/320 ISO 80, full size 2672 x 2984

X06836 Divis St Marty Lyons Mickey Doherty

Cairde Agus Comrádaithe

“Friends and comrades” – IRA volunteers Brendan Hughes (“The Dark”) and Bobby Sands were leaders of the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes, respectively. Hughes survived when the first strike was called off after 53 days; Sands died in the ’81 strike after 66 days of fasting. “IRPWA” is the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association (Fb | tw); Saoradh (web | tw) is a hard-line left-wing republican party.
The mural to the left shows Palestinian double-amputee Saber Al-Ashkar, protesting as part of the Great March Of Return.
Click to enlarge (to full size)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/50, ISO 400, full size 2904 x 2232
Click to enlarge (to 2400 x 1600)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/60, ISO 200, full size 5616 x 3744
text: X06304 [X06317] [X06223] X06322

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.
Click to enlarge (to 2400 x 1800)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f3.5, 1/800, ISO 80, full size 4896 x 3672
Click to enlarge (to 2200 x 1684)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f4.7, 1/400, ISO 80, full size 4248 x 3252
text: X06160 X06159 burning bus

His Land, His Legs, His Life

The Great March Of Return was a six-week protest by Palestinians in Gaza. Most protestors at the border fence with Israel were non-violent but there are reports of some with rocks, burning tyres, Molotov cocktails on a kite, and an AK-47 (WP). It ended (officially – incidents have continued) on May 15th, Nakba Day, the “day of the catastrophe”, meaning the displacement of Palestinians in the 1948 war. The protest demanded that refugees be allowed to return home – there are 1.1 million living in Gaza. During the protest more than 100 Palestinians died, many by live fire by Israeli forces, and more than 13,000 were injured. According to the mural above, “It’s time the Irish Government show some humanity and act for the Palestinian people. 1. Officially recognise the state of Palestine. 2. Impose economic sanctions on Israel. 3. End all diplomatic ties with the apartheid state. Boycott Israel, an apartheid state.”

The wheelchair protestor shown on the right is double amputee Saber Al-Ashkar. He has not, however, been reported dead, as the text below the image (and reports on Twitter and elsewhere) suggests: “They took his land, his legs, and finally his life.” The death might refer to another such protestor Fadi Abu Salah, who was killed in May (Alaraby) (or Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, who was shot in December 2017 – Independent obituary). The UN Commissioner for Human Rights called the killing “incomprehensible” (Guardian); an internal IDF investigation found that Abu Thuraya was not shot by Israeli snipers (Times Of Israel).

Click to enlarge (to full size)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/1000, ISO 200, full size 1400 x 1180
text: X04957 [X04948 X04956]

Cease This Activity!

The so-called International Wall on Divis Street draws coach-loads of tourists every day (“tens of thousands” according to Sinn Féin’s Fra McCann). A new IRSP board affixed to the top of the ‘magic lantern’ mural (see Spreading The Word) warns visitors to take precautions. “Community notice: thieves are operating in this area. Please make sure your valuables are secure and out of sight. Respect our community and visitors. Cease this activity!” Here are articles about the Divis Hoods Liberation Army (DHLA) from 2017 and 2016.
Click to enlarge (to full size)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/400, ISO 200, full size 2528 x  3810
Click to enlarge (to 2400 x 1600)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/250, ISO 200, full size 3888 x 2592
text: X04958 X04959

Battle Of Long Kesh

CR gas, along with CS, VX and other chemical agents, was developed at the MoD lab in Porton Down, and authorised and available for use from 1973 onwards against prisoners in Long Kesh (Guardian). Jim McCann was in Long Kesh during the ‘Battle Of Long Kesh’, when republican prisoners attempted to burn down the cages in which they were being kept in protest at conditions in the camp (An Phoblacht). His memoir, And The Gates Flew Open (An Ceathrú Póilí), continues the campaign by him and other prisoners to get the British to admit that the gas was used on inmates during the riot. The book was launched last month in the Cultúrlann.

In the lower left corner is a quoted telegram from Fr. Denis Faul, Fr. Raymond Murray: “To international Red Cross … Visited Long Kesh today with others … Request immediate investigation into use of CR gas … sub-human conditions … SOS … come immediately …” 20 Oct. 1974. These two wrote an 80-page report on the conditions at the camp following the event, entitled The Flames Of Long Kesh.
For more information, see the post on the similar 2014 mural that marked the 40th anniversary of the battle. For in-progress shots, see yesterday’s post.
Click to enlarge (to 2400 x 1484)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/1000, ISO 200, full size 3672 x 2274
Click to enlarge (to 2100 x 1448)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/400, ISO 200, full size 3760x 2592
Click to enlarge (to 2100 x 1400)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/500, ISO 200, full size 3888 x 2592
Click to enlarge (to 1200 x 1785)
Copyright © 2018 Extramural Activity
Camera Settings: f8, 1/400, ISO 200, full size 2412 x 3588
text: X06043 X06041 X06040 X06042 divis st