Faces Of Death

The ‘Hidden Treasure’ wild-style writing that in 2004 replaced the UDA C company mural from the Johnny Adair era on Beverley Street has itself now been partially replaced with the paintings (by Emic) of soldiers from the Shankill killed during WWI that were previously exhibited in the Shankill graveyard.

For more on the Shankill-Falls “peace” line and the early graffiti art that was used to re-image it, see Visual History 09 – Re-Imaging.

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Unrepentant Republicans

These two new boards along the Falls Road were mounted by Belfast RNU (tw), commemorating the actions of Billy McKee, Alec Murphy, and Brendan Hughes in 1969 at the onset of the Troubles, and of Máire Drumm and “the brave women of Belfast who stood up against the might of the British” in bringing the Falls Curfew to an end. (This board was previously a mural on Divis Street.)

McKee and Hughes are profiled in a D Company mural in the number one spot of the International Wall. Murphy died in 2019 “unrepentant” of his republicanism (which was prompted by the Falls Curfew) and in particular his conviction along with Harry Maguire for the Corporal Killings (Irish News | BelTel). For a personal obituary, see The Pensive Quill.

For the plaque and board to the left of the wide shot below, see The Falls Road Massacre.

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Who Should Put Away Their Guns

Norah McCabe was shot in the back of the head by a plastic bullet fired from an RUC land rover at around 7:45 a.m. on July 9th, 1981, the day after hunger striker Joe McDonnell died. (Danny Barrett would be killed by a British Army sniper in the evening.) The new boards were mounted to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of McCabe’s death. In 1981, a mural was painted at the same spot (in the old Linden Street) to protest the use of plastic bullets: see Plastic Death.

“Norah McCabe, 1947-1981, murdered by an RUC plastic bullet on 9th July 1981, aged 33 years.” With a poem “Peace” by daughter Áine McCabe, who was three months old when her mother was killed (Irish News).

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Defending Freedom From Hate

Compared to the UVF, the UDA more strongly detect an existential threat to loyalism and evince a siege mentality that provokes the need for armed resistance. Hence the more frequent presence of armed gunmen in UDA murals (which is also due in part to the UVF being able to “re-image” around the Ulster Volunteers and the Somme). With Brexit and the Protocol, however, armed gunmen have recently been appearing more frequently in UVF murals – see, for example, If Our Shores Are Threatened | Bang Up To Date | Our British Identity.

“Springmartin–Highfield–Glencairn Ulster Defence Association est. 1971. Defending freedom from hate.” As the companion mural (We Will Take Nothing Less) makes clear, the hate is coming from a “fascist republican enemy” (“Sinn Féin/IRA”, presumably) and the government of Ireland. Graphically, this mural is the same as the previous one on this wall: Under The Protection Of The UDA.

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We Will Take Nothing Less

An estimated 100,000 people congregated at Craigavon House on the 23rd of September, 1911, to hear Edward Carson’s inaugural speech as Unionist leader (McNeill Ch. 4). In his speech he said “Our demand is a simple one. We ask for no privileges, but we are determined that no one shall have privileges over us. We ask for no special rights, but we claim the same rights from the same government as every other part of the United Kingdom. We ask for nothing more; we will take nothing less”. Ten years later, in 1921, Northern Ireland was created and it has survived to reach its centenary, despite (according to this mural) “100 years of fighting a fascist republican enemy sponsored by the Irish state.”

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X08391 X08390 This we will always maintain. the ulster people Highcairn Dr

White Dove

The white dove (an albino rock dove/pigeon) is a domesticated bird and so not commonly seen in wilds of Belfast’s gardens and hills. It is probably more commonly seen in murals, serving as a symbol for the peace process (see “Hawks” & Doves). This one, by emic (web | tw | ig), can be seen at the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill.

More street art at the Spectrum Centre: Half Human | Not Today, Satan. Not Today | Loyalist Or Racist

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Blue Tit

The Blue Tit (Cyanistes Caeruleus | Meantán Gorm) is a common bird around Belfast. This one can be seen at the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill.

More street art at the Spectrum Centre: Half Human | Not Today, Satan. Not Today | Loyalist Or Racist

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BLM Scum

The height of anti-BLM sentiment came last year (2020) when the statue of Winston Churchill in London’s Parliament Square was vandalised and boarded up for protection, lest it suffer the same fate as the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol (iNews | NYTimes) met at the hands of protestors marching in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA (for CNR support for see An Injustice To One Is An Injustice To All | You Cannot Put A Knee Upon The Neck Of An Idea | Here To Stay | Black Lives Matter). The graffiti in the Woodvale (below) is from 2021, however. The graffiti above is in the Highfield area.

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Beechmount Remembers

A new board has been mounted in AMCOMRI Street for the fortieth anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, with photographs from the area in the background, including the Revolution mural at the bottom of Beechmount Avenue in 1996-1997.

“Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.”

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La Solidaridad Invariable

Comandante Che Guevara gazes down on the people of west Belfast and the giant flag erected on Sliabh Dubh. The mural replaces the Battle Of Long Kesh on the International Wall.

“Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez … President of the Republic Of Cuba 11.6.2021. ‘Irish friends and Cubans living in Ireland have placed a Cuban flag on a mountain in the city of Belfast. The flag is 46 by 23 metres, the largest in the world. With the flag [is] the giant slogan and it’s [sic] demand to #UnblockCuba. [This is a] Moving and beautiful gesture from the “solidarious” children of an admirable people, [a] dignified and patriotic gesture of Cubans who are far away. Thank you for your unshakable solidarity …”

(Originally in Spanish: “Amigos irlandeses y cubanos residentes, han colocado en una colina visible desde la ciudad de Belfast, una bandera de Cuba, de 46 por 23 metros, la más grande en el mundo. La acompaña un letrero también gigante, demandando #UnblockCuba. Bello y conmovedor gesto de los solidarios hijos de un pueblo admirable, digno y de patriotas que están lejos. Gracias por la solidaridad invariable.” #LetCubaLive

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