From The Plough To The Stars

“A free Ireland will control its own destiny from the plough to the stars.” James Connolly explained the significance of “the plough in the stars” (Ursa Major) as a symbol of Irish revolutionary socialism. He and Seamus Costello, heroes of the IRSP (web) are painted on James Connolly house in Chamberlain Street, Derry. Also home to Teach Na Fáilte, the Republican Socialist Ex-Prisoners group.

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Fire In The Sky

The Bogside bonfire was set ablaze on Sunday night. It has long been put about that the occasion for the Derry bonfire is the feast of the Assumption (which newspapers and radio stations have repeated, e.g. BBC | RTÉ | Irish Independent). This is an attempt to provide some cover for the “dissident” republican nature of the event, as evidenced by the King Billy, UDA, UVF, RUC and Star Of David flags on the bonfire, shown above. The triggering event is rather the introduction of internment on August 9th, 1971. (Sunday was also the same day as the ‘Fire In The Sky’ fireworks to mark the end of Féile (Derry Journal). The local féilte in Belfast – which in time became Féile An Phobail – were introduced as alternatives to the rioting that traditionally took place to protest the introduction of internment; the origins of Derry’s Gasyard Féile, which began much later (1993) but takes place in the same August weeks, are unclear – please comment if you know.)

Before it was lit the banner in the lower left of the image above – “Ronann [sic] Kerr first, Lee Anderson your [sic] next” – was removed; the other flags and banners remained (BBC). The banner had drawn criticism as Kerr, a Catholic PSNI officer, was killed by a car bomb just north of Omagh in 2011 (BBC | BelTel).

William Glasgow – see the image below – was the British Army soldier who shot and killed 15-year old Manus Deery in 1972 near the spot of the bonfire. His killing was ruled “unjustified” in 2017 (Irish Times); Glasgow died in 2001 (BBC). There are two plaques to Deery’s memory and he is included in the mural The Runner.

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An Iodáil Abú

England play Italy this evening in the final match of Euro “2020” (delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic). Bogside residents have hung out the Tricolour … of Italy … over Free Derry Corner to indicate their support; the word “Italy” is included to dispel any potential confusion with the Irish tricolour.

The match begins at 8 BST/IST = 9 CET; England are the bookies’ favourites to win.

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It’s A Secret

“Shhhhhhhh, it’s a secret. Don’t tell anyone!” Who did this piece of street art? We don’t know. Maybe that’s the secret? Next to Mark Worst’s (ig | web) “The Muse/Erin” piece on Glendermott Road, in the Londonderry Waterside.

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Deal Off!!

Commentary from Tullyally Young Loyalists, who on their Fb page call for the collapse of Stormont and an end to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: “PSNI Out”, the “Deal [is] off!!” “FTP” is typically “eff the Provos” but here “P” might be “police”.

Previously from TYL: And The Cry Was “No Irish Sea Border”

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100% Redress No Less

Homeowners from counties Donegal and Mayo march on government buildings in Dublin tomorrow to campaign for “100% redress” in the repair of their homes that were made with building blocks of high mica content and which are now falling apart. Free Derry Corner (Visual History) has been altered in support of the cause. For more see Derry Journal | BBC | Donegal Daily.

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Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

During WWII, Tom Moore worked with motorcycles and tanks (rather than aircraft) in India and Burma (Myanmar) and achieved the rank of captain. He became famous during the pandemic for raising about 33 million pounds for NHS Charities during the pandemic. He died in February of this year, aged 100 (WP). He is honoured by this new mural in Tullyally, Londonderry.

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Jail Jackson

An coroner’s inquest found last month that the ten people killed in the Ballymurphy Massacre on August 9th and 10th, 1971, were innocent civilians and nine of them were killed by unjustified force on the part of the British Army (the cause of death of the tenth could not be known with sufficient certainty) (Guardian). Soldiers at the time claimed that they were being fired upon by some of those killed. The findings renewed calls for the prosecution of British Army soldiers and in particular General Sir Michael Jackson, adjutant to the 1st Parachute Regiment at both Ballymurphy and (five months later) Bloody Sunday (WP).

Images of the launch from People Before Profit.

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Our Great Wee Country

Referring to Northern Ireland: “A wee country so great, even her haters won’t leave.” PUL board on Tullyally Road, Londonderry

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Goodbye To Bombs And Bullets

“‘Here’s to better times ahead and saying goodbye to bombs and bullets once and for all’ – Lyra McKee 31st March 1990-18th April 2019”. Journalist Lyra McKee died on April 18th, 2019 while observing a riot in Creggan, Derry. Standing near a PSNI Land Rover, she was struck by a bullet fired towards police by a ‘New IRA’ gunman who has not been apprehended (WP). For the second anniversary of Lyra’s death the ‘Justice 4 Lyra’ campaign (web) has placed these hoardings all around the city; the three shown here are in Glendermott Road, Quayside, and William Street.

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