An Attitude Of Revolt

The Tommy Roberts mural at the top of Westland Street, Derry, has been expanded, with a new central image – which now includes a portrait of Stevie Mallon alongside Roberts, against a background of Free Derry Corner – and three additional plaques.

Both quotes (“Life springs from death, and from the graves of dead patriot men and women spring living nations.” and “As long as Ireland is unfree the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt.” are from Patrick Pearse. The first quote was also used on a Gibraltar 3 mural in Belfast and an INLA mural in Strabane in 1990; the latter was used in a Belfast in the 1980s.

“In proud and loving memory of Tommy Roberts, former IRA volunteer, former POW blanketman, died 8th June 2017 aged 78. His courage and dedication will never be forgotten. As long as Ireland is unfree the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt.”

“In proud and loving memory of Stevie Mellon, former IRA volunteer, former internee, former GAA referee, died 1st August 2018, aged 65 years. His courage and dedication will never be forgotten. Lay him away on the hillside with the brave and the bold.”

“In proud and loving memory of Veronica Taylor, a proud socialist republican. Born11th June 1943, died 16th December 2019, aged 76 years. Her tireless dedication to the republican struggle will never be forgotten. “The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day and die if necessary.””

“In proud and loving memory of Ruairí (Roddy) Carlin, former IRA volunteer, former POW, died 23rd March 2021. A brave son of Ireland who fought for his country against continued British oppression and injustice, an uncompromised republican committed to the reunification of Ireland.”

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Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

The city of (London)Derry takes its named from the Irish word “doire” meaning “oak wood” (and generically a “grove”) and the oak leaf is often used as a symbol of the city (here are 11 murals with oak leaves from the Peter Moloney Collection – Murals). In the mural above, in addition to the three leaves on the right-hand side, we also have some acorns.

The moniker “maiden city” is derived from the city’s resistance to sieges throughout its history, most famously in 1689 (again – a variety of images from Peter Moloney). The walls of the old city are shown above the river Foyle, with landmark buildings such as the Peace Bridge (see Waterside, Cityside, Quayside) behind them.

Mural by Inkie (ig) in Carlisle Road.

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No Island Is An Island

Two criticism of neoliberal globalism in Frederick Street, Derry: above, a rationale for the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “Fuck NATO – warmongers”; below, “Sinn Féin globalists” – criticism of Sinn Féin’s support of Ireland’s membership in the European community (which is possibly a critique from the far-right National Party (web), according to the Guardian).

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The Cobwebs Of The Past

In his statement in response to the news of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (11 April, 1998), John Hume said, “This process is not about the victory or defeat of nationalism or unionism. It is about something much greater. Today, as Fergal Keane said in relation to South Africa, we can take collective breath and begin to blow away the cobwebs of the past. We can begin to break the bondage of fear which has so damaged our people and our country, difficult and demanding though this will be in the coming days and weeks.” (CAIN)

Commissioned by the Grand Central bar (Derry Journal) in Great James Street (whose side-wall the mural is on) and painted by Peaball (ig) an art group (including Donal O’Doherty, formerly of UVArts – Belfast Live).

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Bread For All And Roses Too

“A woman’s place is in her union! We fight for bread but we fight for roses, too. Join the IWW [Industrial Workers Of The World (web)] OneBigUnion.ie.” The titular phrase comes from a 1910 speech by American suffragist Helen Todd, who later explained that votes for women would mean “helping forward the time when life’s Bread, which is home, shelter and security, and the Roses of life, music, education, nature and books, shall be the heritage of every child that is born in the country” (American Magazine LXXII p. 611)

Rossville Street, Derry

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Was This Lawful?

A 2021 command paper that proposed a statue of limitations and amnesty for so-called “legacy” killings included the claim that ‘the vast majority of security force killings were lawful’ (BelTel) and the comment has been attributed to NI Secretary Brandon Lewis (Pat Finucane Centre). (For background see e.g. this eamonnmallie.com piece.) The claim is used against him in this tarp commemorating Stephen McConomy was hit by a plastic bullet forty years ago this month, on April 16th, and died three days later: “Stephen McConomy (11) shot dead by Lanc. Corp. from Royal Anglian Regiment – April 1982. Was this ‘lawful’, Brandon Lewis?” Speaking at the memorial service, surviving family-members vowed to continue resisting the proposed limitations (Derry Journal).

There is also a plaque to McConomy in Fahan Street where he was shot (this one has since been replaced) and long ago there was a mural on Rossville Street.

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All Children Have Rights

The Bogside Inn and bogside shops have been razed and “exciting plans” made for a new development (Derry Journal). All that remains at present is the electrical station near Durrow Park, and all that remains of the murals along Meenan Square is the final panel shown above: “All children have rights and these rights must be protected.”

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Coming Back To Drumahoe

Jim Donaghy was born in the Bonds area of the Waterside but when he joined the 10th (Derry) Battalion his family was living in Drumahoe. It was to there that he returned after seeing action at The Battle Of Albert in 1916, as well as the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Langemarck, the Cambrai Operations, and the Capture Of Bourlon Wood (Reserves & Cadets | Three Cheers For The Derrys). 

“”I arrived in Larne on the ferry from Scotland and before I caught the train to Londonderry, I sent a telegram to my mother telling her I was on my way. When I arrived in Waterside Station, there was no one there to meet me so I started my long walk to Drumahoe. As I walked down Daly’s Brae in my uniform, someone must have spotted me in the distance. The bell of Clarke’s Mill at Drumahoe started to ring frantically to my mother that I was home. When I got home the house was filled with my friends, relations and neighbours. They were overjoyed.” – Jim was home – it was over at least. Cpl Jim Donaghy returning home from the First World War.”

“Cpl Jim Donaghy MBE, 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and his former family home 2 Fincairn Road, Drumahoe.” The mural is on the yard wall of the house, which still stands.

“In remembrance of all those who served at home and abroad.”

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Monarch Of The Glen

London street artist Irony (ig) drew on Edwin Landseer’s 1851 painting The Monarch Of The Glen (WP) for this piece of street art – fitting with its location as both near the Glen area of London-/Derry and formerly the old Scotch quarter (Derry Journal) – but updating it for contemporary audiences with an environmental message and the source of its less formal name: Stag With A Bag.

With support from London Calling (web).

Glenview Avenue, London-/Derry. Another large piece by Irony (in Belfast): Pearl.

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Spirit Of ’93

The house in Bond’s Place was torn down last summer and rebuilt with a piece of street art on the gable that has been used since at least 1982 for images of the Commonwealth, King Billy, and, since 1996, Eddie The Trooper. The board that was the wall has been moved one neighbourhood over, into Lincoln Court. It was the first to include the words “Spirit Of ’93” – presumably a reference to the Greysteel Massacre in which eight people in the Rising Sun bar were killed in reprisal for the Shankill Bombing (BelTel). The “raid” was planned, and both gunmen rented rooms, at the UDP office on Bond’s Place, just across Bonds Street (NI Judiciary).

Eddie has his own Visual History page.

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