Maggie McAnaney

A plaque was mounted this (2022) summer to Maggie McAnaney, who died when a gun went off at an IRA checkpoint near Burnfoot, Co. Donegal, a month before the Civil War began (Derry Journal). This is an unusual use of the phrase “active service”, as McAnaney was travelling to a picnic at the time, rather than on exercises or preparing munitions; the phrase would later come to be associated primarily with a premature bomb explosion.

“In proud and loving memory of Margaret “Maggie” McAnaney, Cumann na mBan, died on active service at Burnfoot on 31st May 1922, aged 18 years. The McAnaney family home was situated on Bishop Street. Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.”

Derry Journal has images from the launch.

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Some Buzz

This lot along Strand Road, Derry, has been vacant and for sale for over a decade. It finally got a face-lift from local artist Peaball (ig).

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Costs Are Rising. And So Must We!

“It’s not a cost of living crisis, it’s capitalism – Join the fight for a socialist republic.” Here are images of the Lasair Dhearg (web) “We Can’t Afford …” campaign in Derry’s Bogside. “We can’t afford … heat, electricity, to eat, a home.” “Ireland: 1.1 million living in poverty, 312,000 of them are children.” “Waiting on a home: 103,218; empty homes: 188,000”

For the same campaign in Belfast, see We Can’t Afford. Free Derry Corner has its own Visual History page.

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Undefeated

“We have given much, we have much to give”. Earlier murals on this wall in the Caw (2015 | 2011) were similarly divided into Ulster Volunteers/Ulster Division on the left and the modern UVF on the right. But this version shows a UVF “hooded gunman” whereas before on both sides there were graveside mourners. There is also a very rare (and possibly unique) reference to the H-Blocks, rather than the Long Kesh cages – a watchtower and walls are included above Carson’s portrait.

On the left are the Union Flag, Covenant, the Clyde Valley, graveside mourner in WWI, and Carson. On the right a UVF hooded gunman, the PUP emblem and slogan “Country Before Party”, and the flag of the UVF (Londonderry company).

The plaque, which has been retained from previously, reads “In proud memory of our fallen comrades from the Nelson Drive flute band. Glorious on the graves of heroes, kindly on all those who have suffered for the cause. Thus will shine the dawn. They gave their tomorrow for our today.”

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Every Child Needs Someone To Look Up To

This mural is alternatively entitled ‘Baby Jake’ after the nephew of its creator, artist RAZER (Fb) (Belfast Live). It was painted on a wall at the site of the old Gasyard for the 30th Gasyard Féile.

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Those Old Grey Walls Still Firmly Standing

The sights and sounds of Irish Street and Londonderry: (clockwise from right) a verse from Londonderry On The Foyle (youtube) in a frame of the walls of the city of Derry – “But once more I’m coming home aboard a steamship/On Lough Foyle once more I’m passing by Culmore/And I see those old grey walls still firmly standing/There ’round my city Londonderry on the Foyle”; East Bank (Irish Street) Protestant Boys (Fb) on parade; Carson and the signing of the 1912 Covenant; St Columb’s Cathedral; Irish Street FC (Fb).

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The Big Plastic Pledge

The Foyle Maritime Festival encourages people to pledge to reduce their use of plastics, so that the amount of plastic entering the seas and waterways is reduced. London-/Derry was host to the ships sailing in the Clipper 2022 Race in July and to accompany the festival, Derry City & Strabane Council had two murals painted by Peaball (ig) at Foyleview apartments. The Council had a competition to name the seal; the winner was “Ronan” or “Rónán” meaning “little seal” in Irish (ig video). The octopus does not appear to have a name.

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Saoirse Go Deo

The 1918 ‘Representation Of The People’ act gave 8.4 million women in the United Kingdom the right to vote (WP). (For the two women on the left holding the ‘Votes For Women’ sign, see Women’s Hall And Cost-Price Restaurant.) In that same year, Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to Westminster and became Sinn Féin Minister For Labour in the first Dáil Éireann that was established as an alternative. Ten years earlier, she had co-founded Na Fianna Éireann with Bulmer Hobson. The names of Derry fianna are listed on the right. “Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.” (This board replaces the former Fianna mural that celebrated the centenary in 2009.)

To the left is a “Join RSYM” stencil with the names of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers; to the right is a picture of the memorial across the street to the dead of the 3rd battalion of the Doire Brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann.

“But while Ireland is not free I remain a rebel, unconverted and unconvertible. There is no word strong enough for it. I am pledged as a rebel to the one thing – a free and independent republic.”

“Ach a fhad is nach bhfuil Éire saor, seasfaidh mé an fód mar cheannairceach, gan géilleadh, gan athrú. Níl focal dá bhfuil atá chumhachtach go leor. Tá gealltanas tugtha agam mar cheannairceach, cuspóir amháin a chur i gcrích – poblacht shaor agus neamhspleach.”

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Tree For Unity

Here are two tree-plantings around Free Derry Corner. First (above) is the olive tree representing solidarity with Palestine. March 30th, 2022 was the 46th anniversary of Land Day, a day of general strikes and protests against an Israeli plan to confiscate about 5,000 acres of land in the Galilee, in order to settle Israelis there and alter the demographics in the area. In the rioting that broke out, six people were killed by IDF and police. (WP) “This olive tree was planted on the 30th March 2022 to commemorate Land Day in Palestine and the shared struggle between Ireland & Palestine” (Derry Journal report on the day’s events.)

Second (below) Crann Na Saoirse is a Sinn Féin initiative (tw | e.g. Fb) to plant trees that will “grow tall in a free United Ireland”.

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Galliagh Remembers

This installation in Galliagh, Derry, has a portrait of each of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers on a large “H” as well as the central board shown above – the coffin being carried is that of Kevin Lynch – see For A Socialist Republic.

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