Lifford Remembers The Hunger Strikers

“Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann” [they died for Ireland’s freedom] Although it’s the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, this Lifford (Co. Donegal) board includes Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg who died in English prisons in the 1970s.

If you can explain the flag in the centre, please get in touch. The wide shot, below, includes a call to rally for 100% Redress, No Less.

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Think Outdoor This Summer

Protesters from Donegal were (again) in Dublin on Friday (Journal.ie), pressing their claims for “100% redress – no less” for the cost of repairing houses that were built from faulty concrete blocks that are now cracked and crumbling because of an excessive amount of mica (17% as opposed to the prescribed limit of 1%). Leinster home-owners experiencing similar problems with pyrite were awarded 100% redress but the current scheme for the 5,000+ mica-affected homes in Donegal and Mayo offers only 90% of the cost of repairs (Irish Times) – hence the slogan “parity with pyrite”. Some homes, in Mayo, are currently affected by pyrite (Irish Times).

The stickers shown here are asking for support from Dublin residents. (Previously: support on Free Derry Corner.) They were presumably mounted by Paddy Diver, who is driving traffic to the Mica Action Group.

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Brendan Francis Behan

“Brendan Francis Behan (1923-1964) was an Irish poet, story writer, novelist and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He was also an Irish Republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army. His works include The Borstal Boy, The Quare Fellow and The Hostage. He would regularly meet with friends in the Harbour Lights Bar, now known as Harkins, The Harbour Bar. It was there he had his last drink in March 1964 before suffering a heart attack. An IRA guard of honour escorted his coffin during a funeral that one newspaper described as “The biggest funeral since those of Michael Collins and Charles Stewart Parnell.”

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400 Days

Debenhams went into administration on April 9th, 2020 and immediately announced the closure of their stores in the Republic, with the loss of 1,200+ jobs. Workers went on strike for their union-negotiated redundancy, picketing both the front and rear entrances of stores to prevent the removal of stock by liquidators. The strike ended after 406 days when workers voted to accept an (Irish) government re-training scheme of 3m euro (Irish Times); the company was liquidated and all stores closed, including those in the north. The poster shown is on the ILAC centre in central Dublin.

A book on the strike – Tales From The Debenhams Picket Line – is now available.

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Ulster Tourist

In 1777 Viscount Enniskillen built Bundoran Lodge as a summer home (now called Homefield House) and set a trend that made Bundoran town one of Ireland’s top resorts. To accommodate the increase in tourism, hotels sprung up, including the 1830 Ulster Tourist House. The building still stands, but has long since ceased to function as a hotel.

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The Heart That Loves Is Always Young

A small piece of street art from Pimlico, Dublin, posted for Valentine’s Day.
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Pyrrhic Victory

In the Táin, Queen Medb invades Ulster (opposed single-handedly by Cú Chulainn) to take the Brown Bull (Donn Cuailnge) in order that her wealth matches that of her husband, Ailill, including his prize bull, Finnbhennach (the White-Horned). When she returns with the bull, the two bulls fight and kill each other. The mosaic shown above is a detail from Desmond Kinney’s 1974 mosaic mural off Nassau Street in Dublin. For more images and explanation, see Richard Marsh.

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Yes And No

Voters in the Republic go to the polls tomorrow (Friday May 25th) to vote on a referendum to replace Article 40.3.3 which guarantees the right to life of the unborn. If replaced, legislation allowing abortion up to 12 weeks would be introduced for debate. The two images today are from Earl Street and College Green in Dublin city centre. The case of Savita Halappanavar (used by the “yes” campaign in the image above) is described in Never Again.
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text: X04955 X04954 in britain 90% of babies diagnosed with down syndrome are aborted dignity compassion health in england one in five babies are aborted

I May Be Homeless But I’m Human Too

An pedestrian walks across chalk writing and drawings in Dublin’s O’Connell Street, oblivious to its message asking for help and respect. “I may be homeless but Im human too, once I had a family and home like you, people judge me and look down, please help me get a bed tonight, where I will be safe and sound.”
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Somebody’s Child

Dublin Councillor Mannix Flynn’s installation Somebody’s Child lists the names of 796 children deemed illegitimate and buried without funeral rites by “a cruel Catholic state” in St Mary’s Mother And Baby Centre in Tuam, Galway (Dublin Live | Mannix Flynn).
The work was launched in November 2015. It was set ablaze in January of this year and restored in July with the addition of a call for the disbandment of the Artane Boys Band, the public face of what was the Artane Industrial School which closed in 1969 in advance of the Kennedy Report into abuses carried out by the Christian Brothers. For more on this dispute, see Dublin Inquirer.
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text: X04302 X04305 X04306 X04303 X04301 exchange place