William King Memorial Flute Band

On the left is the story of William King,and on the right, the story of the William King Memorial Flute band (Fb), including the death of Bobby Stott on, forty-seven years ago yesterday. These images were taken during the summer; the board was vandalised two weeks ago (BelTel).

William King “was born in Co Donegal in 1920. He was one of a family of 14 … He served in the army during the Second World War and at the time of his death on 24th September 1969, he worked as a security guard at Du Pont in Maydown. A widower, he was a father of four … and lived in the Fountain area of Londonderry … In the hostile atmosphere of Londonderry in the weeks following the ‘Battle of the Bogside’ in August 1969, William was badly beaten by a group of nationalist rioters in London Street, close to the Fountain … and later died from a heart attack precipitated by these injuries. … unlike the victims of Bloddy Sunday, William King and the other approx. 250 people who died as a result of the terrorist campaign throughout the “Troubles” would not receive any enquiries or attention as time passed.”

“On 6th April 1974 having mastered 8 tunes, the band is dedicated on the “Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall” by Dean George Good … On the 25th November 1975, band member Bobby Stott, a part-time member of the Ulster Defence regiment, was murdered by the IRA in The Fountain … [in 1982] they competed at the “Band Championships of Ireland” and were placed 2nd but after this setback the Wm King would go on to dominate the melody band contest scene for the next 30 years.

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105 Years Of Balfour

“Britain in Palestine & Ireland” The Balfour Declaration of November 1917 is seen as a pivotal moment in the history leading to the what is formally known as the State Of Israel, as it made the UK the first major government to endorse the idea of a homeland for Jews (WP).

The poster (for a talk in Cultúrlann) is in Allworthy Avenue; the board is on Northumberland Street. The latter draws parallels between Ireland and Palestine: homelands partitioned for British imperialist interests, struggles for freedom met with British barbarism … forbidden from speaking their native tongue, faiths outlawed … . About 650 former RIC members were recruited to the “British Gendarmarie” that would police what was called “Mandatory Palestine” (Palestine Studies | Irish History) after WWI.

The League Of Nations mandate putting the UK in change of the Palestinian territory was replaced (in 1947) by a UN plan for partition, which triggered an internal war between Jews and Arabs, and when the UK ended the mandate and evacuated from Palestine in May 1948, Israel declared independence and neighbouring Arab states entered the conflict. About 700,000 Arabs were displaced during the fighting. Key48 (tw) advocates for the right of return and uses as a symbol the keys that householders took with them when they fled.

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X11793 X11794 X11838 X11839 X11840 X11841 His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Central Drive

Creggan sports centre opened in October 2009 (Leisure Opportunities) and part of the architecture was to cover the brick exterior with five plain-white panels along Central Drive. These have been taken over by Saoradh/IRPWA, this year to protest the extradition, internment, and treatment of republican prisoners, commemorate the 1981 hunger strikers, support Palestine, and threaten drug dealers.

For the graffiti, see End Internment Of Jason Ceulemans

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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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Stronger Together

“Suicide awareness and mental health initiative – Larne, stronger together.” With contact information for Extern (web), Lifeline (web), Childline (web), Samaritans (web). Possibly connected to Stronger Together NI (Fb).

For the drugs-awareness board on the left, see Stop Mephedrone Before It Stops You. For the sectarian boards, see The Flax And The Lily and The Loyalty Of Northern Ireland. For the women’s board, see Women Are A Whole Community.

See also the Stronger Together shutters on the Shankill.

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Mise Éire

Mise Éire (short for ‘Is mise Éire’ [I am Ireland]) is a short poem by Patrick Pearse in which Mother Ireland speaks of her glories and sufferings. The un-partitioned Ireland (though with the flags of the four provinces in the corners) is used here by Republican Sinn Féin (web) to call for unification of “the whole people of Ireland … Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter” [Wolfe Tone, from his autobiography].

The poem also appears in a Derry mural from the 1980s and a current New Lodge GAA mural.

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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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Peace Wall Stories

The ‘Peace Wall Stories’ installation along the Cupar Street “peace” line, was launched last Saturday (April 2nd). Photographer Stephen Wilson (web) has produced half-tone portraits in newspaper style, each 2.5 metres tall, of a dozen people from both communities who live near barriers in Belfast.

There is an iPhone/iPad app that goes along with the project, which allows you to point your mobile at a portrait and have the person pictured come alive and speak to you about their experiences; for those without iPhones or the app, the recordings can be heard at the project’s web site.

Part of the Imagine! Belfast Festival, 2022.

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Stop War

Here are three images from CNR west Belfast commenting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine (plus a bonus one calling for the abolition of capitalism). Above, “End the war” and “Stop war in Ukraine”. The Leeds United flag has presumably been deployed for its blue and yellow colours, rather than for its “Marching on together” slogan. At bottom, “Stop the war! Russian troops out – Disband NATO – Support all refugess – Worker’s [sic] unity across Europe – www.socialistdemocracy.org“. In between, two Lasair Dhearg (web) stickers on pedestrian crossing boxes: “US military out of Shannon – stop imperialist war planes” and “‘The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system; it must go’ – James Connolly [from Labour, Nationality And Religion]”

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Though Absent You Are Ever Near

“Talents have been robbed by addiction, suicide, mental illness” – the shoes of the dead form part of an installation on Stewart Street, around the perimeter of the Markets. The RNU banner off to the right contains the numbers for Pieta House, PIPS, Samaritans, Teen Line, Lifeline, and Breathing Space.

“I am here – a son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, partner, lover, cousin, friend, grandfather, family. Why, why, why??? Are you okay? Our love[d] ones. Every day in some small way memories of you come our way. Through [sic] absent you are ever near, still missed, still loved, and ever dear.”

“The families[‘] pain continues!! They continue to struggle in silence: each loss has had a ripple effect throughout our community! Through the travel of time the pain remains the same!!!”

“It’s OK not to be OK – mental health illness is an invisible illness – breathing space – open up when you’re feeling down”

Below the shoes: “Dream big – smile – be thoughtful – respect – caring – love – be you – support – family”

The final image is from the nearby Friendly Street: Believe in yourself – Be kind – Something inside so strong – Positive mental well-being

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