I ♥ NHS

“Republican Network For Unity thank all NHS frontline staff” – RNU banner on the play-pitch at the bottom of the NLR.

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Copyright © 2020 Sabine Troendle (web | Fb)
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Áras Uí Chonghaile

James Connolly worked in Belfast from 1910 or 1911 to 1916 as a labour organizer, before being executed on May 12th, 1916, for his part in the Easter Rising. He lived in Glenalina Terrace on the Falls Road (An Phoblacht | the plaque over the door) a few blocks above the visitor centre in his honour which opened in spring 2019. (There is video from each of the Official Opening and the Grand Opening, which NVTv also covered extensively.)

The new mural shown here is on the so-called “International Wall” on Divis Street, next to Welcome To West Belfast and Merdeka.

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Welcome To West Belfast

Tourists to West Belfast/Feirste Thiar are given a tour of the sights on a black taxi tour: (clockwise from left) the entrance to Milltown Cemetery at the edge of Andersonstown, a trio of murals (the Bobby Sands mural on the side of the Sinn Féin offices; the Easter Rising mural in Beechmount Ave; the Acht Anois fáinne on Divis Street (also in Ardoyne)) with a march taking place, Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiaich, gaelic football and hurling, Divis tower, Conway mill, and the Falls library. This is the third such tourist mural in the area, after one at Divis tower (Gateway To West Belfast) and one on the offices of Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Go West! | Fáilte Feirste Thiar | The Conlan Revolution).

Replaces Willowbank Huts from the centenary mural.

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Political Status

Republican Sinn Féin and Provisional Sinn Féin were formed in 1986, when Sinn Féin split over the issue of taking Dáil seats. They reject the Belfast Agreement and support the use of force; the poster above calls for political status for prisoners, the same issue that led to the blanket protest and hunger strikes. (Their web site is in fact republicansinnfein.org; they are also on Twitter.)

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Ireland’s Brexit Solution

“Ireland’s Brexit solution: a united Ireland, a workers republic, a socialist Europe. Spoil your ballot – write Workers Republic! www.socialistdemocracy.org” Although it’s not clear from the poster above, the desired position is for a federal (“United States of”) Europe rather than EU membership in its current form. 

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United’s Big Lily

“Big Lily” is a giant (~40′ x 30′) Manchester United flag created by Whitehead man Keith Norris in 1999 as a gesture of friendship towards a fellow United fan from Belfast from the ‘other side’, Martin ‘Faceman’ Cleary. It has subsequently travelled the world – the flags shown are of Catalonia, Japan, Australia, England, the United States, Italy, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Russia, Brazil, Spain – uniting United fans and being used to raise funds for anti-racism charity Kick It Out and Unicef. The mural is situated in no-man’s land on Northumberland Street and features the Orange lily of unionism and the Easter lily of nationalism. (Carrickfergus Times | Belfast LiveSignBigLily.com)

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X06833 Marty Lyons Global flag of friendship. United’s Big Lily. Manchester United FC, Stretford end on tour

Gateway To West Belfast

Fáilte Feirste Thiar‘s second mural (the first is outside its offices in the middle Falls – see Go West) reinforces the claim that (republican) west Belfast begins as soon as you cross the motorway, five minutes’ walk from the city centre. Coiste’s tour of republican murals begins at Divis Tower and the new mural already seems to be drawing tourists – see the final image, below. The previous Coiste mural (M04900) has been deleted and incorporated into the mural, promising touraists “a unique walking tour by former political prisoners”.

The mural is a mix of landmarks – the new Raidió Fáilte building (which is located just below the mural), Divis tower, St Peter’s, Conway Mill, the so-called “international wall” of murals, the Bobby Sands mural, the Falls library, the new James Connolly centre, Cultúrlann, and Milltown cemetery – cultural images (Irish dancing and Féile An Phobail) – and sporting images (clubs include Immaculata ABC, Gort Na Móna GAC, St Paul’s GAC). A gay pride ‘rainbow’ stripe runs below the Divis Street portion. Before the previous mural was painted (M07533), there was a Gateway To Belfast board at this spot.
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Timeless Memorials

Discounts on hand-held and full-size Tricolours “in memory of all of those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom” from the Milltown engravers – next to the Kurdish barbers – on the Falls Road.
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Not Politically Correct

Former TUV but now independent Councillor Jolene Bunting (web) was elected from the Court district in west Belfast in 2014. Her 2019 campaign posters (seen here around Lanark Way and Shankill Road) have drawn criticism (NewsLetter) – in addition to those shown here are “Put veterans before immigrants” and “Local homes for local people”. Her appeal against a 4-month suspension for anti-Islamic remarks was rejected last week, despite her claim that elected representatives have enhanced freedom of speech (Irish Times).
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Stand By The Republic

“Stand by the republic – Stormount [sic] has not delivered; no new jobs; wages & benefit cut; massive housing crisis; fight for jobs; resist all cuts; join the IRSP.” The board is from the Irish Republican Socialist Party (Fb); in the background is the repainted version of The Runner, including portraits of Manus Deery and Charles Love and a plaque to Love.
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