Unhappy Anniversary

Noah Donohoe would have been 17 last Friday (November 25th). The inquest had been due to start on the 28th, but after the Coroner Joe McCrisker ruled at the end of October that it should take place in front of a jury, a preliminary hearing will be held on December 9th at which a new date might be set (Belfast Media | Sunday World).

There are 23 other posts featuring Noah Donohoe on Extramural Activity. This mural is at the entrance to the Kashmir Bar on the Springfield Road; for the mural on the outside wall, see The Best Singers In The West.

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Broken Promises

The newspaper front pages reporting the “90-minute shouting match” between the resigning UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Prime Minister Liz Truss (third image, below) were barely dry when Truss herself resigned yesterday. The main cause was the September 23rd “mini-budget” that promised to scrap the 45% personal tax rate entirely, lower the 20% to 19%, and keep the corporate rate at 19% instead of having it increase to 25% in April 2023 – these numbers are seen on the pages falling from Truss’s hands, above – without explaining how the reductions would be funded. Over the next three weeks these positions were reversed – “volte face”, Truss’s flip-flops, and the two-headed Truss; all part of a pattern, artist Ciaran Gallagher (web) suggests with Truss’s clothing: she was originally in the Lib Dems before joining the Conservatives in 1996 and supported ‘remain’ in the Brexit vote (WP).

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng went on the 14th. Braverman resigned over a breach of the Ministerial Code – sharing an official document on migration from her personal e-mail account – but got in a few digs at the Truss government as she left. (WP)

The Tories hope to put a new leader and PM in place within a week. Rishi Sunak, Terminator-style, says “I’ll be back!” and is – as of today, at least – the bookies’ favourite (BBC).

For Larry the cat – who was previously pictured sitting on the steps outside Number 10 but has gone from the mural – next week’s prime minister will be his fifth.

Previous versions of this mural: And In The Blue Corner … (from the Truss vs. Sunak leadership contest) | It’s A Knockout! (when Truss won)

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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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The Scales Of Justice

The giant mural around the offices of Russell & Co solicitors in Newtownards combines legal imagery with famous north Down sites and people.

There are two main parts, in High Street and in Lower Mary Street. In High Street, we see Blair “Paddy” Mayne; the Jordan ‘Hissing Sid’ Formula 1 race-car (Eddie Irvine, who is from Newtownards, drove for Jordan until 1996); a weaver working a loom (the image is from Waringstown, but is perhaps meant to represent local mills such as Walker’s or Ards & Webb); an image of the Ards TT.

In Lower Mary Street, from behind Scrabo Hill, Lady Justice weighs scales each containing Rodin’s statue The Thinker. We also see a modern agricultural tractor, as designed by Harry Ferguson; a portrait of James Russell who founded the solicitors’ firm in 1948; a Cessna light aircraft, presumably at Newtownarrds airport, the first purpose-built airport on the island (Ulster Flying Club); the former Ards Maltings; a sack of Comber Earlies.

Acting as a joining motif on both sides of the building are roses from Dickson Nurseries.

The mural was painted by Mark Ervine and Paul Doran. The partially-completed mural was featured in the Financial Times all the way back in November 2018; it was eventually finished in 2021 and given an anti-graffiti coating this (2022) summer.

With thanks to Colin Haddick of Russell & Co.

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Are You Sitting Comfortably?

JJB Sports is still closed (since 2012) and the Weatherspoons never materialised, so Leo Boyd’s (web | ig | Fb) art on the hoarding has expanded into a triptych with pieces on either side of No Signal. In June he added the piece on the right (shown below), and now on the left (shown above, with signature) is one in a series called “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” The Vault’s Christmas market is on this weekend at HQ on the Newtownards Road – tickets can be booked on Fb.

Previously by Leo on Extramural Activity.

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For Twinbrook

In 2019, images of Bobby Sands before his (second and final) arrest and imprisonment were rediscovered in the collection of French photographer Gérard Harlay. Sands was serving as a flag-bearer in an August 1976 march from the Busy Bee to Dunville Park to protest the withdrawal of political status. (For some of Harlay’s images, see Bobby Sands Trust.) This new mural in his home area of Twinbrook copies one of the images (though presents him as carrying a Tricolour rather than a harp) along with protesters protesting for “Public transport for Twinbrook now” and “Social housing for Twinbrook now”.

See also: Comóradh 40 Stailc Ocrais

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The Machine Enslaves, The Hand Sets Free

The grey “machine” is encased in fluorescent colours in Rob Hilken’s (ig | web | Visual Arts Ireland) piece in Kent Street for HTN 2020.

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Chooser Of The Slain

In one of her guises as a crow or raven, the goddess of war Morrígan would fly over the battlefield and inspire warriors to heroic deeds or sometimes picked out those who were to fall (including Cú Chulainn). Work by Friz (tw | ig) for HTN 2020 called ‘Got You In My Sights’.

A previous Morrígan by Friz for CNB/HTN 2014: The Phantom Queen

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#RememberMyNoah

14 year-old Noah Donohoe went missing on June 21st while cycling in the York Road area n route from his south Belfast home to the Cave Hill. His body was found in a north Belfast storm drain six days later and the postmortem showed death by drowning (Irish News). Many details of his last hours remain unknown, however, including how he came to drown in the drain. His mother, Fiona, started a campaign on August 11th on Facebook and Twitter to press for answers and signatures are being collected for a petition into the PSNI handling of the case. CCTV images of Noah were released on Friday by the BBC. An inquest will be held in January, 2021 (BelTel) with a preliminary hearing on September 30th.

Previously: Gloria Ab Intus

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11 Innocent Civilians

The inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre – the killings of 11 people from August 9th to 11th, continues, with testimony this past week from former Paratrooper Henry Gow (Irish News | BBC-NI). The image above shows Hugh Mullan being shot from Springmartin while going to the aid of a neigbour, Bobby Clarke; he is waving a white Babygro (BallymurphyMassacre.com). The Paratrooper is distinguished by his red beret.
The mural was originally painted by Risteard Ó Murchú in 2008 and displayed first on the Whiterock Road then around the corner on the Springfield Road; the location of the repainted board is at the Glenalina Road entrance to the area, in the spot of the former 1916 GPO mural (which had lasted seventeen years before being whitewashed in 2017).
“This plaque is dedicated to the 11 innocent civilians murdered by members of the British Parachute regiment in August 1971. Fr Hugh Mullan, Frank Quinn, Noel Phillips, Joan Connolly,
Danny Teggart, Joseph Murphy, Eddie Doherty, John Laverty, Joseph Corr, Paddy McCarthy, John McKerr. Donated by the Frank McCann Cumann, Hamilton [Scotland] (Fb).”
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