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”.
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’.
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.
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).”
The line “Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art – with great Irish fools to practice on” comes from a piece by a James Connolly article in The Irish Worker in 1914. It is used here in the context of what the “Good Friday [Agreement] has delivered: the copper fastened partition through the consent principle & triple locking border poll provision; gerrymandering using peace walls for population control; 70% Protestant, 100% unionist police force; internment by remand; revoking of licences; and miscarriages of justice; sectarianism; total polarisation of mindset; 18 peace walls in 1998 59 peace walls in 2018; sectarian allocation of social housing; almost 500 lives lost to suicide.” In contrast, 32CSM declares that the Declaration Of Independence (in English | as Gaeilge | it was also translated into French) by the Dáil in 1919 is “the only mandate the Irish people need”.
The Ulster Tower at Thiepval, France, is a replica of Helen’s Tower in Clandeboye, around which the 36th (Ulster) Brigade, formed in August 1914 from the Ulster Volunteers and Young Citizen Volunteers, began their training (see this gallery of images from North Down Museum at BBC-NI). After a year of training in Ireland and England, the Division was deployed to France in September 1915.
In the top corners are two views of the local Scrabo Tower, which can be seen to the right in the wide shot, below. Produced by muraltec.
Paris street artist KASHINK was in Belfast for Culture Night 2016, working on the fencing in Union Street behind the Sunflower. According to this article, she paints “hairy four-eyed men to examine gender assumptions.”