This installation in Galliagh, Derry, has a portrait of each of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers on a large “H” as well as the central board shown above – the coffin being carried is that of Kevin Lynch – see For A Socialist Republic.
“This mural is dedicated to all those who tragically died on the streets of Derry during the hunger strike era. Suaimhneas Dé da nanamacha. 3rd October 2006.” The mural referred to is in fact the ‘crumbling cell’ mural (see M03350); the ‘Spirit Of Freedom’ mural was first painted in 2011 for the 30th anniversary (see X00999) – the 30th anniversary plaque remains, on the right of the mural. For the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike “40” has replaced the “30” in the bottom border – see the final image.
“The Continuity Fianna”. The Irish National Boy Scouts or “junior IRA” were founded in 1909 by Bulmer Hobson and Countess Markievicz, who is at the centre of this photograph. The Fianna followed the Provisionals in 1969 and Republican Sinn Féin (and the Continuity IRA) in 1986 (Fianna History blog | Irish Examiner), while Provisional Fianna became Ógra Shinn Féin and then Sinn Féin Republican Youth (An Sionnach Fionn).
“Murdered for their political beliefs: Tom Berry, Robert Elliman, Robert Millen, John Browne”. All four had a connection Markets or Ormeau area of south Belfast. Millen, from the Ormeau area, was shot in 1973 by the UVF; he played on the same soccer team (Bankmore Star) as Thomas Berry, who was shot in a Short Strand GAA club; Elliman was shot in a Markets pub; John Brown (without the “e”) was shot in his Cooke Street home in front of his family. The first three were all Protestants; the latter three were among 11 people who died in the 1975 feud between the Officials and the Provisionals. (Lost Lives)
“The war they wage is not a war of bigotry or greed, their struggle is a workers one, so everyone may lead a life with rights and liberty, in a land where they can say “Up the Army of the people, the Official IRA”.” “Erected by the Official Republican Movement.”
The Tommy Roberts mural at the top of Westland Street, Derry, has been expanded, with a new central image – which now includes a portrait of Stevie Mallon alongside Roberts, against a background of Free Derry Corner – and three additional plaques.
“In proud and loving memory of Tommy Roberts, former IRA volunteer, former POW blanketman, died 8th June 2017 aged 78. His courage and dedication will never be forgotten. As long as Ireland is unfree the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt.”
“In proud and loving memory of Stevie Mellon, former IRA volunteer, former internee, former GAA referee, died 1st August 2018, aged 65 years. His courage and dedication will never be forgotten. Lay him away on the hillside with the brave and the bold.”
“In proud and loving memory of Veronica Taylor, a proud socialist republican. Born11th June 1943, died 16th December 2019, aged 76 years. Her tireless dedication to the republican struggle will never be forgotten. “The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day and die if necessary.””
“In proud and loving memory of Ruairí (Roddy) Carlin, former IRA volunteer, former POW, died 23rd March 2021. A brave son of Ireland who fought for his country against continued British oppression and injustice, an uncompromised republican committed to the reunification of Ireland.”
Patsy O’Hara was born in 1957 Bishop Street, Derry, and joined Na Fianna in 1970 and the local Sinn Féin cumann in 1971 and, in August was shot in the leg by British soldiers. In 1972 he joined the Republican Clubs and in 1975 the IRSP. He was imprisoned multiple times, the final time being in January 1979 for possession of a hand grenade (Bobby Sands Trust). He went on hunger strike 41 years ago tomorrow (March 22nd) and was the first of the three INLA hunger strikers to die in 1981. The long-standing mural in Bishop Street was repainted for the 40th anniversary of his death. (For the previous version, see Let The Fight Go On.)
“Óglach Patsy O’Hara, INLA Derry Brigade, Irish hunger striker, who died after 61 days on 21st May 1981, age 23. Last words ‘Let the fight go on’.”
“After we are gone, what will you say you were doing? Will you say you were with us in our struggle or where you conforming to very system that drove us to our deaths?”
Here are two IRSP pieces commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike. The first, above and immediately below, is from Ard Eoin/Ardoyne (Béal Feirste/Belfast) with colour (or at least, colour-ised) portraits of the ten who died on either side of an image from Keven Lynch’s funeral cortège. It is the same as the board seen on the lower Falls in For A Socialist Republic. At the bottom is a poster from Strabane calling people to gather in remembrance in Derry.
The Dome Of The Rock with its golden dome and octagonal walls (WP) provides a background to Palestinian protesters in this Ard Eoin/Ardoyne board expressing solidarity with Palestine (seen previously in 2021-11). Éistigí (Fb) is the youth division of Saoradh (web), and IRPWA (tw) is its prisoner-of-war organisation.
This is a printed board but even so the artwork is in a different style to what has been previously seen, with the two female characters drawn in a cartoon/animation style. (See, e.g., End Maghaberry Torture previously in this spot, or Leave Our Kids Alone around the corner in Ardoyne Ave, or The Rising Of The Moon in Derry.)
The old shop-window sign of the Irish experience in England “No blacks, no Irish, [no dogs]” is repurposed and reclaimed positively by the RNU in the Colin area, with the rainbow flag, Irish tricolour, and Nelson Mandela (alongside James Connolly) below the skyline of Belfast. For the original, see previously Oppose Racism | No Dogs, No POWs