Sorley Boy

Somhaile Buí Mac Domhnaill (Gaeilge) / Somhairle Buidhe Mac Domhnaill (Gàidhlig) / Sorley Boy MacDonnell (English) was so-called (Buí/Buidhe) because of his “yellow” hair. Although his family was from the islands, he was born just outside Ballycastle in 1505 and is known for establishing the Mac Donnells in Antrim and for frustrating the plantation (WP | Tudor & Stuart Perspectives).

The mural was painted by Oliver McParland (web) in North Street, Ballycastle.

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Lifford Remembers The Hunger Strikers

“Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann” [they died for Ireland’s freedom] Although it’s the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, this Lifford (Co. Donegal) board includes Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg who died in English prisons in the 1970s.

If you can explain the flag in the centre, please get in touch. The wide shot, below, includes a call to rally for 100% Redress, No Less.

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Acht Anois

500 days after the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ plan for restoring Stormont was released, members of An Dream Dearg (tw) took to Sliabh Dubh (promo video) to urge for the plan’s “official recognition of the status of the Irish language in Northern Ireland”. The DUP – now under the leadership of Edwin Poots – say the party is committed to NDNA but that it does not contain an ‘Irish Language Act’ (News Letter One | Two).

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For A Socialist Republic

“Saoirse go deo.” INLA volunteer Kevin Lynch went on hunger strike 40 years ago yesterday, May 23rd, 1981. He would die 71 days later, on August 1st. His funeral is depicted above, part of a new IRSP/IRSM board commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strikes. The board is flanked by two other IRSP boards, one against the PSNI (“96% of Divis residents do not support the PSNI – defund, disarm, disband”) and one dedicated to founder Seamus Costello (“He was the only one who truly understood what James Connolly meant when he spoke of his vision of the freedom of the Irish people.” – Nora Connolly at Costello’s funeral)

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An Stailc Ocrais

On this today 40 years ago, Francis Hughes, the second of the 1981 hunger strikers, died after 59 days without food. The flag is flying over Groves Reilly Corner in CNR west Belfast.

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A Vision Of A Better Belfast

This is the latest iteration of the “Build Homes Now” mural in Northumberland Street, with an update to the central panel. Previously it was a space for visitors to sign their names in support but now it is a quote from (presumably) someone living in temporary accommodation: “When you’re in a hostel for so long, it starts to feel like a jail. It’s just so irritating and frustrating.”

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Fáilte Go Cabhsa Almóinne

The new Bobby Sands mural is not the only recent addition in Twinbrook. Almond – the middle of the estate – has a ‘before and after’ of the pandemic: on the left, locals sit out in the street watching children play; on the right, frontline personnel.

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Comóradh 40 Stailc Ocrais

On Sunday March 22nd, 1981, forty years ago this week, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara joined Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes on hunger strike in Long Kesh/HMP Maze. They would be joined by 19 more prisoners before the strike ended with ten of the 23 meeting their deaths. On March 31st, 1974, Michael Gaughan went on hunger strike in Parkhurst, along with four others, including Frank Stagg. Gaughan died in June as a result of forced feeding; Stagg would die on a later strike, in February 1976.

The board is on the site of the former Andersonstown RUC barracks.

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Mind Is Your Only Ruler

Spotted in the carpark of the Dunnes on the Ormeau Road/Annadale embankment: “Free your mind – foghlaim Gaeilge [learn Irish]”.

Previously: Díchoilínigh D’Intinn [Decolonise Your Mind] | If Nothing Is Free Are We

(Thanks to RMcC for the tip-off.)

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Will This Work For You?

“A new Ireland will work for you”, whoever you are. The recent Sinn Féin advertising campaign features generic figures straight from central casting, perhaps designed to offend absolutely no one. The locations are in north and west Belfast.

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