Sean McCaughey was born in Aughnacloy but the family moved to Ardoyne when he was six years old (both Duneden Park and Heathfield Road are mentioned). He was IRA acting chief of staff when he was arrested in 1941 and sentenced to life in Portlaoise. He went on the blanket and was confined to solitary. After five years he went on a hunger and thirst strike, and died after 23 days, on May 11th, 1946. The background image in the board shown above is of McCaughey’s cortège moving through Dublin before he was buried in the republican plot in Milltown cemetery (Belfast). (An Phoblacht | RN | Bobby Sands Trust | 2008 mural)
The Identity And Language bill is making its way through the House Of Lords. Here is the web page for the stages of the processes. The “report” stage – when it is open to the whole body for amendment – begins on July 6th; the bill drew criticism from DUP peers during the second reading (BelTel). The graffiti above in support of an Act is on the Falls Road.
“No extradition! Don’t play England’s game” – after years of legal wrangling, Liam Campbell was extradited to Lithuania on charges of procuring weapons for the Real IRA (BBC | Saoradh). See previously: Silence Is Complicity. Ciarán Maguire was handed over to the PSNI by Gardaí in April 2021 (Donegal Daily).
The boards shown above and at bottom are in Thames Street (Falls) and Brompton Park (Ardoyne). The small diamond version (also in Ardoyne) is mounted above one of the “Slow – Go mall” signs from Sinn Féin that were described as “intimidatory” by local DUP Assembly member and are perhaps also illegal under the Roads Order (NI) 1993 (Belfast Live).
While 17,000 people in red t-shirts – many of them young (see image below) – were marching for an Irish Language Act (Acht Gaeilge) (BBC | Belfast Live | BelTel | youtube video | organised by An Dream Dearg tw), a dozen grey-hairs were outside city hall protesting the 2022 meeting of the World Economic Forum (which ends tomorrow in Davos). Among the … hypotheses … presented: “Zi great rezet needs war” (a German-ised – and thus more sinister – version of The Great Reset (WEF video); “Pfizer knew their vaccine would kill” (a headline from The Light newspaper); a cashless society will mean a social credit score; devices on the internet of things will be hooked up to a “5G monitoring system”; UBI is “Austerity”; an end to privately-owned businesses; an end to single-family homes; a global government, currency, central bank, and military; an end to all privately-owned property (more threateningly put as “You will own nothing and you will be happy” (meme) at the barrel of a gun).
Today’s post is bookended by two images of the emblem of An Dream Dearg – a white ring or fáinne on a red background – flying over the top of the ‘Rock and on Sliabh Dubh.
Today is the last day to register to vote in the May 5th Assembly election. You can register on-line at gov.uk. Currently, 1.4 million people are registered in Northern Ireland (BBC). As today’s images make clear, the poles of Belfast are already cluttered with placards for the various candidates, as well as the salient issues, such as the “sea border” and the death of Noah Donohoe.
The Newington tribute to Bobby Sands and the other deceased hunger strikers of the 1970s and 80s (see previously: Mol An Óige Agus Tiocfaidh Sí) has been augmented with four plaques to republicans from the area who died in the Troubles: (l-r) Martin McDonagh, Rosemary Bleakley, Colm Mulgrew, and Sean ‘Maxi’ McIvenna.
Unbeknowst to her parents (Lost Lives), Bleakley had joined Cumann Na mBan at 18 and was four days short of her nineteenth birthday when she and McDonagh were killed in a premature bomb explosion in the North Street arcade (Victor Patterson image of the blast), along with civilians Ian Gallagher and Mary Dornan (Sutton); 20 others were injured (Fortnight). Bleakley was not buried in the republican plot (in Milltown) but coincidentally in the plot adjacent to Dornan (BBC).
“South Belfast – time for truth – exposing collusion – Ormeau Road – ‘Bullets do not only travel distance but also through time'” [Based on a quote by James Kennedy’s father: “The bullets that killed James didn’t just travel in distance, they travelled in time. Some of those bullets never stop travelling.” (Irish Times)]
Police Ombudsman Marie Andersons’s report into various murders and attempted murders in south Belfast was released yesterday (February 7th, 2022) and presented a list of “collusive behaviours” between the RUC and loyalist paramilitaries. Among the incidents investigated was the killing of five people “murdered for their faith” at the Sean Graham bookies’ office on the Ormeau Road in February 5th, 1992; the report found that one of the two UDA gunmen was a Special Branch informant and that a Browning pistol used in the attack had been supplied by the RUC (as had previously been revealed in the 2010 HET Inquiry report) and that records relating to the weapon had been withheld from investigators (Irish Times | Belfast Live). For the 30th anniversary, relatives of the five men killed and of five more who were injured displayed their portraits next to the small memorial garden, which itself was updated to mark the third decade since their deaths: “1992-2022” (Belfast Live).
The plaque on the far left is to Charles Jospeh McGrillen, shot by the UDA/UFF in 1988 at his work in Dunne’s on the Annadale embankment (Sutton). Next to the bookies’ parlour is a plaque to Fian Jim Templeton.
Kieran Doherty’s memorial stone (below) is recreated at the back of the mural of his funeral cortège. “I gcuimhne ar Vol. Kieran Doherty T.D. Briogáid Bhéal Feirste [Ógliagh na hÉireann], of 54 Commedagh Drive. Rugadh 16ú Deireadh Fómhair 1955, elected T.D. for Cavan/Monaghan 11th June 1981, a fuair bás 2ú Lúnasa 1981, after 73 days on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. ‘It is not those who can inflict the most, but those who endure the most, who will conquer in the end’.” (The Terence MacSwiney quote is not included on the painted stone.)
“Ná heiseachadtar Assange – Don’t extradite Assange” – in December of last year (2021) the British court of appeal ruled (NYTimes) that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be extradited to the USA to face charges relating to the publication of the Chelsea Manning leaks of US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010. His fate is now in the hands of UK Home Secretary Priti Patel (Al Jazeera). The Sinn Féin board shown above is at the Falls Road-Glen Road roundabout.
Cumann Spóirt An Phobail (Fb | ig) is an all abilities (and all ages – starting at age 5) soccer club based on the Ballymurphy Road in west Belfast. The club was profiled in the Irish News in late 2020. “CSP Abú”