Áras Uí Chonghaile

James Connolly worked in Belfast from 1910 or 1911 to 1916 as a labour organizer, before being executed on May 12th, 1916, for his part in the Easter Rising. He lived in Glenalina Terrace on the Falls Road (An Phoblacht | the plaque over the door) a few blocks above the visitor centre in his honour which opened in spring 2019. (There is video from each of the Official Opening and the Grand Opening, which NVTv also covered extensively.)

The new mural shown here is on the so-called “International Wall” on Divis Street, next to Welcome To West Belfast and Merdeka.

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Welcome To West Belfast

Tourists to West Belfast/Feirste Thiar are given a tour of the sights on a black taxi tour: (clockwise from left) the entrance to Milltown Cemetery at the edge of Andersonstown, a trio of murals (the Bobby Sands mural on the side of the Sinn Féin offices; the Easter Rising mural in Beechmount Ave; the Acht Anois fáinne on Divis Street (also in Ardoyne)) with a march taking place, Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiaich, gaelic football and hurling, Divis tower, Conway mill, and the Falls library. This is the third such tourist mural in the area, after one at Divis tower (Gateway To West Belfast) and one on the offices of Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Go West! | Fáilte Feirste Thiar | The Conlan Revolution).

Replaces Willowbank Huts from the centenary mural.

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Is Féidir Linn!

Inspirational female figures inside Coláiste Feirste: Marie Curie – Duais Nobel, Emmeline Pankhurst – “Vótaí do mhnaí” [votes for women], Alice Ní Mhaolagáin [Milligan], Mary Anne Nic Reachtain [McCracken], Mairéad Ní Fhearail [Farrell], Bernadette Ní Dhoibhilin [Devlin], Angela Davis, Rosa Parks – “Shuigh sí le go dtiocfadh linn seasamh” [She sat so that we would stand], Méabh – Banríon Chonnacht [queen of Connacht], Gráinne Mhaol [Grace O’Malley], Marina Ginestà, Winifred Ní Chearnaigh [Carney], Mary Mhic Giolla Íosa [McAleese] – Uachtarán na hÉireann [President of Ireland], mná Bhóthar Seoighe [women of Shaw’s Road] – scoil Ghaeilge Bhéal Feirste. Dalta Choláiste Feirste – An tusa an chéad laoch eile? [Pupil of Coláiste Feirste, are you the next hero?]
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Reject Brexit

Sinn Féin is using the threat of a “hard border, job losses, food shortages” due to Brexit to encourage people to vote (at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote). The next Assembly elections are scheduled for 2022; a Westminster vote might come somewhat sooner.

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An Tusa An Chéad Laoch Eile?

Padraig Pearse was a schoolmaster (at St Enda’s in Dublin) and wrote about the importance of education to the character of the nation. He described the English education system in Ireland as a “murder machine“. In a pamphlet of that name he writes, “Education has not to do with the manufacture of things, but with fostering the growth of things. And the conditions we should strive to bring about in our education system are not the conditions favourable to the rapid and cheap manufacture of ready-mades, but the conditions available to the growth of living organisms – the liberty and the light and the gladness of a ploughed field under the spring sunshine.” on which the Irish above might possibly be based (though he wrote about 50 pieces on education): “Is é an tsamhail a bheirim don oideachas, ní rud a dhéanfa ar líne chóimeála i monarcha ach bláth i ngairdín a chothaíonn tú le mórchuid grá agus cúraim.” [I take as a likeness of education not something that is made on an assembly line in a factory but a flower in a garden that you nourish with great love and care.] For some background, see Pearse The Educationalist. Pearse’s likeness and philosophy of education are posted at the entrance to Coláiste Feirste.

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Is This Our City?

The PPR, champions of the ‘Build Homes Now’ campaign, recently (2019-09-18) launched an updated mural on Northumberland Street (see previously 2018 | 2017 | 2016 ), demanding “safe homes for refugees” as well as the usual suggestions of sites on which to build: “Build homes on Mackies” – “investigate Hillview (which was zoned for commercial use – Belfast Live)”.

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The Pogrom Of August 1969

This August marks the 50th anniversary of what are euphemistically called “The Troubles”. The Battle Of The Bogside (Derry) began on August 12th; in Belfast, fighting began on the night of August 14th and before dawn three people in the Divis Street area were dead: Protestant Herbert Roy and Catholics Patrick Rooney and Hugh McCabe, both shot in the Divis flats complex by the RUC’s Shorland armoured cars. (Two other Catholics were killed in rioting in Ardoyne.) This new board is on Divis tower, next to the plaque commemorating Rooney and McCabe.

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X05989 X05990 “Ar eagla go ndéanfadh muid dearmad” [for fear we would forget/lest we forget] “erected by the falls commemoration committee” ‘time for truth” “malone road fiddles”  “barricades stay until demands are met”

Groves Reilly Corner

Throughout the Troubles the junction of the Glen and Falls Road was home to an intensely fortified RUC barracks. The barracks was demolished in 2005 and gradually redeveloped over the years. In January (2019) it was renamed in honour of activists Emma Groves and Clara Reilly who campaigned for decades against plastic bullets (Groves was blinded in 1972 by a plastic bullet fire by a Paratrooper) and founder members of Relatives For Justice (web). For images from the launch, see Irish Examiner.

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Time For Irish Unity

Sinn Féin joined the IRSP ‘Yes For Unity’ campaign (Fb | tw) for a vote on Irish reunification with a shared meeting in late 2018 (Irish News). The two campaign boards shown here (at the Glen Road-Falls Road junction and at the top of the New Lodge) are in the same style of these two IRSP ‘Yes For Unity’ boards from 2018.

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Gateway To West Belfast

Fáilte Feirste Thiar‘s second mural (the first is outside its offices in the middle Falls – see Go West) reinforces the claim that (republican) west Belfast begins as soon as you cross the motorway, five minutes’ walk from the city centre. Coiste’s tour of republican murals begins at Divis Tower and the new mural already seems to be drawing tourists – see the final image, below. The previous Coiste mural (M04900) has been deleted and incorporated into the mural, promising touraists “a unique walking tour by former political prisoners”.

The mural is a mix of landmarks – the new Raidió Fáilte building (which is located just below the mural), Divis tower, St Peter’s, Conway Mill, the so-called “international wall” of murals, the Bobby Sands mural, the Falls library, the new James Connolly centre, Cultúrlann, and Milltown cemetery – cultural images (Irish dancing and Féile An Phobail) – and sporting images (clubs include Immaculata ABC, Gort Na Móna GAC, St Paul’s GAC). A gay pride ‘rainbow’ stripe runs below the Divis Street portion. Before the previous mural was painted (M07533), there was a Gateway To Belfast board at this spot.
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X06650 X06649 X06653 [X06651] Marty Lyons Micky Doherty