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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The Old IRA

Cúchulainn stands dying; the raven on his shoulder will signal his death. “This memorial is dedicated to all the brave and gallant men and women of the Old IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann) and Cumann na mBán who fought in all of the campaigns from the 1920s War of Independence onwards.”

The Irish tricolour with crossed rifles was the flag of the Irish Volunteers (Óglaigh na hÉireann), the splits in which gave rise all the subsequent IRAs.

For a roll of honour 1916-1966, including some profiles, see Treason Felony.

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Reifreann Anois

“Referendum now”. On this day 100 years ago (1920-12-23) the ‘Government Of Ireland Act‘ – the fourth Home Rule bill – was passed in the UK parliament, partitioning Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, both within the UK. The rest, as they say, is history, history we are still living out. Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald claimed (in an interview with Owen Jones of the Guardian) that Irish unity would be achieved this decade. Martin McGuinness said in 2003 that unity would be achieved by the centenary of the Rising (Indo) but that year has come and gone. (Feb poll | Oct poll)

Previously: #TimeForUnity | Time For Irish Unity

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Ní Saoirse Go Saoirse Na mBan

Ní saoirse go saoirse na mban [“There is no freedom until the freedom of women”] with images of Countess Markievicz, Colman Doyle’s famous ?1974? image of a (staged) female IRA volunteer with AR-18, Máire Drumm, and Mairéad Farrell. Lasair Dhearg (web) sticker in north Belfast.

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Big Love, Belfast

“Grá mór” [lots of love] on an electrical box in Ardmoulin Street. Artist unknown.

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The Falls Road Massacre

Muralist Gerard ‘Mo Chara’ Kelly (whose catalogue of work can be seen in a separate site) and others from Gael Force Art (Fb) have mounted a three-piece memorial for the centenary of the Falls Road Massacre in which four people were killed – one of them being Mo Chara’s great uncle Jimmy Shields – in a 5-minute shooting spree by a “special patrol” on the night of the funerals of three men killed by the ‘RIC Murder Gang’ (see the 2007 post). For more background see the memorial’s Facebook page.

More than 500 people were killed in Belfast from 1920 to 1922; for details and their locations see The Social Geography Of Violence During The Belfast Troubles.

“These four innocent local men were murdered by an RIC/British Army death squad near this spot in [September 28th] 1920: James Shields, William Teer, Robert Gordon, Thomas Barkley.” With perhaps the first appearance of a hashtag on a plaque: #fallsroadmassacre1920

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Socialism Is Neither Protestant Nor Catholic

“Socialism is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Freethinker, Buddhist, Mahometan, nor Jews [sic]. It is only human. We of the Socialist working class realise that as we suffer together we must work together that we may enjoy together. We reject the firebrand of capitalist warfare and offer you the olive leaf of brotherhood and justice to and for all.” From part 6 of Connolly’s Labour, Nationality And Religion in 1910. The mural is in Beechview Park, across the street from Áras Uí Chonghaile/James Connolly Visitor Centre.

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Yes I Do

“Is deontóir me [mé]. Deonú orgán. Yes I donate. Organ donation.” Dáithí Mac Gabhann (Donate4Daithí Fb | tw) who suffers from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, has been looking for a donor heart since January 2018. The new mural is on the “International Wall” in CNR west Belfast; here is an image from the Whiterock Road from the 2018 campaign. Organ Donation Week runs from September 7th to 13th.

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Welcome To Carrick Hill

“Fáilte go Cnoc na Carraige” in the arch over the entrance to Carrick Hill, with a simplified United Irishmen symbol at the centre.

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A Great Feeling Of Love

“The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality” – Che Guevara Lynch. The INLA’s Kevin Lynch died in the second hunger strike after 71 days. He is buried in Dungiven, where this memorial sits on the main road between Derry and Maghera.

“I ndíl chuimhne ar Óglach Kevin Lynch a fuair bás ar stailc ocrais ar son saoirse, 1ú Lúnasa 1981 [who died on a hunger strike for freedom, 1st August 1981]. Erected by the Irish Republican Socialist Ex-Prisoners Memorial Committee.”

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