“Foremost in my tortured mind is the thought that there can never be peace in Ireland until the foreign, oppressive British presence is removed, leaving all the Irish people as a unit to control their own affairs and determine their own destinies as a sovereign people, free in mind and body, separate and distinct physically, culturally and economically.” The quote is from day one of Bobby Sands’s hunger strike diary (March 1st, 1981) and the photograph is a 2007 image of a cell in the H-4 (Irish Times).
“Maghaberry – Portlaoise – Hydebank. Republican prisoners still exist!” IRPWA (web) board on Divis St, Belfast, replacing the Sands & Hughes mural – see Cairde Agus Comrádaithe.
Jason Ceulemans was sentenced to ten years with five years to be served on supervised licence in 2014 for possession of an explosive. He had his licence revoked in June after attending an Easter commemoration which, according to Saoradh, he had permission to attend (Irish News | Saoradh). The graffiti in support of his release is in Anne Street, Derry.
“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).
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.)
“End British internment: Strip searching, controlled movement, isolation.” This Saoradh/éistigí/IRPWA board in Central Drive, Creggan, Derry, uses the words of Bobby Sands to put current political prisoners in parallel with the blanket protest and hunger strikes. The quote is an English translation from the final day of Sands’s hunger strike diary, March 17th: Mura bhfuil siad in inmhe an fonn saoirse a scriosadh, ní bheadh siad in inmhe tú féin a bhriseadh. Ní bhrisfidh siad mé mar tá an fonn saoirse, agus saoirse mhuintir na hEireann, i mo chroí. Tiocfaidh lá éigin nuair a bheidh an fonn saoirse seo le taispeáint ag daoine go léir na hEireann. Ansin chífidh muid éirí na gealaí.” = “If they aren’t able to destroy to the desire for freedom, they won’t break you. They won’t break me because the desire for freedom, and the freedom of the Irish people, is is my heart. The day will dawn when all the people of Ireland will have the desire for freedom to show. It is then we’ll see the rising of the moon.”
The IRPWA/Saoradh/éistigí office on the Antrim Road is courting controversy (Irish News | BelTel) with its the holiday images in its front windows. On the right, a Grinch in PSNI uniform (in front of a bleeding poppy with swastika) harasses the child of a Soaradh member. (“Hey, peelers! Leave our kids alone” is a play on the Pink Floyd song ‘Another Brick In The Wall‘). On the left, Santa takes aim with a home-made RPG (modelled on the image included in Resistance). The Derry IRPWA office also received a Grinch cartoon in which he is battering down a door.
Junior McDaid house – the offices of the IRPWA (web | Fb) and Saoradh (web) in Derry – was opened two years ago (video) in Chamberlain Street. The offices are “proudly named after” IRA volunteer James McDaid, who was killed by the British Army in 1972 (Derry Journal), apparently without consulting with or inviting his wife (Derry Journal). A plaque to McDaid is to the left of the door, with two murals on the Harvey Street gable. (A third mural – to be shown later – is just out of shot to the right.)
IRPWA is the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (web | Fb | tw), a body working to support republican prisoners and their families in Maghaberry, Portlaoise, and Hydebank. Barbed wire has long been the symbol of political prisoners, both republican (1981) and loyalist (1988). Previously in this series of boards: éistigí | Sniper At Work | IRA | Beir Bua |
IRPWA (Fb | tw) board protesting the treatment of republican prisoners in Maghaberry “tortue camp”, next to Free Derry Corner, with a Palestinian flag and the Bogside Artists’ Bloody Sunday mural in the background.
The IRPWA (tw | Fb) placed the names of prisoners currently held in Maghaberry in the barbed wire above the so-called “international” wall. Barbed wire is the symbol of republican prisoners though this barbed wire is used to protect Andrews Flour. Above, you can see the boards for Harkin, Mellon and McGilloway.
The full list, from left to right: Seamus Kearney, Gerard McManus, Nathan Hastings, Mark McGuigan, Sean Kelly, Barry Concannon, Damien Harkin, Thomas Mellon, Martin McGilloway, Jason Ceulemans, Gavin Coney, Liam O’Donnell, Neil Hegarty, Jon Paul Wooton, Martin Kelly, Colin Duffy, Harry Fitzsimons, Christopher O’Kane, Tarlach MacDhomhnaill, Seamus McLaughlin, Gavin Coyle, Brendan McConville, Kevin Barry Nolan.