Saoirse Go Deo

The 1918 ‘Representation Of The People’ act gave 8.4 million women in the United Kingdom the right to vote (WP). (For the two women on the left holding the ‘Votes For Women’ sign, see Women’s Hall And Cost-Price Restaurant.) In that same year, Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to Westminster and became Sinn Féin Minister For Labour in the first Dáil Éireann that was established as an alternative. Ten years earlier, she had co-founded Na Fianna Éireann with Bulmer Hobson. The names of Derry fianna are listed on the right. “Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.” (This board replaces the former Fianna mural that celebrated the centenary in 2009.)

To the left is a “Join RSYM” stencil with the names of the ten deceased 1981 hunger strikers; to the right is a picture of the memorial across the street to the dead of the 3rd battalion of the Doire Brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann.

“But while Ireland is not free I remain a rebel, unconverted and unconvertible. There is no word strong enough for it. I am pledged as a rebel to the one thing – a free and independent republic.”

“Ach a fhad is nach bhfuil Éire saor, seasfaidh mé an fód mar cheannairceach, gan géilleadh, gan athrú. Níl focal dá bhfuil atá chumhachtach go leor. Tá gealltanas tugtha agam mar cheannairceach, cuspóir amháin a chur i gcrích – poblacht shaor agus neamhspleach.”

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Hello Future

Pat Sheehan had been on hunger strike for 55 days when the strike was ended on October 3rd, 1981. He became MLA for Belfast West in 2010. He was the main speaker at the 41st anniversary commemoration in Belfast this past Sunday (video). The boards shown here are in Pim Street, north Belfast, the former Andersonstown RUC station in west Belfast, lower Falls Road, west Belfast.

“Comóradh Náisiúnta in ómós na stailceoirí ocrais. Béal Feirste 21 Lúnasa, 2:00 i.n. Aoichainteoir: Pat Sheehan. Páirc Dunville a fhad le hUaigheannaí na Poblachta, Reilig Bhaile an Mhuileann. (Ag cruinniú ag 1:30 i.n., ag fágáil ar bhuile 2:00 i.n.”

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Stop Sign

The fourth condition (‘Good Relations’) for funding for bonfires under Mid and East Antrim council’s ‘Cultural Celebrations’ grant scheme asks organisers to discourage “the flying of flags or emblems or the burning of election posters at [the] bonfire site” (MidAndEastAntrim.gov.uk). The Sunylands/Woodburn (Carrickfergus) bonfire shown in today’s post – the images are from July 11th – lacked either funding or sufficient discouragement, as there are six Tricolours flying and ten Sinn Féin and SDLP election placards. The Council notice on the lamp-post, below the red hand – see the final image – is more direct, simply stating “No fly tipping, by order”.

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Don’t Play England’s Game

“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).

For the Ard Eoin Kickhams mural, see The Heart Of Our Community.

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No Island Is An Island

Two criticism of neoliberal globalism in Frederick Street, Derry: above, a rationale for the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “Fuck NATO – warmongers”; below, “Sinn Féin globalists” – criticism of Sinn Féin’s support of Ireland’s membership in the European community (which is possibly a critique from the far-right National Party (web), according to the Guardian).

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Had Enough?

The NI Assembly election is this day week (Thursday May 5th). Here is another gallery of electoral posters. Where last week’s selection included a Noah Donahoe placard in electoral style, this weeks’ includes one for New Life City Church (ig), again in the style of an electoral candidate: “He’s not after your vote, he’s after your heart.” Also shown are: (above) TUV’s ‘don’t hope; vote’; Sinn Féin’s “Time for real change” on top of a “spoil your vote” stencil; the PUP’s “country before party” with anti-woke independent Tony Mallon’s “We the people”; and last, Neil Moore of the Socialist Party “We can’t afford this system” (namely, capitalism).

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The Joy Of Our Hearts

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).

Bleakley was portrayed in the old New Lodge Volunteers mural.

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If Wars Can Be Started By Lies, Peace Can Be Started By Truth

“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.

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Aontacht Lenár Linn

“Am le haontacht na hÉireann” [Time for Irish unity]. Between stints in prison in 1976, Bobby Sands carried a green harp flag – symbol of Ireland and in particular of the United Irishmen – in an August march to protest the withdrawal of political status (Gérard Harlay/Bobby Sands Trust). He is shown here marching under the #TimeForUnity message on Sliabh Dubh in the campaign for a border poll and Irish unity “lenár linn”/”in our time” (Fb | tw).

See also: Reifreann Anois | Time For Irish Unity

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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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