A new board has been mounted in AMCOMRI Street for the fortieth anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, with photographs from the area in the background, including the Revolution mural at the bottom of Beechmount Avenue in 1996-1997.
“Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.”
“Free Zack Smyth – end internment”. Support from Saoradh and the IRPWA for political prisoner Ciarán ‘Zack’ Smyth, who is in Maghaberry after having his license revoked on suspicion of plotting to attack Sinn Féin leaders (Irish News | Saoradh) and involvement in a New IRA plot to bomb Musgrave PSNI station (BelTel). As an IRA member Smyth served nine years in the 1970s and seven of fourteen years for a 2013 robbery.
Today’s post updates the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (web | tw) mural seen previously in We Support All POW’s. The shot was evidently taken before the mural was complete: the stencil shown here, of a hand clasping a strand of barbed wire, and an e-mail address (Belfast32csm@hotmail.com) for people to “Join 32CSM” have been added.
This UVF LPOW mural in Inverary Drive, east Belfast, probably dates back to the years after the Agreement, when the release of prisoners from both sides was being implemented between 1998 and 2000. That would make the mural about 20 years old.
Gabriel Mackle was returned to prison most recently in November, 2017 (Pensive Quill | Irish News) and released in March, 2018 (An Phoblacht). The RSF board on the front of Lecky Road remains in place, however, as is joined by “IRA” graffiti. Bernadette Devlin (as she then was) organises in the background.
Robert Ballagh’s 1916 Proclamation was first painted as a mural by Mo Chara Kelly and Risteard Ó Mhurchú in 1991 for the 75th anniversary of the Easter Rising (see Cáisc 1916 which also contains the Ballagh piece). That version stood for ten years on the Whiterock Road. It has reproduced again in Ard An Lao above the hunger strikers, after the removal of several plaques (see All Our Dead). “With special thanks to Hugo Óg Wilkinson”.
This mural has been added to the “D company” corner at Northumberland and Divis streets (see Our Struggle Continues), with traditional words (“saoirse/freedom”, “beir bua/seize victory”) and imagery of the four provinces and a lark in barbed wire.
In the background can be seen the old Divis flats. The flats were built to replace the tightly-packed streets of the lower Falls (see the first image below). After the first three blocks were completed in 1969, there was a plan to have a mixture of flats all the way up to Dunville Park (“Phase 2” in this 30-minute BBC video on the flats, which also includes the story of its eventual demise.
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 |