Supporting Republican Political Prisoners

This is the wall at the south end of the Creggan shops that was first muraled in response to the ceasefire (see Time For Peace). This IRPWA (web) board “supporting republican political prisoners” is now in disrepair but it is unclear whether or not it will be replaced, as new construction on Central Drive has greatly reduced its visibility while the new sports centre across the street provides a much more prominent notice-board (see Central Drive).

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Central Drive

Creggan sports centre opened in October 2009 (Leisure Opportunities) and part of the architecture was to cover the brick exterior with five plain-white panels along Central Drive. These have been taken over by Saoradh/IRPWA, this year to protest the extradition, internment, and treatment of republican prisoners, commemorate the 1981 hunger strikers, support Palestine, and threaten drug dealers.

For the graffiti, see End Internment Of Jason Ceulemans

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A Perennial War

Here is the scene at Kells Walk/Rossville St in the Bogside.

From left to right:

O’Hara-Devine mural

No Amnesty For British State Forces: “Democide is the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder. Democide is not necessarily the elimination of entire cultural groups but rather groups within the country that the government feels needs to be eradicated for political reasons and due to claimed future threats. – No amnestry for British state forces”

End British Political Policing (Saoradh (web))

Bobby Sands/IRPWA: “I’ll wear no convict’s uniform/Nor meekly serve my time/That Britain might brand Ireland’s fight/800 years of crime” [Francie Brolly song] (IRPWA (web))

Free All Political Prisoners! (IRPWA)

1981: 1981: “I am a political prisoner. I am a political prisoner because I am a casualty of a perennial war that is being fought between the oppressed Irish people and an alien, oppressive, unwanted regime that refuses to withdraw from our land.” [Bobby Sands’s diary, day 1] (IRPWA)

Unity Referendum Now!: “British occupation has been a disaster for the people of Ireland. A united Ireland is the way forward for all the people of Ireland.” (IRSP.ie)

40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike: described previously in For A Socialist Republic (IRSM/IRSP)

“Peace” mural (with cross) from the Bogside Artists

In the shot above, our photographer has intervened and stood up the last panel of the “1981” board.

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50th Anniversary

Three months after it was initially whitewashed (mid June, 2022), the repaint of so-called “Freedom Corner” is now complete, with a new mural on each of the 11 panels that make it up. Today’s post is a gallery of fifteen images from the new wall. The main gables reproduce photographs of the UDA (and more specifically the East Belfast brigade) during the 1970s. The side walls celebrate the formation of the UDA/LPA/UFF/UYM in 1971-1974 and the role of women in supporting prisoners.

By Blaze FX (Fb | ig) on the Newtownards Road. Here is a small gallery of in-progress images: Waiting For The Wall. The ‘five flags’ also appear in An Act Of Betrayal.

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After We Are Gone

Patsy O’Hara was born in 1957 Bishop Street, Derry, and joined Na Fianna in 1970 and the local Sinn Féin cumann in 1971 and, in August was shot in the leg by British soldiers. In 1972 he joined the Republican Clubs and in 1975 the IRSP. He was imprisoned multiple times, the final time being in January 1979 for possession of a hand grenade (Bobby Sands Trust). He went on hunger strike 41 years ago tomorrow (March 22nd) and was the first of the three INLA hunger strikers to die in 1981. The long-standing mural in Bishop Street was repainted for the 40th anniversary of his death. (For the previous version, see Let The Fight Go On.)

“Óglach Patsy O’Hara, INLA Derry Brigade, Irish hunger striker, who died after 61 days on 21st May 1981, age 23. Last words ‘Let the fight go on’.”

“After we are gone, what will you say you were doing? Will you say you were with us in our struggle or where you conforming to very system that drove us to our deaths?”

Bishop Street, Derry

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Honour, Loyalty, Liberty, Sacrifice

A new backdrop – of a field of poppies beneath a blue sky– has been added to the UFF memorial garden in Tigers Bay. The four stones/plaques in the garden are shown below in the order that they were added to the garden, starting with two to the North Belfast Brigade that were present in 2008 (see M04397). The third was a roll of honour of the “Scottish Brigade North Ayrshire”. The fourth is generically to “those we have loved and lost” but contains a strand of barbed wire, symbol of POWs.

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Beechmount Remembers

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.”

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Free Zack Smyth

“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.

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Join 32CSM

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.

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Loyalist Prisoners Of War

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.

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