Was This Lawful?

A 2021 command paper that proposed a statue of limitations and amnesty for so-called “legacy” killings included the claim that ‘the vast majority of security force killings were lawful’ (BelTel) and the comment has been attributed to NI Secretary Brandon Lewis (Pat Finucane Centre). (For background see e.g. this eamonnmallie.com piece.) The claim is used against him in this tarp commemorating Stephen McConomy was hit by a plastic bullet forty years ago this month, on April 16th, and died three days later: “Stephen McConomy (11) shot dead by Lanc. Corp. from Royal Anglian Regiment – April 1982. Was this ‘lawful’, Brandon Lewis?” Speaking at the memorial service, surviving family-members vowed to continue resisting the proposed limitations (Derry Journal).

There is also a plaque to McConomy in Fahan Street where he was shot (this one has since been replaced) and long ago there was a mural on Rossville Street.

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Who Should Put Away Their Guns

Norah McCabe was shot in the back of the head by a plastic bullet fired from an RUC land rover at around 7:45 a.m. on July 9th, 1981, the day after hunger striker Joe McDonnell died. (Danny Barrett would be killed by a British Army sniper in the evening.) The new boards were mounted to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of McCabe’s death. In 1981, a mural was painted at the same spot (in the old Linden Street) to protest the use of plastic bullets: see Plastic Death.

“Norah McCabe, 1947-1981, murdered by an RUC plastic bullet on 9th July 1981, aged 33 years.” With a poem “Peace” by daughter Áine McCabe, who was three months old when her mother was killed (Irish News).

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Brian Stewart

13 year-old Brian Stewart died on October 10th, 1976 – 42 years ago today – six days after being hit by a plastic bullet fired by the King’s Own Scottish Borders near his Turf Lodge Home. He was buried three days later, on October 13th – what would have been his fourteenth birthday. (For the long search for justice, see sister Marie Stewart | sceptic peg | saoirse32).
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McLarnan, McCabe, Doherty

“Dedicated to the memory of INLA volunteer Matt McLarnon, Nora McCabe and Peter Doherty who were murdered in this area by British state forces during the 1981 H-Block hunger strike. A Mhuire banríon na nGael guí ar a son”. The area in question is Clonard/Falls. Doherty and McCabe were hit by plastic bullets; McLarnon was shot by a sniper on Divis tower. Erected by a Sinn Féin group (Lower Falls/Clonard Committee) rather than INLA. Linden Street, Belfast.

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Plastic Death

“Since 1970 seventeen people killed [by rubber and plastic bullets] – including 8 children.” Central is Norah McCabe, along with Julie Livingstone, Brian Stewart, and Carol Ann Kelly; on the left are John Downes and Keith White, a Protestant killed in Portadown in 1986.

Islandbawn Street, Belfast

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Give Us R Future

“We dont want the past”. A chronicle of the Troubles in Ardoyne: Orange marches, IRA shows of strength, rioting, plastic bullets, the blanket protest, funerals, vigilantism, Holy Cross. For the mural when new, see J1908.

For close-ups, see this 2014 post.

Jamaica Way

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The Stolen Child

“Julie Livingstone aged 14 yrs. Murdered by the British Army 13th May 1981.” “The Stolen Child – Come away, O human child/To the waters and the wild/With a faery hand in hand/For the world’s more full of weeping/Than you can understand! – WB Yeats.” Livingstone was killed by a plastic bullet.

There is also a stone and plaque near the spot she was struck, on the Stewartstown Road.

Glenveagh Drive, Belfast

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