“This mural is dedicated to all those who tragically died on the streets of Derry during the hunger strike era. Suaimhneas Dé da nanamacha. 3rd October 2006.” The mural referred to is in fact the ‘crumbling cell’ mural (see M03350); the ‘Spirit Of Freedom’ mural was first painted in 2011 for the 30th anniversary (see X00999) – the 30th anniversary plaque remains, on the right of the mural. For the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike “40” has replaced the “30” in the bottom border – see the final image.
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.”
On Sunday March 22nd, 1981, forty years ago this week, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara joined Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes on hunger strike in Long Kesh/HMP Maze. They would be joined by 19 more prisoners before the strike ended with ten of the 23 meeting their deaths. On March 31st, 1974, Michael Gaughan went on hunger strike in Parkhurst, along with four others, including Frank Stagg. Gaughan died in June as a result of forced feeding; Stagg would die on a later strike, in February 1976.
“This wall is dedicated to all those ex prisoners that found themselves imprisoned as a result of British occupation of our country. The plaques on the wall are in memory of those former POW’s who have since passed away.” There are five plaques already on the wall, to Patrick Quinn 2017, Buller Holland 2007, Henry McErlean 2015, Martin Meehan 2007, Seán McCaughey 1946. For the large stones, see yesterday’s Father Time. Replaces Rhythm Of Time.
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.
Here, from left to right, are all of the metalworks in the memorial garden on Ascaill Ard Na bhFeá by sculptor and painter Hugh Clawson. On the stone (above) an IRA volunteer – with the emblem of the Easter lily on his beret – rests in the arms of Mother Ireland and her harp. Then two featuring the lark as the ‘spirit of freedom’ (from The Lark And The Freedom Fighter). In the first, the lark breaks through the bars of a prison cell, and in the image below, it flies in front of an “H” made of bricks, carrying a bin lid. (For a lark carrying a rifle, see Lark Of War and Armed Resistance.) Clawson’s name can be seen on the bars. In the second, a lark carries a binlid, used by locals to signal the presence of British Army troops. “In memory of all Irish martyrs who have died on hunger strike in the fight for Irish freedom. Their inspiration and courage will always be remembered by the republican movement and republican family (mid Falls).” One female and one male volunteer stand with bowed heads. A pair of hands joined in prayer in the Beechmount memorial garden: “in memory of those innocent people from this area who have died in this struggle for Irish freedom”. Finally, a scene of protest, in front of the Free Ireland mural at the bottom of the street. “In memory of the all the unsung heroes off [sic] this area who’s [sic] hardship, sacrifice and support during this struggle for Irish freedom will never be forgotten by the Belfast Brigade óglaigh na h-éireann.” The plaque depicts the work of print-makers (“Smash H-Block Armagh”), marchers carrying portraits of hunger strikers (“Mid Falls supports the women of Armagh”), bin-lid rattlers, and muralists. The tarp above reads “Cuimhníonn Lár na bhFál – Mid Falls remembers” Out of picture to the right of the wide shot is Bobby Sands’s quote “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” See M04415.
Camera Settings: f6.3, 1/320, ISO 400, full size 2196 x 2243
text: X03624 X03625 X03621 Rathkeele Way In proud and loving memory of Óglach Mickey Devine. Died 20th August 1981 in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh after 60 days on hunger-strike. Mickey was waked and buried from this house, the family home of his sister Margaret. Also died 30th March 2005.
The Bobby Sands mural in Sevastopol Street has been given a facelift, including the blocking-up of a vent on Sands’s left cheek. Kieran Doherty and Joe McDonnell have been added in place of the 1798 medallions on each side. On the side-wall are Sean McCaughey, ten doves representing the 1981 hunger-strikers, and Long Kesh. Aerosol‘s accordion-player paste-up has been also been retained.
Camera Settings: f8, 1/60, ISO 400, full size 3656 x 2592
Ag sráid Sevastopol cuimhnitear ar Bobby Sands i múrmhaisiú a authnitear ar fud an domhain. Ba scribhneoir, file, réabhlóidí agus díograiseoir Gaeilge é Sands. Fuair sé bas 5 Bealtaine 1981 tar éis 66 lá ar stailc ocrais. As ucht na diograise a thaispeáin Sands agus a chomhchimí i leith thoglaim na teanga faoi choinníollacha uafásacha Bhlocanna H na Ceise Fada, spreagadh glúin úr chun dul i mbun athghabháil na Gaeilge.
Here at Sevastopol Street Bobby Sands is remembered in a mural which has become world-renowed. Sands, a writer, poet, revolutionary and Gaelic enthusiast, died on May 5th 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike. Sands and his fellow prisoners inspired a new generation to reclaim the Irish language enthusing them by the huge efforts they put into learning Irish in the horrendous conditions on the H Blocks of Long Kesh.
Camera Settings: f8, 1/100, ISO 400, full size 2592 x 3888
text: X02586 X02588 X02587 everyone Republican or otherwise has their own particular role to play our revenge will be the laughter of our children joe mcdonnell i’ll wear no convicts unofirm nor meakly meekly serve my time that Britain might make Irelands fight 800 years of crime ira volunteer
Mural in Beechmount Avenue/Ascaill Ard na bhFeá commemorating the 30th anniversary of the hunger strike. The watchtowers of Long Kesh provide a lower border, joined by symbols of republican prisoners the lark and the green ribbon, as well as the Easter lily and Sinn Féin logo. “Honour Ireland’s dead – wear an Easter lily”. “I gcuimhne ar an stailc ocráis. [In memory of the hunger strike.]” Replaces the previous Honour Ireland’s Dead which did not feature the hunger strike.