Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain

Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain (McCracken Primary) is an Irish-language school named after the famous Belfast family and in particular after Mary Anne McCracken, who was a campaigner in the 1800s for the education of children both male and female (among with many other causes – see previously the post on the bust of Mary Anne in Carrick Hill, opposite Clifton House: The World Affords No Enjoyment Equal To That Of Promoting The Happiness Of Others.

The bunscoil opened in 1999 in the New Lodge, before moving to its current location (and site of this mural) in Lancaster Street (Naíscoil Mhic Reachtain). (Lancaster Street is itself named after the controversial Quaker educator, Joseph Lancaster (WP) – Joe Baker p. 72.) According to an Irish News report in 2020 on Irish-language schools, the bunscoil at that time, at least, had more pupils than its approved maximum.

The school borrows from the teaching philosophy of Patrick Pearse (Belfast Media), discussed previously in connection with Coláiste Feirste in An Tusa An Chéad Laoch Eile?

Also on the school wall is an Ed Reynolds piece from 2017: Civilisation Has Its Roots In The Soil.

Image courtesy of Paddy Duffy.

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Believe In Your Dreams

Here is a complete set of images from the Bogside end of the Brandywell. From left to right: street art by NOYS (ig) for Gasyard Féile 2022, Long Tower Community Centre (see Brandywell Past And Present), a new “Brandywell” stencil by Peaball (ig), the Ryan McBride Foundation (tw), a new version of the Derry Brigade IRA mural (see previously Briogáid Dhoire), Peaball and local youth at work, various pieces of wild-style writing and graffiti in support of Jason Ceulemans.

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Larne Sports

Toals bookmakers are offering odds and taking bets on racing, soccer, and … shooting? The PSNI are in the crosshairs. In the background are the Black Arch on the Coast Road and Chaine Memorial tower.

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Gairdín Na hÉireann

Plants provide symbols of, and metaphors for, rebellion. In America, 1775, Paine wrote of the Liberty Tree which Americans must rise to defend against “Kings, Commons and Lords” and Jefferson would later write (in a 1787 letter) that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” In Ireland, the tree of liberty was borrowed for the 1798 rebellion (see Where Did The Seeds Fall?“) and although t more familiar symbol of the 1798 Rebellion is the pike, the shamrock is thought to be included as one of the objects in the Wearing Of The Green: Boucicault’s version begins “Oh, Paddy, dear, an’ did you hear the news thats goin round?/The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground.” The lily, of course, is a symbol of the 1916 Rising, though it is shown here growing between sunflowers and a rose.

These painted electrical boxes are in Westrock and Ballymurphy (“Fáilte chuig Baile Uí Mhurchú”).

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Those Old Grey Walls Still Firmly Standing

The sights and sounds of Irish Street and Londonderry: (clockwise from right) a verse from Londonderry On The Foyle (youtube) in a frame of the walls of the city of Derry – “But once more I’m coming home aboard a steamship/On Lough Foyle once more I’m passing by Culmore/And I see those old grey walls still firmly standing/There ’round my city Londonderry on the Foyle”; East Bank (Irish Street) Protestant Boys (Fb) on parade; Carson and the signing of the 1912 Covenant; St Columb’s Cathedral; Irish Street FC (Fb).

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Northern Ireland Centennial

Here is a 12-part history of Northern Ireland (and specifically Londonderry) along the length of Sperrin Park in the Caw. After the title panel, the topics are: King George V opens Norther Ireland Parliament, 22nd June, 1921; Amelia Earhart crosses the Atlantic & lands in Londonderry 21st May, 1932; Operation Deadlight: surrender of German U-boats at Lisahally 14th May, 1945; Queen Elizabeth II visits Guildhall Sq. Londonderry 3rd July, 1951; opening of Altnagelvin hospital 1st February, 1960; the exodus of people from Londonderry’s Cityside 1970s; Northern Ireland reach the World Cup finals in Spain 1982; first Maiden City Festival takes place August, 1998; end of ‘Operation Banner’ 31st July, 2007; Londonderry named first UK City Of Culture 2013; Prince Philip the Duke Of Edinburgh 1921-2021.

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Legends Last Forever

“Trophies come and go but legends last forever.” Scott Harvey and Lee Findlay have taken over as the management team of Northern Amateur Football League premier division team East Belfast FC (Fb) (Belfast Live) due to sequestration in connection with the UVF show of strength in Pitt Park in February, 2021 (Belfast Live). The club’s home field is East Park where the mural above stands to former greats (from left to right) Billy Caskey, Billy Humphries, Sammy McCrory, Ian Lawther, Walter Bruce, Roy Coyle, Tom Casey, and Warren Feeney.

Previously at EB FC: The Back Of The Net | Give Sectarianism The Boot

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Nothing about us without us is for us est. 1929

James McClean

Soccer player James McClean grew up in Creggan and – while playing for a succession of English clubs – has been criticised for refusing to wear a poppy (while at Sunderland) and turning his back on the St George’s Cross as ‘God Save The Queen’ played (while at West Bromwich Albion). He also has a tattoo of Free Derry Corner flying a Tricolour on his thigh (Irish Times).

In the mural (by Dublin artist Aches (ig)) McClean is pictured here in an Ireland strip – McClean has 7 caps for the Northern Ireland under-21 squad but plays senior soccer for Ireland (WP).

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Competing In Europe

There was plenty of support in Belfast for Scottish club Glasgow Rangers as they travelled to Seville last week to compete in the Europa League (previously the “UEFA Cup”) final – the initial images in today’s post show a huge number of banners outside the Berlin Bar on the Shankill (see previously Inter City Regiment), a scarf in the West Kirk Presbyterian (Fb) graveyard (see Who Went To War And Never Returned), and – on the Shore Road in north Belfast – the flag of the Netherlands pressed into service for its red, white, and blue.

Rangers lost on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt and attention now turns to Liverpool’s match against Real Madrid this Saturday in the Champions League final in the Stade De France in Paris. There is already some support for Liverpool on display in Belfast, as illustrated by the West Kirk graveyard (again) and a flag of the manger and stars à la Abbey Road in the Village (south Belfast) – the “Fab Four” are manager Jürgen Klopp of Germany, and players Virgil Van Dijk of The Netherlands, Sadio Mané of Senegal, and Mo Salah of Egypt. Here is a list of all the Liverpool supporters clubs in NI.

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Lucky Fives

The slot machine last year came up with a 55 Scottish league title for Rangers and Rangers fans across Belfast celebrated with stickers and flags (Let Us Shout Joyfully | Order Restored | 55 | F*ck Your Ten In A Row | Blues Brothers | We’re Back | Legends Never Die) and also the stencilled electricity box from Berlin Street, west Belfast (above) and the furniture and barrel (below) from Sandy Row, south Belfast. This year is not looking so good, as they are six points down with three games to go (SkySports).

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