“Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí [encourage youth and it will flourish].” The emblems in the corners are of two local GAA clubs “Naomh Eoin” and “Caiiinéal [Cairdinéal] Uí Dhomhnaill” – the “Joe Cahill Annual Tournament” was held at Easter at their two pitches.
Joe Cahill joined the Fianna in 1937 and was involved in the republican movement from then until his death in 2004, including being in Tom Williams’s company in 1942, and was later a founder member and Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA.
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”).
The new Bobby Sands mural is not the only recent addition in Twinbrook. Almond – the middle of the estate – has a ‘before and after’ of the pandemic: on the left, locals sit out in the street watching children play; on the right, frontline personnel.
For the ‘Victory To The IRA’ graffiti on the left, see Who.
Máirtín Ó Dochartaigh, one of the founders of Club Óige Mhachaire Botháin in 2001, died in 2011. The club was renamed in his honour in ?2020? as Cumann Óige Uí Dhochartaigh (Fb | ig) (An Phoblacht). The mural, bearing the original name of the club, dates back to 2012.
“By night and by day, I ever, ever pray/While lonely my life flows on/To see our flag unfurled/And my true love [to] enfold/In the valley of Slievenamon.” The lyrics are the final lines of The Valley Of Slievenamon, written by Charles J Kickham “fenian, IRB, poet, novelist, author” and much loved in Tipperary. The heroic hurler, however, is Cú Chulainn (rather than the midlands’ Fionn Mac Cumhaill). Ardoyne Gaelic games club Ciceam Ard Eoin (tw | Fb) was founded in 1907, 25 years after Kickham’s death.
Tourists to West Belfast/Feirste Thiar are given a tour of the sights on a black taxi tour: (clockwise from left) the entrance to Milltown Cemetery at the edge of Andersonstown, a trio of murals (the Bobby Sands mural on the side of the Sinn Féin offices; the Easter Rising mural in Beechmount Ave; the Acht Anois fáinne on Divis Street (also in Ardoyne)) with a march taking place, Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiaich, gaelic football and hurling, Divis tower, Conway mill, and the Falls library. This is the third such tourist mural in the area, after one at Divis tower (Gateway To West Belfast) and one on the offices of Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Go West! | Fáilte Feirste Thiar | The Conlan Revolution).
“Gaeil Feirste CLG. Ba iad Gaeil Feirste (1885-1891) an chéad chumann de chuid Chumann Lúthcleas Gael (CLG) i mBéal Feirste. Cumann lán-Ghaeilge a bhí ann. Tháinig deireadh leis de bharr scoilte sa CLG a d’eascair as conspóid Charles Stewart Parnell. Rinneadh atheagar ar an GLC in Aontroim in 1898 chun an Céadú Bliain ó Éirí Amach na nÉireannach Aontaithe a chomóradh. Ba é Cumann Iomána na Láimhe Deirge, a bunaíodh an aice leis seo, i Sráid Milford, an chéad chumann nua le theacht ar an tsaol faoin atheagar seo.
Belfast Gaels (1885-1891), an all-Irish-speaking club, was the first GAA club established in Belfast. It ceased to exist following the rift in the GAA caused by the Charles Stewart Parnell controversy. The GAA was reorganised in Antrim in 1898 to mark the 100th anniversary of the United Irishmen’s Rebellion. The Red Hand Hurling Club was the first new club to be established here on the Falls at nearby Milford Street.”
This plaque is on Divis Street at the Northern Bank building; this Antrim GAA history page gives the club’s location as “Stephen’s Street”, probably intending Stephen Street, though this is in Carrick Hill rather than Divis or the Falls
For another Slí Na Gaeltachta plaque, about the Farset river, see H & A. Tours of Slí Na Gaeltachta are available from Forbairt Feirste.
Fáilte Feirste Thiar‘s second mural (the first is outside its offices in the middle Falls – see Go West) reinforces the claim that (republican) west Belfast begins as soon as you cross the motorway, five minutes’ walk from the city centre. Coiste’s tour of republican murals begins at Divis Tower and the new mural already seems to be drawing tourists – see the final image, below. The previous Coiste mural (M04900) has been deleted and incorporated into the mural, promising touraists “a unique walking tour by former political prisoners”.
The mural is a mix of landmarks – the new Raidió Fáilte building (which is located just below the mural), Divis tower, St Peter’s, Conway Mill, the so-called “international wall” of murals, the Bobby Sands mural, the Falls library, the new James Connolly centre, Cultúrlann, and Milltown cemetery – cultural images (Irish dancing and Féile An Phobail) – and sporting images (clubs include Immaculata ABC, Gort Na Móna GAC, St Paul’s GAC). A gay pride ‘rainbow’ stripe runs below the Divis Street portion. Before the previous mural was painted (M07533), there was a Gateway To Belfast board at this spot.
Michael Conlan (tw | ig) won his first title and tenth professional bout on Saturday night (December 22nd), in Manchester, by defeating Englishman Jason Cunningham (BBC). He features here in one of the new murals on the Fáilte Feirste Thiar offices alongside the traditional Gaelic games of hurling, camogie, football, and handball.