“Am le haontacht na hÉireann” [Time for Irish unity]. Between stints in prison in 1976, Bobby Sands carried a green harp flag – symbol of Ireland and in particular of the United Irishmen – in an August march to protest the withdrawal of political status (Gérard Harlay/Bobby Sands Trust). He is shown here marching under the #TimeForUnity message on Sliabh Dubh in the campaign for a border poll and Irish unity “lenár linn”/”in our time” (Fb | tw).
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.
“Referendum now”. On this day 100 years ago (1920-12-23) the ‘Government Of Ireland Act‘ – the fourth Home Rule bill – was passed in the UK parliament, partitioning Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, both within the UK. The rest, as they say, is history, history we are still living out. Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald claimed (in an interview with Owen Jones of the Guardian) that Irish unity would be achieved this decade. Martin McGuinness said in 2003 that unity would be achieved by the centenary of the Rising (Indo) but that year has come and gone. (Feb poll | Oct poll)
“Socialism is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Freethinker, Buddhist, Mahometan, nor Jews [sic]. It is only human. We of the Socialist working class realise that as we suffer together we must work together that we may enjoy together. We reject the firebrand of capitalist warfare and offer you the olive leaf of brotherhood and justice to and for all.” From part 6 of Connolly’s Labour, Nationality And Religion in 1910. The mural is in Beechview Park, across the street from Áras Uí Chonghaile/James Connolly Visitor Centre.
“Don’t hand him over. Don’t play England’s game. Stop the extradition of Liam Campbell now.” Liam Campbell is wanted, for a second time, in Lithuania on charges of running guns to the Real IRA in 2006-2007. He was arrested in Dundalk in December 2016 and will appeal his extradition in January next year (Irish Times). The posters of support are from Republican Sinn Féin and the Republican Network For Unity.
“The face of community policing?? Not in our name. Reject all forms of British political policing in Ireland.” The 32 County Sovereignty Movement lost its Facebook page this month, but its poster campaign against harassment and imprisonment of members continues.
Republican Sinn Féin and Provisional Sinn Féin were formed in 1986, when Sinn Féin split over the issue of taking Dáil seats. They reject the Belfast Agreement and support the use of force; the poster above calls for political status for prisoners, the same issue that led to the blanket protest and hunger strikes. (Their web site is in fact republicansinnfein.org; they are also on Twitter.)
In the Workers’ Republic of February 12th, 1916, James Connolly posed the question “What is a free nation?” and, further, whether the Home Rule bill would make Ireland free in the requisite sense. “No” was his answer to the latter, and instead sovereignty would have to be reclaimed, by force if necessary: “There can be no perfect Europe in which Ireland is denied even the least of its national rights; there can be no worthy Ireland whose children brook tamely such denial. If such denial has been accepted by soulless slaves of politicians then it must be repudiated by Irish men and women whose souls are still their own. … A destiny not of our fashioning has chosen this generation as the one called upon for the supreme act of self-sacrifice – to die if need be that our race might live in freedom.”
Sinn Féin joined the IRSP ‘Yes For Unity’ campaign (Fb | tw) for a vote on Irish reunification with a shared meeting in late 2018 (Irish News). The two campaign boards shown here (at the Glen Road-Falls Road junction and at the top of the New Lodge) are in the same style of these two IRSP ‘Yes For Unity’ boards from 2018.
The first Dáil Éireann met in 1919 in the wake of a Sinn Féin sweep of the elections of 1918. Current leader Mary Lou McDonald addressed her deputies at a centenary commemoration, recounting the rise of the party: “They banished us, imprisoned us and bereaved us. But still the people spoke.” The mural above presents a montage of historical images, from the women of Wicklow (Barton) and Dublin (Mulcahy) being urged to exercise their new right to vote (also Arthur Griffith in East Cavan), to Bobby Sands and Owen Carron, to Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. (Cormac’s Fight Back was turned into a mural on the Springfield Road.)