“History of the death of Sean McCartney. This memorial was placed here on Saturday 8th May 2021 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Vol Sean “Johnny” McCartney of no. 55 Norfolk Street, Falls Road, Belfast. Sean was a volunteer of “D” Company 1st battalion Belfast Brigade Oglaigh na hEireann, when he was killed in action, aged 23 years old. He died while on active service with the 3rd Northern Division, 3rd County Cavan Brigade flying column during the Irish Republican War of Independence. He was shot twice during an ambush and gun battle with the British Army RIC and Black and Tans on Sunday 8th May 1921 on Croghan Mountain at the Lappanbane stretch of the Lappanduff Mountain, Co. Cavan. His body was then mutilated by the Black and Tans. Sean’s body was kicked, stamped on, danced on and tied by the ankles and feet to a Crossley Tender military vehicle and dragged along mountain lanes in an attempt to instill fear in the local Co. Cavan community. The 32 county Irish republic based on the self determination of the Irish people which Sean and many others fought and died for has yet to be achieved. Sean will always be proudly remembered by his extended family circle in Ireland and Canada.” McCartney is buried in Milltown cemetery.
A home-made sign on cardboard “NHS – stay safe” has been attached to the mural to IRA volunteers Bobby McCrudden, Mundo O’Rawe, and Pearse Jordan, and the wall below it painted with the message “Stay home – Protect the NHS – Save lives”.
“Big Lily” is a giant (~40′ x 30′) Manchester United flag created by Whitehead man Keith Norris in 1999 as a gesture of friendship towards a fellow United fan from Belfast from the ‘other side’, Martin ‘Faceman’ Cleary. It has subsequently travelled the world – the flags shown are of Catalonia, Japan, Australia, England, the United States, Italy, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Russia, Brazil, Spain – uniting United fans and being used to raise funds for anti-racism charity Kick It Out and Unicef. The mural is situated in no-man’s land on Northumberland Street and features the Orange lily of unionism and the Easter lily of nationalism. (Carrickfergus Times | Belfast Live | SignBigLily.com)
James Connolly was executed on May 12th, 1916. Both the (freshly painted) Connolly plaque shown above and the Martin Meehan mural on the adjacent wall paint the struggle of the republican prisoners and the Provisionals of the ‘Troubles’ as descendants of 1916’s Easter Rising. Several name-plaques have been added to (what is now officially titled) the ‘Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall’ compared to the number seen in September.
For close-ups of the door and sculptured rocks, see Father Time.
Discounts on hand-held and full-size Tricolours “in memory of all of those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom” from the Milltown engravers – next to the Kurdish barbers – on the Falls Road.
16 republicans, the seven signatories of the Proclamation among them, were executed in the wake of the Easter Rising, 14 of them in Dublin in a 10-day period from May 3rd to 12th. They are depicted in this Saoradh (web | tw) poster blindfolded and wearing suits: (from left to right) Patrick Pearse, Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett, Edward Daly, William Pearse, Michael O’Hanrahan, John MacBride, Éamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin, Seán Heuston, Con Colbert, James Connolly, Seán MacDiarmada, Thomas Kent, and Roger Casement. Their deaths and the Rising are commemorated in Belfast each Easter with a parade
When this mural was first painted in October, 2016 there were calls for its removal on account of the re-appearance of a hooded gunman with RPG (Irish News | BelTel), in the style of IRA murals from before the peace (e.g. most similar to this 1989 mural but see also these other examples). It was still present in November of 2018. The “unfinished revolution” is that of the 1916 Easter Rising, represented by the Easter lily.
“The English may batter us to pieces, but they will never succeed in breaking our spirit – Maud Gonne.” The lesser-known figures here are Helena Moloney [Molony] and Margaret Skinnider. Both participated in the 1916 Rising. Actress Molony took part in the failed attack on Dublin Castle and, although ultimately captured, was not executed (Stories | WP). Scotland-born Skinnider was a sniper in the Easter Rising; she was shot three times but survived to flee to the USA where should would write a 1917 account of the Rising before returning to Ireland and a career in teaching (WP).
“Friends and comrades” – IRA volunteers Brendan Hughes (“The Dark”) and Bobby Sands were leaders of the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes, respectively. Hughes survived when the first strike was called off after 53 days; Sands died in the ’81 strike after 66 days of fasting. “IRPWA” is the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association (Fb | tw); Saoradh (web | tw) is a hard-line left-wing republican party.
The mural to the left shows Palestinian double-amputee Saber Al-Ashkar, protesting as part of the Great March Of Return.