An Unrepentant Republican

Continuity IRA or Irish Republican National Congress (IRNC – see Join The IRNC and Maid Of Erin) member Niall Lehd was initially arrested on explosives charges in 2014 (BBC-NI) and given early release in 2016 (An Phoblacht) but returned to jail a year ago, in March of 2018 (Irish News). In December he was charged on several counts relating to terrorism and explosives (Belfast Live). Lehd professes his innocence and says his license was revoked simply because he is “an unrepentant republican” (Free Niall Lehd campaign). His cause has been added to the IRPC (Irish Republican Prisoners Committee | Fb) board on Northumberland Street.
See previously: a White Line Picket in support of Lehd.
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Inspire, Uphold, And Make Happy

The wall at the top of Springhill Avenue was knocked down to great acclaim in 2017 (Guardian) but the impact was merely cosmetic as a wire fence and substantial shrubbery continued to block the way. The removal of the wall also meant the removal of the pro-Palestinian murals painted on it: Palestine Abú | Man Against Machine | Hellfire. In its place has now been put a large board celebrating the history of the area and especially the contribution made by Des Wilson and Noelle Ryan who worked in Springhill House for over forty years. Both Des and Noelle were interviewed by NVTv in 2012. Des turned 93 in July (encomium by Gerry Adams); Noelle died in 2014 (An PhoblachtBBC-NI).

The left hand side of the mural shows Mother Teresa, who lived and worked in the area with four nuns from 1971 to 1973 before being put out (allegedly) by the Catholic church (TripleVision documentary).

On the right, the old and new Springhills are contrasted, with images taken from the same spot approximately 30 years apart.

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We Shall Overcome

For the refurbishment and expansion of the Museum Of Free Derry, artist Locky Morris (web | ig) created in metal a soundwave of marchers on Bloody Sunday (January 30th, 1972) singing the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome (BBC-NI). The Bloody Sunday Centre and Museum Of Free Derry originally opened in 2006.
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In The Footsteps Of Heroes

The 8th battalion of the RIR was drawn from east Belfast’s Ulster Volunteers in 1914. The board shown above, on the practice hall of Rising Sons Flute Band (Fb), shows the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme – the heroes that in whose footsteps the band claim to march.
The board replaces the tarp saying “Loyalists welcome“.
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Unfinished Revolution

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 mural is next to Junior McDaid House – the offices of the IRPWA (web | Fb) and Saoradh (web) – in Chamberlain Street, Derry – see previously Victory To The Republican Prisoners.
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Live Here, Love Here

The entrance to Springhill now has two walls full of images of “community pride”. The northern side was featured previously (see The Past And The Present) and today we feature the southern side. In order from left to right (see the wide shot, last): Corpus Christi youth centre; Corpus Christi Church (“47 years at the heart of the community”, including photos of Hugh Mullan (killed in the Ballymurphy Massacre) and Noel Fitzpatrick (killed in the Springhill/Westrock Massacre); murals in Divismore, Springmadden, and Springhill (shown above); the garden at the top of Springhill park; and photographs of “Springhill, then and now”.
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Make A Difference

The IRNC (Irish Republican National Congress Fb | web), founded in 2014 aims at uniting Ireland. (See previously Join The IRNC | Maid Of Erin.) Park Taxies (Fb) aims at helping people on the Oldpark get around.
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A True Soldier Of Ulster

“On a cold Friday afternoon in February 1989, a young Red Hand Commando volunteer, Stevie McCrea, gave up his life to save others during an attack by the IPLO – a republican drug gang – at the Orange Cross Club just off the Shankill Road. Stevie, who was celebrating his last day on a work-out scheme with friends, went to the club for a farewell drink. A short time later, after gaining access through the outer door of the club, three IPLO gunmen burst into the main bar and started shooting indiscriminately. Stevie reacted immediately, placing himself between the gunmen and his friends. He was shot a number of times. Sadly he died from his injuries two days later. Stevie, even as a young man was a willing and active volunteer for the RHC, which culminated with him being arrested in October 1972 and being sentenced to life imprisonment early in 1973. Stevie served 16 years as a political prisoner in Long Kesh. He thoughtlessly gave up his life for others. A true soldier of Ulster. Forever remembered by friends and comrades. Lamh death abu.”
The obituary in the March 1998 issue of Combat states that McCrea was no longer in the RHC after his release from prison.
This new photographic mural, with “Loyalist Compound 21, Long Kesh prison camp” as a background, replaces a painted one to McCrea that had stood since 2000.
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North Down West Belfast

Here are two UDA/UFF “North Down – West Belfast” boards, one in Clandeboye Road, Bangor (above) and the other in Lenamore Park, Newtownards (below). The UDA in North Down is split into two factions, one associated with the Shankill (west Belfast) UDA and the other with the East Belfast UDA. The former is based primarily in Newtownards, but not exclusively, as the board above shows. It is also remarkable for its use of hooded gunmen in “active” poses.
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Britain Remembers

Although not completely visible in the image below, the ‘Britain remembers’ Remembrance Day flag includes the Ulster Banner, the flag of NI parliament until 1972, rather than the St Patrick’s Saltire. This is also the flag used by the Irish Football Association, the governing body of soccer in NI, to represent its teams, as is shown by the personalised supporter’s plaque in Cosgrave Heights. The organisation’s name derives from the fact that the body pre-dates partition and used to govern the whole island and not just “our wee country”.
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