Fire In The Sky

The Bogside bonfire was set ablaze on Sunday night. It has long been put about that the occasion for the Derry bonfire is the feast of the Assumption (which newspapers and radio stations have repeated, e.g. BBC | RTÉ | Irish Independent). This is an attempt to provide some cover for the “dissident” republican nature of the event, as evidenced by the King Billy, UDA, UVF, RUC and Star Of David flags on the bonfire, shown above. The triggering event is rather the introduction of internment on August 9th, 1971. (Sunday was also the same day as the ‘Fire In The Sky’ fireworks to mark the end of Féile (Derry Journal). The local féilte in Belfast – which in time became Féile An Phobail – were introduced as alternatives to the rioting that traditionally took place to protest the introduction of internment; the origins of Derry’s Gasyard Féile, which began much later (1993) but takes place in the same August weeks, are unclear – please comment if you know.)

Before it was lit the banner in the lower left of the image above – “Ronann [sic] Kerr first, Lee Anderson your [sic] next” – was removed; the other flags and banners remained (BBC). The banner had drawn criticism as Kerr, a Catholic PSNI officer, was killed by a car bomb just north of Omagh in 2011 (BBC | BelTel).

William Glasgow – see the image below – was the British Army soldier who shot and killed 15-year old Manus Deery in 1972 near the spot of the bonfire. His killing was ruled “unjustified” in 2017 (Irish Times); Glasgow died in 2001 (BBC). There are two plaques to Deery’s memory and he is included in the mural The Runner.

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Move At Your Own Risk

There is pressure to remove the Tigers Bay bonfire in Adam Street because it is built on Department Of Infrastructure land next to the Duncairn Gardens “peace” line and has been the site of anti-social behaviour such as golf balls being hit into the New Lodge (Irish News | BelTel). In response comes the message: “Move at your own risk – FTPSNI”.

A bonfire on the Comber Greenway (next to the Stranger Kings murals) was removed late Saturday night (BelTel | Belfast Live).

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Better To Die On Your Feet

This is the bonfire in Edgarstown, Portadown, a month shy of Eleventh Night, when it will be set alight. (The UVF banners will be removed before burning.) Since these images were taken on June 10th, a third “storey” has been added – see the Facebook page.

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Onward

Demolition of the Movie House on Dublin Road has begun (John Campbell/BBC) in order to make way for the Kainos Software headquarters (BelTel). The image above was taken on April 26th, 2020, the day of the cinema’s last showings (BelTel).

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Farewell From This Store

Broken bodies are stacked in the window of Moss Bros. in Castle Lane, which closed after four years in operation. The Tele reports that the company’s voluntary restructuring was accepted by its creditors in December (BelTel), precipitated by coronavirus closures, the cancellation of weddings and formal events, and reduced demand for office clothing (BelTel).

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Sleeping Giant

The First Trust/AIB branch in High Street, next to Joy’s Entry, is merely resting. “This branch is closed” and has been for three years.

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Below The Castle Walls

Carrickfergus castle was built in 1177 and has seen multiple battles in the intervening years, including the Battle Of Carrickfergus in 1597 in which the MacDonnells and O’Neills defeated the forces of Elizabeth I (WP). Its military history makes it a fitting spot for a remembrance of the dead of WWI from the 36th Division.

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Join The Socialists!

“Super-rich increase wealth by £25 Billion during crisis yet health workers only get applause … fight for 15% pay increase for all NHS workers.” “US super-rich increase wealth by $367 billion while workers lose lives, jobs, pay. End the rule of billionaires.”

These Socialist Party posters are in the middle Falls, including one on the red letter box outside Áras Uí Chonghaile, interpretative centre for James Connolly, founder of the Socialist Labour Party and the Irish Labour Party.

Previously: You Can’t Have Capitalism Without Racism

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The Leper Window

St Nicholas’s (Anglican) church in Carrickfergus dates back to the 1100s, prior to the castle. The low window shown above is known as the “leper window”. Patients from the leper hospital near the (northern) Spittal Gate to the city would come and listen in (Library Ireland). During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, services are not even being held.

A virtual tour of the church is available in the church’s web site.

Recently in Carrickfergus: The Plague Grave. Covid-19 church-related posts from Belfast: Rediscovr The Powr Of Th Rosary | Prayer In The Time Of Coronavirus

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Something Old, Something New, Something Red, White And Blue

Above is one of the few remaining houses in the old style in Tiger’s Bay. This is one of three on Mervue Street, which back onto a row of six in Mervue Court; there also is a row of six on Halliday’s Road which survived the rebuilding there – for images of loyal drawings in the boarded up houses that were replaced, see The Queen In Tiger’s Bay. Below, however, is an image of the freshly-repainted kerbstones just above the house, at the junction of Mervue and Edlingham streets.
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