The Kilcooley Arch

An arch of a different kind in the Kilcooley estate: a reflective steel arc overlooking a circular mosaic.

“This steel and ceramic sculpture was created by the residents, children and young people from the Kilcooley Community, working in collaboration with visual artists Duncan Ross and Helen Sharp. The sculpture was created as part of the North Down Borough Council Art of Regeneration Project. The sculpture was officially launched by the Chair of the Art of Regeneration Partnership Councillor Alan Leslie on the 28th April 2009. Funded by the Art Council of NI, NI Housing Executive, North Down Local Strategy Partnership through Peace II, Department for Social Development and North Down Borough Council. Tiles printed and suppled by Edinburgh Ceramics.”

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The People’s Guard

Gwardia Ludowa (the People’s Guard) was an underground communist force formed in 1942 to resist German occupation. They made two attacks on the “Germans only” Café Club in October 24, 1942 and July 11, 1943. The attacks are commemorated here in a mosaic by Władysław Zych on the site of the former club (now a book store).

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Pyrrhic Victory

In the Táin, Queen Medb invades Ulster (opposed single-handedly by Cú Chulainn) to take the Brown Bull (Donn Cuailnge) in order that her wealth matches that of her husband, Ailill, including his prize bull, Finnbhennach (the White-Horned). When she returns with the bull, the two bulls fight and kill each other. The mosaic shown above is a detail from Desmond Kinney’s 1974 mosaic mural off Nassau Street in Dublin. For more images and explanation, see Richard Marsh.

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One Million People Buried Here

“When the name is called by the one above/Their troubles at once did cease/Like the people who went there before them/I prey they will rest in peace.” The words of Shankill man Albert Haslett are used on a Daniella Balmaverde mosaic commemorating the dead buried in Shankill graveyard. The full poem can be found at Belfast Experience, which claims that the number of burials is about half a million. NVTv has a interview program with Haslett, who died in January of last year (2017) – photos and remembrance at Shankill Area Social History group.
Previously from the graveyard: Queen Of Ireland, Empress Of India | Watch-House | WWI Dead
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Ulster Reform Club

The Ulster Reform Club (web | tw) opened in 1885 and has resided at 4 Royal Avenue, Belfast since then. The mosaic is of the emblem of the club; it includes the flag of Ulster (red hand on a cross with yellow background) with a three-in-one shamrock (Ireland), rose (England), and thistle (Scotland) in the top corner.
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Kingdom Of Dalaradia

The HUBB community centre is host to a number of social groups, including those represented in the mosaic above: the Old Comrades group, the Seaview chapter of the Royal British Legion, North Shore and Ladies Somme memorial groups, a spotlight (perhaps in connection with the Civil Defence bowling club? – the HUBB is in what used to be a civil defence building), and the Kingdom of Dalaradia society. According to the eponymous web site, Dalaradia was “was a kingdom of the Cruthin in the north-east of Ireland and parts of Scotland in the first millennium.” Hence, perhaps, the red hand of Ulster and the Scottish thistle.
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The Courage And Sacrifice Of The Hunger Strikers

The Clowney Street phoenix, which dates back to 1981 (see The Oldest Murals), has been repainted, and above, the blanketmen painting (see 1981-2011) has been replaced with a montage of photographs from the period, including prisoners on the blanket and dirty protest, the funeral of Sands and of McDonnell, and three pieces of graffiti: “Thirty thousands can’t be wrong” (Sands’s election to Westminster), “Bobby Sands murdered 1.17 am 5th May 1981”, and “My position is in total contrast to that of an ordinary prisoner. I am a political prisoner.”

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Bobby Sands Corner

Bobby Sands grew up and went to school in Rathcoole but in 1972, when he was eighteen, the family home was attacked. They moved to Twinbrook, where Sands joined the IRA (Bobby Sands Trust | WP).

This mosaic is near the Twinbrook home, on the same wall that was the site of the Carol-Ann Kelly mural. Kelly was killed two weeks after Sands’s death.

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Eastway Wall Art Project

“Eastway Wall Art Project – a Re-Imaging Communities Programme – aims to help all communities in urban areas tackle the visible signs of sectarianism and racism and to create a positive welcoming environment for everyone. Living gallery envisaged by Creggan Enterprises and created by Guildhall Press & Tom Agnew. Signage and artwork fabricated locally by Globaltech. [acknowledgements] The Eastway Wall itself has undergone major refurbishment including the construction of two new pillars to frame the wall. The lower Eastway natural-stone tower maintains the historical link between Rath Mór and the Grianán of Aileach ring fort in Donegal. The higher Eastway structure comprises two sections of a factory chimney stack once located on the nearby Bligh’s Lane site and demolished in 2008. This was added to preserve an important link with the area’s industrial heritage.”

The image above shows the second through the eighth panel. A few of the info boards, including the main one, are shown below. (For the Creggan Story and its info board, see M05174.)

Above the panels shown, some panels just have single words in them – for five of these see Vibrant.

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1981-2011

For the 30th anniversary of the second hunger strike, the moasic portraits of the ten men to die (plus Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg) used at the Falls Road end of Beechmount Avenue to commemorate the 25th anniversary, are placed around the blanketmen board above the Clowney Street phoenix.
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