The first printing press in Belfast belonged to James Blow and his brother-in-law Patrick Neil in 1694 (DIB | Dublin Penny Journal gives 1696 | Mary Lowry Story Of Belfast gives 1690); a run of 8,000 Bibles is said to have been printed in 1751, one of which is part of the Linen Hall Library’s collection on Early Ulster Printing (RASCAL).
In 1895, Carswell & Sons opened a print-works and book-binders in a warehouse running with frontage in Queen Street and a rear in College Court (the building is now a bingo hall – see Kelly’s Eyes) which is currently being renovated as an office block (Bel Tel) – some of the scaffolding in College Cour can be seen in the later images in We Built This, the street art festival for International Women’s Day, 2023.
To complement those festival pieces, the mouth of College Court has been given a make-over, with work by Peachzz (ig) (above) and lettering by Woskerski (ig) that both draw on the street’s association with printing. If you know who did the “bookbinding” piece, please get in touch.
Previously on either side of College Court there were two pieces by Friz: Fox and Hare.
The bonus image, of a man leaning against the newsagent’s wall, is on the corner with Castle Street.
“Rotten And Corrupt: Christopher Little (39) entered guilty pleas to nine charges at Belfast Crown Court last month – including attempting to have sex with a child. [Irish Times] 20 officers shared racist, sexist and misogynistic messages including texts and images which mocked Arabic and Islamic people. [Spotlight programme] Six PSNI officers all had hearings for an array of alleged offences. PSNI revealed they themselves had dismissed 11 police officers amid claims of over 130 misconduct cases throughout the force. [Belfast Live]”
It’s not clear who is behind these flyers in north Belfast; the harpist on the electical box is by Kerrie Hanna (ig).
The Lagan river between Belfast and Lisburn was made navigable in 1763 after seven years of work. The remaining distance between there and Lough Neagh (and the coalfields of east Tyrone, which were connected to Lough Neagh and then Portadown and Newry) required a canal, which finally opened on January 1st, 1794. The were 27 locks on the route between Belfast and the lough, and horses walking on the tow-parth would pull the barges up river (WP | Lagan Valley | Lagan Navigation has photographs of horses at work). Horsey Hill was perhaps the site of stables in south Belfast; it is now the name of the alley that continues on towards the river from the Ukraine sunflower mural off Harrow Street in the Holylands.
Forward South Partnership/Connor McKernan’s video about the history of the Holylands, including Horsey Hill, can be seen on youtube.
Painted by Daniela Balmaverde (ig) and DMC. At the bottom of Horsey Hill, along the embankment, are Animals Two By Two.
Clare Crockett grew up in Derry and became a nun in 2001. She died at the age of 33 in an earthquake in Ecuador in 2016. The mass for the seventh anniversary of her death was held last month (youtube). A documentary film about Crockett’s life is available on youtube.
Painted by Razer (ig) in Racecourse Road, Shantallow, Derry.
“Sr Clare Crockett was born in Derry 14th November 1982. The daughter of Gerard and Margaret Crockett. During a Holy Week Retreat in Spain in the year 2000 she experienced the intensity of the Lord’s Death and Resurrection that led to a deep conversion of her life. Sr Clare entered the Servant Sisters of the House of the Mother 11th August 2001. She went to found a new community in Jacksonville, Florida in October 2006. Sr Clare took Perpetual vows 8th September 2010. In 2014, Sr Clare undertook the mission in Ecuador. She died in an Earthquake, protecting her pupils 16th April 2016. She was buried in Derry 2nd May 2016.”
“Heavenly Father, for your Glory, that or [of] your beloved Son, that of the Holy Spirit and that of the Mother Of God, we ask that grant us the grace (mention your request in the silence of your heart) … as a sign that the life of our Sister Clare Theresa Crockett has been pleasing to you on this earth and that she is now rejoincing with you in Heaven. We ask this through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
The Con O’Neill bridge crosses the Knock river just before it meets the Loop river to form the Connswater, which used to be Con’s water, and provided a way for “men, horses and livestock to cross the river” (Con O’Neill).
The mural depicting such a crossing, by Friz (ig), is on a gable wall in the car park next to the bridge; the area is now known as The Hollow, as in “Hey, where did we go?/Days when the rains came/Down in the hollow/Playin’ a new game.” (For an image of bridge partially submerged and impassable in 2012, see Geograph | more images at Google Maps Places.)
Con lived c. 1600 but the bridge might well pre-date that time. It was refurbished as part of the Connswater Greenway project in ?2014?.
“Ireland – Palestine – one struggle!” Carlos Latuff’s Belfast piece with Risteard Ó Murchú about Palestinian hunger-striker Khader Adnan was featured yesterday in They Hungered For Justice And Freedom. Here is the piece he did on Free Derry Corner with local artist Razer (Fb), showing Irish and Palestinian hands together throwing a Molotov cocktail.
Art by Danny Rumbl (ig), HMConstance (ig), KMG (ig), Zippy (ig), Codo (ig), and various writers on the Cupar Way “peace” line, on top of pieces from last year by Bust, Lobster, and others – New Levels, Same Devils.
Long-time Palestinian activist and former spokesperson for Islamic Jihad Khader Adnan died on May 2nd, at the age of 45, after 87 days on hunger strike in Ramla prison, in central Israel (Al Jazeera).
This was Adnan’s fifth time on hunger strike. In 2017, he spent 58 days on hunger strike and in 2015, 56 days. The strike in 2011-2012 lasted 66 days, during which time a mural was painted just to left of the mural shown here, featuring Adnan and Hanna Shalabi; they, along with many other prisoners, were on hunger strike to protest the “administrative detention” (imprisonment without trial) of more than 300 Palestinians – see Administrative Detention. Earlier, shorter, strikes took place in 2002 and in 2000, when he was imprisoned by the Palestinian National Authority for directing a protest against Lionel Jospin, then French Prime Minister (Gulf News).
According to Amnesty International, there are currently more than 1,000 Palestinians being held on ‘administrative detention’ (Amnesty).
As can be seen from the in-progress shots below, Risteard Ó Murchú painted Latuff’s cartoon, with Latuff looking on.