Two posters from Unite: “My rent payments aren’t getting cut – why are my wages?” “Hospitality workers demand respect”. The pandemic’s economic impact is felt most acutely among those in high-contact (and non-frontline) occupations, such as clubs and pubs.
“Clark Groves was born on the 14th May 1889. A naval officer, in WW1, he fought at the Battle of Jutland. After the war he worked as a fitter in Harland & Wolff before using his de-mob money to establish a bookmaking business here in 14 Manderson Street (since demolished), at the back of the Old Clock Bar. The bookie’s ‘Pitch’ was very like the ones seen in the TV series ‘Peaky Blinders!’ At this time, running a betting business was illegal. Clark, and a number of other bookmakers, founded the Turf Guardians Association and led a successful campaign to have their businesses legalised. Years later, a local bookie told Clark’s grandson that he and his colleagues owed their livelihoods to ‘Old Godfathers’ like Clark. Clark was a generous, popular man. He helped out many local people over the years, lending money for funerals, weddings and education costs. It’s said that he ‘married and buried them on the Newtownards Road!’ He died on 28th May 1957, just two weeks after his 68th birthday. His funeral was the biggest seen before or since in the area. The trolley buses to Dundonald Cemetery were full of people and those who couldn’t get on walked the length of Newtownards Road to be there. A measure of the man for sure. Clark Groves was the annual summer football tournament that was played at ‘The Hen Run,’ the home of Dundela FC. It was known as the Clark Groves Cup. – Stephen Beggs”
“‘Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan’ – Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican”. According to Wikipedia, Amorth performed “tens of thousands” of exorcisms during his lifetime, though notes that people can be possessed by more than one demon at a time, which inflates the numbers. His favorite film, naturally enough, was The Exorcist. (WP)
A six-week lockdown began at midnight last night with restrictions including an overnight curfew and an end to all “close contact” services (Belfast Live). Shown today are two of larger posters in Sinn Féin’s ‘wear a mask’ campaign, featuring Paul Maskey and Fra McCann, MP and MLA for Belfast West.
Christmas greetings from Holy Family Parish, in four languages: “Happy Christmas” in English, “Nollaig Shona” in Irish, “Wesołych Świąt” in Polish, and “ക്രിസ്മസ് ആശംസകൾ”/”krismas āśansakaḷ” in Malayalam. Many nurses working in Ireland come from Kerala (Irish Times). The hoarding is next to Brothers Asian take-away on the Antrim Road at – “A bite of Asia”.
Photographer Mariusz Smiejek (web | ig) was born in Poland in 1978 but moved to Northern Ireland in 2011, which is when he started taking pictures of bonfires – in areas such as Highfield, the Village, and the Shankill – and the people around them. The full gallery for his ‘Bonies’ project is available on his web site.
Ní saoirse go saoirse na mban [“There is no freedom until the freedom of women”] with images of Countess Markievicz, Colman Doyle’s famous ?1974? image of a (staged) female IRA volunteer with AR-18, Máire Drumm, and Mairéad Farrell. Lasair Dhearg (web) sticker in north Belfast.
The 39th Bundoran (RSF) hunger strike commemoration took place at the end of August, scaled-back due to the coronavirus pandemic (RSF). The poster above, on the electrical box on Northumberland Street, includes Pat Ward alongside the twelve “traditional” hunger strike deaths (for the first inclusion of Gaughan and Stagg, see Remember The Hunger Strikers from 1985) Ward, a Donegal fisherman and IRA volunteer, took part in four hunger strikes, lasting 148 days in total, including 45 in Portlaoise in 1975. He died in 1988. (RSF | Pensive Quill)