Girls Club

“Miss McMinn (BEM) created a haven for “Her Girls” in Thorndyke Street Club. It was a home from home where you were encouraged to be yourself. ‘Her girls’ were here life: Her 27 years of service brought joy to the lives of young girls in an area of Belfast that had been devastated by the Blitz. Miss Margaret (Greta) McMinn (we never used Christian names) never married but devoted her life to ‘her girls’. So great was her dedication that during ‘The Troubles’, unable to get to her home in north Belfast, she slept on the premises. With her guidance we learned many arts and crafts which we shared with our family and friends on ‘display night’. We also entered many sports competitively in our own area and the Shankill Road. Many outings to the pantomime, circus, etc. and the annual holidays to Shimna House, Newcastle, County Down, were a real treat for children who had little or nothing in the way of luxury. Wonderful memories of a beautiful lady. – Peggy Bowden”. Part of the “East Side Lives Heritage Trail” which “celebrates the unsung people who built community in east Belfast.

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Wash Your Hands, Hallion

Here are three images from the (upper) blind end of Tower Street, encouraging people to wash their hands (and take other measures) to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus responsible for Covid-19.

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Camera Settings: f11, 1/160, ISO 200, full size 1181 x 1535

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A Big Thank You

“Donegall Pass says a big thank you” to the NHS with a blue balloon. For the UVF mural in the background on Charlotte Street, see 100 Years Apart.

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Camera Settings: f10, 1/125, ISO 200, full size 1772 x 1181

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If I Send Pestilence

Some communities, because of their previous piety, have the ear of the Lord, and need only pray when the Lord sends drought or locusts or pestilence in order to be granted relief. (2 Chronicles 7: 14)  This mural suggests that the people of Tigers Bay are one such people, but that they need to start praying if they be freed from the Coronavirus.

Biblical reference on the wall: Rev 18:4 | John 15:13 | Gen 38:28 | Luke 1:31-33 & 2 Sam 7:16

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No One Left Behind

“In this together. No one left behind. Ireland thanks you.” Essential workers – “NHS – Store Workers – Call Centre Workers – Transport Workers – Factory Workers” – have carried on working for the last seven weeks despite the lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Next to The Great Hunger.

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Camera Settings: f4., 1/100, ISO 200, full size 1772 x 827

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Camera Settings: f4.5, 1/100, ISO 200, full size 1181 x 1181
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Free Kashmir

Kashmir has remained a disputed territory since the partition of India in 1947. It remains under Indian administration, despite different groups rebelling since 1987, some seeking union with Pakistan and others an independent Kashmir. Indian forces have been accused of human rights abuses against Kashmiris. For the mural on the right, see This Is Our Republic.

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Mental Health Matters

“There’s always hope, there’s always help” for mental health issues, from organisations such as Lighthouse, Lifeline, the Simon Community, Childline, the Samaritans, PIPS. Two other unusual things about the mural: it invites passers-by not only to sign the mural (like the latest version of Build Homes Now to its left) but to “write a message of hope” (as occurs on the so-called “peace” line in Cupar Way); and it explicitly says that “this space is kindly on loan from the Workers Party” (replacing the long-standing ‘Bring Down The Walls’ mural).

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Liberation

“Britain out of Ireland – Ireland out of the EU.” This Saoradh stencil is in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Saoradh does not stand candidates in elections; it also currently lacks a national on-line presence and is banned from Twitter and Facebook (in the wake of the death of Lyra McKee).

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No Shame

“S[inn] F[éin] IRA – No Shame” in reference to Shankill bomber Sean Kelly (on the right) campaigning for SF Belfast North candidate John Finucane (on the left) on Lanark Way and Cupar Way. See Steeped In Blood for more. Voters go to the polls on Thursday (December 12th).
With “patronising slogans” by tourists from around the world: “Peace for everyone”, “Stop the walls”, “Can’t you all just get along?”, “Share love – help one another”, and “Impeach Trump”.
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What Is A Free Nation?

In the Workers’ Republic of February 12th, 1916, James Connolly posed the question “What is a free nation?” and, further, whether the Home Rule bill would make Ireland free in the requisite sense. “No” was his answer to the latter, and instead sovereignty would have to be reclaimed, by force if necessary: “There can be no perfect Europe in which Ireland is denied even the least of its national rights; there can be no worthy Ireland whose children brook tamely such denial. If such denial has been accepted by soulless slaves of politicians then it must be repudiated by Irish men and women whose souls are still their own. … A destiny not of our fashioning has chosen this generation as the one called upon for the supreme act of self-sacrifice – to die if need be that our race might live in freedom.”

For the previous Connolly quote in this location see A Word Of Conjure With.

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