Christmas In Prison

A crude engraving about the size of your hand found on the wall of the B-wing yard in Crumlin Road Gaol (now a tourist attraction and conference centre): a Celtic cross with knot-work and “Jim Keenan – Xmas 1942”.

Below is a picture of the gaol from September 15th, 1942, thirteen days after Tom Williams was hanged (see the plaque to his memory in Bombay Street).

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Bullets Travel Also Through Time

“South Belfast – time for truth – exposing collusion – Ormeau Road – ‘Bullets do not only travel distance but also through time'” [Based on a quote by James Kennedy’s father: “The bullets that killed James didn’t just travel in distance, they travelled in time. Some of those bullets never stop travelling.” (Irish Times)]

Police Ombudsman Marie Andersons’s report into various murders and attempted murders in south Belfast was released yesterday (February 7th, 2022) and presented a list of “collusive behaviours” between the RUC and loyalist paramilitaries. Among the incidents investigated was the killing of five people “murdered for their faith” at the Sean Graham bookies’ office on the Ormeau Road in February 5th, 1992; the report found that one of the two UDA gunmen was a Special Branch informant and that a Browning pistol used in the attack had been supplied by the RUC (as had previously been revealed in the 2010 HET Inquiry report) and that records relating to the weapon had been withheld from investigators (Irish Times | Belfast Live). For the 30th anniversary, relatives of the five men killed and of five more who were injured displayed their portraits next to the small memorial garden, which itself was updated to mark the third decade since their deaths: “1992-2022” (Belfast Live).

The plaque on the far left is to Charles Jospeh McGrillen, shot by the UDA/UFF in 1988 at his work in Dunne’s on the Annadale embankment (Sutton). Next to the bookies’ parlour is a plaque to Fian Jim Templeton.

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Those Who Endure The Most

Kieran Doherty’s memorial stone (below) is recreated at the back of the mural of his funeral cortège. “I gcuimhne ar Vol. Kieran Doherty T.D. Briogáid Bhéal Feirste [Ógliagh na hÉireann], of 54 Commedagh Drive. Rugadh 16ú Deireadh Fómhair 1955, elected T.D. for Cavan/Monaghan 11th June 1981, a fuair bás 2ú Lúnasa 1981, after 73 days on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. ‘It is not those who can inflict the most, but those who endure the most, who will conquer in the end’.” (The Terence MacSwiney quote is not included on the painted stone.)

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The Men From Whitehead

“At the going down of the sun.” The smaller of the two World War memorials in Whitehead was updated last year for the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. The stone (shown last, below) was originally dedicated in 1996, for the 75th anniversary. The plate on the bench reads: “In memory of Mr Royal British Legion, Hector (Sandy) McGregor, 1920-2014. ‘Service not self'”

The larger memorial (shown above) was dedicated in 2019 (Mid&East Antrim) and replaced a smaller memorial which also had the names of the locals who were killed in the world wars. “Greater love hath no man – We will remember them. In grateful memory of the men from Whitehead who gave their lives in World War I & II.” With a wreath from LOL 968.

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Honour, Loyalty, Liberty, Sacrifice

A new backdrop – of a field of poppies beneath a blue sky– has been added to the UFF memorial garden in Tigers Bay. The four stones/plaques in the garden are shown below in the order that they were added to the garden, starting with two to the North Belfast Brigade that were present in 2008 (see M04397). The third was a roll of honour of the “Scottish Brigade North Ayrshire”. The fourth is generically to “those we have loved and lost” but contains a strand of barbed wire, symbol of POWs.

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Like The Eternal Flame

“Like the eternal flame your memory will never die.” “Unbowed, unbroken – this garden is dedicated to all our fallen dead from Ardoyne, Bone, and Ligoniel who lost their lives as a direct result of the conflict. We also honour all those people who played an active part in our struggle for Irish freedom. ‘It is not those who inflict the most, but those that endure the most, that shall prevail’ [Terence McSwiney]”. The central plaque shows the pediment and statues on “ard-oifig an phoist” (the GPO in Dublin, 1916) and the Maid Of Erin harp (of 1798). The celtic cross was previously in the memorial garden at the corner of Berwick Road – see Freedom Hath Arisen.

In the distance of the final image is the Sean Mac Diarmada mural.

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For Noah

Four files to be presented in the inquest into the death of teenager Noah Donohoe are being assessed for redaction under the principle of ‘Public-interest immunity’ (BelTel | RN), which has added fuel to the speculation that the PSNI is “hiding Noah’s killer”. Noah would have turned 16 today, November 25th. The campaign for answers in his case continues, with a “carcade” tonight down the Antrim Road from the zoo to Carlisle Circus (NBN), and continued graffiti and stencilling, as shown here. The stone (above) is near the Ballysillan end of the Hightown Road; the graffiti is in Turf Lodge; the stencil (bottom) is in the middle Falls.

Previously: This is now our 14th post on Noah.

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X08674 X08623 X08621 [X08622] sign the petition chief constable simon byrne it is time to go justice

Stag Inn Shooting

A long series of tit-for-tat shootings of pubs and clubs in 1976 continued into the summer of 1976, with attacks on the Chlorane (June 5th), Walkers (June 25th), the Ramble (July 2nd), the Whitefort (July 29th), and then, on the 30th, The Stag at Shaws Bridge, Belfast, by the Republican Action Force (PIRA) (Sutton). John McCleave, John McKay, and James “Jimmy” Doherty died on the night of the attack, and Thompson McCreight died of his wounds nine days later. The memorial to them – “erected by the local communities” – is on Milltown Road, next to the Dreamscheme (web) mural.

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Continuing Conflicts

The war memorial garden in City Way (Sandy Row) commemorates those from the Great War, World War II, and “Continuing Conflicts” which includes the “Troubles”. There is also a fourth, smaller, stone, with John Maxwell Edmonds’s memorial epitaph.

“The Great War 1914-1918: In memory of the fallen”, with John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields‘.
“Second World War 1939-1945: Freedom is the sure possession of those have the courage to defend it. Their ideal is our legacy. Their sacrifice is our inspiration.”
“Continuing Conflicts: We remember those who have given their lives. The wounded and those who serve in continued conflicts around the world.”

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A Great Feeling Of Love

“The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality” – Che Guevara Lynch. The INLA’s Kevin Lynch died in the second hunger strike after 71 days. He is buried in Dungiven, where this memorial sits on the main road between Derry and Maghera.

“I ndíl chuimhne ar Óglach Kevin Lynch a fuair bás ar stailc ocrais ar son saoirse, 1ú Lúnasa 1981 [who died on a hunger strike for freedom, 1st August 1981]. Erected by the Irish Republican Socialist Ex-Prisoners Memorial Committee.”

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