Jail Bird

More pieces are added to the ‘Eastside Urban Gallery’ in east Belfast (see previously Linenopolis | Winter’s End), with two new pieces by Irony (tw | ig) and Artista (tw) along the Comber Greenway (in Tamar Street). Both artists are from London. Sponsored by the Eastside Urban Partnership and Seedhead Arts.
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Shankill Brigadistas

After the Nationalist coup in 1936, the UK and US continued to recognise Spain’s Republican government but did not intervene militarily. Individuals from these counties thus participated in the conflict by joining the British and Lincoln battalions of the XV International Brigade, fighting alongside Balkans, Belgians, and Cubans at Jarama, Brunete, and the Ebro river, among other battles. For background on Belfast socialism of the period see this article by Stevie Downes.
“International Brigades – Spanish Civil War 1936 – 39. Commemorating all those who served and died with the XV International Brigade in the fight against fascism including the following Brigadistas from the Shankill area: William Beattie … Bill Henry … William Laughran … Henry McGrath … James Isaac Hillen … Joseph Lowery … Andrew Molyneaux. No pasarán. Unveiled by Tommy and Freddie McGrath, nephews of Henry McGrath, and Baroness May Blood, trade union & community activist. International Brigade Commemoration Committee. Saturday 1st February 2014.”
Previously: Plaque to (Protestant) Beattie and (Catholic) O’Neill | Belfast Socialists marching at Bodenstown (though possibly those from the Shankill were excluded) | Derry Brigadistas | a bust to the International Brigade in Writers Square, Belfast. Also: Guernica | Derry Guernica.
The plaque is in the Shankill Road Library.
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Resolve

The Bunch Of Grapes in east Belfast was an infamous UDA bar known in particular for the
torture and killing of Georgie Legge in 2001 (Irish Times). The east Belfast Resolve NI (Fb | tw) office – formerly a DUP advice centre – sits across from it at the junction of Beersbridge and Castlereagh roads. The pub has been derelict for 5 years or more and an apartment building is to be developed on the site (BelTel). Demolition would also remove Friz’s Hope, Life.
For a short time (2006-2008?) the pub was called the Ibrox Bar and, when this proved controversial with Rangers FC, the Eye-Brox Bar.
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Méabh

Work by JMK (ig | tw) for HTN19. The event was put on by Seedhead Arts, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, and Community Arts Partnership.
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The Power Of Hope

“Don’t be ashamed of your story – It will inspire others.” “You are amazing – remember that.” The Belfast ‘Darkness Into Light’ event  for suicide-prevention (a walk to greet the sunrise) was held in Ormeau Park on May 11th, and the park was decorated with lots of inspirational messages and stencils from organisations including PIPS (Public Initiative For Prevention Of Suicide And Self-Harm tw | Fb) and Pieta House (webtw) (with electric ireland).
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Head On

Congratulations to Conor McClure (web | ig | Fb) on his newly-minted Masters degree, and for this piece in Kent Street for Hit The North 2019. The annual degree show begins on June 8th in the Art College.
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Still The People Spoke

The first Dáil Éireann met in 1919 in the wake of a Sinn Féin sweep of the elections of 1918. Current leader Mary Lou McDonald addressed her deputies at a centenary commemoration, recounting the rise of the party: “They banished us, imprisoned us and bereaved us. But still the people spoke.” The mural above presents a montage of historical images, from the women of Wicklow (Barton) and Dublin (Mulcahy) being urged to exercise their new right to vote (also Arthur Griffith in East Cavan), to Bobby Sands and Owen Carron, to Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. (Cormac’s Fight Back was turned into a mural on the Springfield Road.)
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Paras Fight Back

Petitions with over 100,000 signature must be debated by Westminster MPs. At 4:30 this afternoon MPs will debate (without voting) a petition to give British soldiers – and particularly paratroopers who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles – immunity. Supporters of granting immunity are upset by recent reports on government policy (from Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt) suggesting that service in the North will not be included in any such bill (BelTel) and/because paramilitaries would also be included (Shropshire Star). See previously: Stop The Witch Hunt.
The poster above (at the top of the Shankill) from a group calling itself Northern Ireland Crown Forces Veterans For Justice, calls for people to rally in support of soldier. “We demand that the British Government must enact protective legislation, whilst they are engaged in the Defence of our Country and its People. This must cover Past, Present & Future deployments. We also demand that the British Government rescind the findings of the discredited Saville Inquiry, and the apologies made by Politicians, which were not made in our name.”
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UN 194

Tonight’s second round of performances in the Eurovision Song Contest sees the Irish entry take the stage. (The UK’s song has a bye into Friday night’s finals.) The competition is taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, which has prompted the BDS movement to urge a boycott of the event. Among those lodging a protest are Gael Force Art, who took to Sliabh Dubh last weekend with a large Palestinian flag. Article 11 of UN Declaration 194 asserts that refugees displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war should be able to return home.
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Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall

James Connolly was executed on May 12th, 1916. Both the (freshly painted) Connolly plaque shown above and the Martin Meehan mural on the adjacent wall paint the struggle of the republican prisoners and the Provisionals of the ‘Troubles’ as descendants of 1916’s Easter Rising. Several name-plaques have been added to (what is now officially titled) the ‘Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall’ compared to the number seen in September.
For close-ups of the door and sculptured rocks, see Father Time.
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