In 2019, images of Bobby Sands before his (second and final) arrest and imprisonment were rediscovered in the collection of French photographer Gérard Harlay. Sands was serving as a flag-bearer in an August 1976 march from the Busy Bee to Dunville Park to protest the withdrawal of political status. (For some of Harlay’s images, see Bobby Sands Trust.) This new mural in his home area of Twinbrook copies one of the images (though presents him as carrying a Tricolour rather than a harp) along with protesters protesting for “Public transport for Twinbrook now” and “Social housing for Twinbrook now”.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon resigned in February after the team fell 18 points short of first place in the Scottish Premiership and an historic “ten in a row” League titles. The team in first place, Rangers, clinched the title (with 6 games left to play) on March 7th – their 55th League title. This celebratory banner and flag are on the Shankill.
“Greater Shankill community congratulates the world’s most successful football club.” “‘There are probably one or two people out there enjoying it, maybe one or two people have a wee fly kick. I would suggest to them to have a right good kick just now because we will not be where we are for long.’ – Ally McCoist, March 2012.”
“Together let’s value the experience and wisdom of older people in this community.” The Care Zone community initiative (web) attempts to raise the quality of life – and in particular to tackle deaths by suicide – in the ‘Belfast North’ Assembly area. This poster campaign – which features images from the Waterworks – is directed at developing respect for the elderly.
The Dalai Lama’s hero, Children In Crossfire (web) founder Richard Moore, was blinded in 1972 at age 10 by a British Army rubber bullet. As part of the recent episode on Derry for her show Home Sweet Home, Joanna Lumley had a mural painted in his honour in Great James Street, Derry (Derry Journal).
On Sunday March 22nd, 1981, forty years ago this week, Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara joined Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes on hunger strike in Long Kesh/HMP Maze. They would be joined by 19 more prisoners before the strike ended with ten of the 23 meeting their deaths. On March 31st, 1974, Michael Gaughan went on hunger strike in Parkhurst, along with four others, including Frank Stagg. Gaughan died in June as a result of forced feeding; Stagg would die on a later strike, in February 1976.
2021 is the 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day (web). In 1911 it was observed on March 19th, but since 1914 it has been held annually on March 8th. Free Derry Corner (Visual History) was changed to mark the occasion. In the background Bernadette Devlin is seen “inciting a riot” during the Battle Of The Bogside – as the charges against her read; she served six months.
“Our forefathers fought for our freedom and rights – no border in the sea or we continue the fight.” The uppermost placard – showing a hooded gunman – appeared in various town and drew complaints to the PSNI, who said that they were working with local groups to secure its removal (Irish News). It was condemned by UUP and DUP politicians (BelTel). The instance here is on a pole outside Armagh gaol. For most of its existence (beginning in 1780), HM Prison Armagh was a women-only institution. Its inmates included the three republican prisoners who went on hunger strike in 1980, simultaneously with men in Long Kesh/Maze. The building ceased to function as a gaol in 1986.
‘Men Of Iron’ is the name of a 1922 William Conor painting, showing shipyard workers in the shadow of a great ship (you can see it at ArtUK). The painter himself was rendered in bronze (by sculptor Holger Lönze) and stands on the Shankill at the corner with Northumberland Street.