Stay Apart, Stay In Touch


“Social distancing” during the coronavirus epidemic means maintaining a physical distance in social situations rather than not having any communication with society. On the contrary, communities are working together perhaps more closely than normal in order to assist those who are in need of support. The Sinn Féin board, above, on the railings of the Duncairn Centre (web | tw) (formerly Duncairn Presbyterian). Identical signs at the Waterworks and Cherryvale drew comment from Alliance as being party-political in shared spaces (BelTel).

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X07119 X07120 Antrim Rd ag obair ar do shon covid-19 north belfast community support advice elderly vulnerable foodbank

Someone To Watch Over Me

The outside of Creggan community centre (managed by the Old Library Trust) has been decorated (by UVArts) with a big “thank you” to “all our workers” – particularly nurses, binmen, and postmen – who have continued providing public services during the coronavirus pandemic.

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VE Day

May 8th this year (2020) marks the 75th anniversary of victory over the Nazis in Europe, or VE Day. (The war against Japan would not end until August 1945.) Celebrations were muted, however, by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which meant that people dared not congregate in parades or services to mark the occasion. The bunting above is in Sperrin Park in Londonderry’s Caw, which took part in the socially-distanced street party; the window below, which gives dual attention to both VE Day and NHS workers, is in Alexandra Park Avenue in Belfast.

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Imprisoned In A Glass Tower

“Eithne – daughter of (Evil Eye) Balor and maternal grandmother of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Eithne was imprisoned in a glass tower on Tory Island because of a prophecy that a child of hers would grow to defeat Balor in battle. Despite Eithne’s imprisonment the prophecy was fulfilled.” This Eithne is in the foyer of the “house” (tower block) that bears her name: Teach Eithne in the New Lodge. 

Le buíochas do Mícheál Ó’D as an iontráil.

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Valerie Hobson

Valerie Hobson, star of movies, television, and theatre in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, was born in Larne in 1917 but grew up in and around London. Her second marriage was to John Profumo (he of the Profumo Affair) but chose to stay with him. She died in 1998 (Independent obit). The mural of Hobson is in Point Street, Larne, by Visual Waste (tw | ig).

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You’ll Never Walk Alone

The civic spirit of Bedfordshire’s Captain Tom Moore has been celebrated in murals across the UK, including this one by Blaze FX in Clonduff. Moore attempted to raise funds for the NHS by doing laps around his garden with his walker in advance of his hundredth birthday. He originally aimed at raising 1,000 pounds but ended up raising 30 million after the effort went viral.

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Thank You, Postmen

“We support all essential workers.” The residents of John Street (behind Morning Star House) have made a sign by hand to express their “míle buíochas” for essential workers of many types: “Tescos workers, council workers, delivery drivers, security officers, NHS, taxi drivers, care home workers, community workers, postmen.”

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Thank You NHS

This is Glen Molloy’s (Fb) contribution to the public support for NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. The mural is in the Tullyally area of Londonderry, near Altnagelvin hospital.

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The Staff Are Social Distancing

Businesses across the north (and across the world) struggle to function during the coronavirus pandemic with measures such as limiting the number of customers on site, shifting to kerb-side pick-up, frequent sanitising of surfaces, requiring the wearing of masks, and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from customers. This images from ‘USA Hand Car Wash & Valet’ in Larne, describes the measures being taken: “Staff are social distancing. Wash & dry only. Door sills not dried to avoid contact. No contact payments. Money to be left on passenger seat. Thank you for your co-operation.”

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In The Pocket Of Sinn Féin

The Sinn Féin logo takes the place of the service’s emblem (which already contains a harp and a shamrock) on the cap of a PSNI officer. “Police Service Of Northern Ireland – destroying the loyalist community since 4th nov. 2001. In the pocket of Sinn Fein [sic]”. 

For the board below, see Graduated Response; for the hooded UVF gunman, see Progression Requires Inclusion.

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X07116 X07117 Davys St, Carrickfergus