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16 October 2014
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Belfast Murals

With the recent announcement by the government of £3,000,000 for the culturalisation of paramilitary murals it is hoped peaceful cultural murals will not be overlooked

New Belfast Murals

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'Belfast Murals' submitted by Raymond O Regan

To highlight a particular case in point Karen Kelly Cahillane from Concord New Hampshire USA has been involved in peace murals all over the world. A clinical psychologist by profession she has taken a particular interest in Northern Ireland since 1999. Besides bringing Catholic and Protestant youth to new Hampshire for peace and reconciliation she has been the architect of peace murals in Belfast. Some are to be found on the Shankill and Falls roads.

The most dramatic mural can be found at the corner of Durham street and Grosvenor road (see British telecom very generously gave permission to Karen's group "Projects for Global Harmony" in conjunction with NICHS, a Belfast based cross community group, to festoon the wall of their telephone exchange with an excellent peace mural. Incidentally, this mural will be included in an American made documentary called "Murals; Romanticising the Violence" due out in 2007.

Karen continues her peace work in Belfast through a recently formed group with a working title of YAS (youth again sectarianism)

Your Responses:


Debbie Curtin - Oct 07
Thank you Karen, for your global vision. Our family visited Londonderry NI and Belfast several years ago and the murals made a lasting impact. I would like to create a connection between Londonderry NI and Londonderry New Hampshire USA where we live. If anyone has thoughts on how to join the two towns harmoniously respecting the past and embracing the future I would welcome your suggestions.
Thank you in advance for any advice.

Connor Mitchell - Feb '07
Keep the murals

Shauna Kelly - Feb '07
I find the conveyance of views and visions through an artistic medium such as murals are extraordinary enough but the multitude of them in Belfast is a fascinating historical and cultural tour of the city. The PGH Peace murals, in which the images are conceptualized by youth, is the perfect addition to the city's meaningful and passionate ideas captured by paint, for public viewing. All the murals in the city should certainly be recognized as equally representative of depicted culture.

Karen Kelly (Cahillane) - Feb '07
Raymond is very kind with his good words. I might want to clarify that the working name for the group YAS is actually YOUTH AGAINST SECTARIANISM.... not Youth "again" Sectarianism! The organization is looking for a new name - still YAS - but which says positively what they are... rather than what they are not. Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks to all of you in Belfast and beyond who have been so supportive of the work of the young people and of us!

Elaine Rizzo - Feb '07
I've known Karen Kelly for many years and have seen a number of her mural projects in the United States. The collaborative process involved in creating these murals is as critical to building a sense of being part of a common community as the finished murals are in themselves. What a wonderful way to each young people how to work cooperatively in expressing their shared desires for a more peaceful and harmonious world!

J weldon - Jan '07

I just love to spend a day in belfast photographing the murals as a hobby its wonderful plus the crack in the city


Danta Lipinska - Nov '06
The Youth of the world are the future of the world. They take our legacy (for better or worse) into their future, one with which we are only partially involved. Youth Against Sectarianism and the Mural Projects are vital links in the process of change and growth, AND positive continuity. Karen Kelly Cahillane's gifts as a communicator and facilitator, known for her integrity and 'staying power' with the young people of the world and in their diverse communities is inspirational. The observable outcomes in the lives and on the walls of those she works with, the often impactful visual - mural art leave us true cause for celebration of our shared humanity and a reminder that HOPE and PEACE can be just around your corner...........

Jim Walsh - Sep '06
There was a mural of my house at 34 Eliza Street in the Market. I have a snap shot of it that was taken in the early 70s. The mural shows my house next door to Johnny McKeown's Blacksmith shop on Eliza Street. It's not political/religious in any way. I guess someone just thought it needed to be preserved in some way since the buildings are all gone now. It was the same picture captured in Joe O'Kane's sketch which was included in a Calendar showing many of the old Market locations. Does anyone know if the mural still exists and where it is located.

Katherine Crawford - Aug '06
I am proud to know Karen Kelly. Peace murals are a way to bring kids together in an effective peaceful way. Sharing a vision of peace and then drawing it, eliminates division immediately.

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