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Belfast's Gable-Murals


Eddie of Iron Maiden fameLoyalist 'Eddie'
Professor Bill Rolston, a sociologist at the University of Ulster, is publishing a study on Belfast's gable-murals, depicting both loyalist and republican history.

Listen to Kevin Connolly's report, examining the stories behind Belfast's murals (05/08/03).
Mural for murdered taxi drivers

This image on Falls Road is dedicated to murdered cab drivers.

Professor Rolston's book on political murals.

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CLICK HERE to see enlarged pictures of the murals described.
Click on the PICTURE GALLERY link in the right-hand column of this page to view the full sized pictures described below by Professor Rolston.

Mural 1: Ardoyne Avenue, 1996.
This murals depicts a hedge-row school of penal law days. In the 18th century these laws served to keep the Irish down, forbidding them, for example, from inheriting property, holding public office, carrying a weapon, etc. Itinerant teachers travelled around teaching peasant children subjects such as Latin and classical Greek. In the absence of school buildings, they taught them under a tree or in a field. The slogan reads: 'Leabhair an teanga Gaeilge liom - speak the Irish language with me'.

Mural 2: Falls Road, 2001.
The mural is dedicated to the memory of black taxi drivers who have been murdered. The black taxis operate throughout Belfast, with separate associations serving nationalist and unionist areas. They are run cooperatively and in West Belfast, where this mural appears, were originally known as 'the people's taxis'. Given that the black taxis in nationalist areas such as West Belfast and Ardoyne were obviously driven by nationalists, they became targets for frequent loyalist assassination campaigns and a number lost their lives in the course of their work.

Mural 3. Hopewell Crescent, 2000.
This mural depicts Eddie, the fictional avenger from Iron Maiden albums, as a loyalist, wreaking havoc onnationalist and republican areas. It is one of eight such depictions of Eddie in Belfast and Derry, some of which also portray the Grim Reaper. The crosses on this mural in the lower Shankill area, formerly the territory of UDA boss Johnny Adair, bear the names of three north Belfast republicans who are currently alive.

Mural 4: Ebrington Street, Derry, 2000.
This is one of a number of murals on Ulster Scots themes. A dozen or more US presidents can be said to have family roots in the northern part of Ireland. In addition, others encountered the tens of thousands of Ulster Scots who emigrated to America in the 18th century. George Washington's Continental Army contained many such Ulster Scot settlers, and this mural quotes Washington's appreciation for the contribution to the struggle for American freedom against the British.

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