Wednesday, August 17, 2005


The tradition of painting murals on Belfast walls dates back to the early 20th century, predating the partition of Ireland. The early murals were all Unionist and the first mural showed the victory of Protestants over Catholics at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

(There are a lot – a whole lot – of photos here. On some of them, if you click the picture, you’ll get a larger picture that will allow you to read the words a bit better.)

Today, there are many murals in Belfast. Some simply depict historical scenes or other colourful things. I even saw a Buzz Lightyear mural.

Artist Danny Dees (on the right, below) has painted a number of the murals shown here, including the famous mural of Bobby Sands on the side of the Sinn Fein office.
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Other murals show solidarity with other groups around the world. This stretch along Falls Road has a number of murals.

Most of the murals, however, seem to have a distinct Belfast-centred political nature.

Some are painted directly on the walls.

Others are painted on canvas and attached to the building. This mural refers to the ten hunger strikers in 1981.

These murals also refer to the hunger strikers. The ‘H’ shape is in reference to the prison block in which they were kept.

These two murals face one another across a street and were painted by rival organizations.

This particular housing estate has a number of murals. (There are five in this picture alone.)


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