Political Murals, Belfast 2010

Image 12 of 15
< Prev Next >


A lot of people don't know that initially when British soldiers came on the streets of Northern Ireland in 1969, Catholics welcomed them as their defenders from the Protestant mobs and the police of the Northern Ireland statelet (once described proudly as a &quot;Protestant state for a Protestant people.&quot;)..Sadly, the British Army committed a series of mistakes that quickly gained them the enmity of the Catholic population.  While the 1972 shooting of 13 unarmed marchers in a banned anti-internment march in Londonderry (&quot;Bloody Sunday&quot;) is the best known, the Falls Road Curfew was a major milestone in alienating the Catholics of Northern Ireland...It began as an arms search and quickly degenerated into a massive confrontation between the British Army and the residents of the Falls Road in which four civilians were killed and 15 British soldiers were injured.  For 36 hours, the British Army imposed a curfew on the neighborhoods and conducted house-to-house searches.  The roughness of the soldiers (who frequently smashed up people's homes and religious symbols) and the extensive use of tear gas brought Catholic West Belfast's perceptions of British soldiers as neutral guarantors of peace and security to an end...The mural depicts the ending of the curfew when a procession of women from the nearby neighborhoods of Andersonstown managed to push past the barricades and bring food and supplies in to their besieged friends.