Craigavon House was the home of James Craig, a political centre during the (3rd) Home Rule crisis – an estimated 100,000 people congregated at Craigavon House on the 23rd of September, 1911, to hear Edward Carson’s inaugural speech as Unionist leader (McNeill Ch. 4 | We Will Take Nothing Else) – and a hospital during the latter part of WWI (Bangor Historical). It has fallen into disrepair, covered over by the fourteen panels seen here, in order to serve as the rallying point of the 100th anniversary commemorative parade in April (RTÉ | BBC).
Various people and units are portrayed: USSF, post house staff, motor car corps, young citizen volunteers, the Larne gun-running, Fred Crawford, Edward Carson, James Craig, the nursing corp, Ethel Burnside, the 36th Division, the Ulster Covenant.
“Strength in our hearts, strength of our limbs, consistency of our tongues.” “Na Fianna Ard Eoin 1909-2009 – one hundred years of resistance. In proud memory Fian Davy McAuley … Josh Campbell … Josie McComiskey … Bernard Fox. ‘You may kill the revolutionary, but never the revolution.’ Dedicated by the Republican Network for Unity.” The four deceased are portrayed on four small boards, along with standing figures of Fianna from both centuries.
Cogús [conscience] is the POW-support organisation of the RNU (tw). On the left is a blanketman, on the right is a contemporary POW being beaten by a prison guard in riot gear. “Make a difference – Join RNU – Be committed, stand as one – Implement 12th August Agreement – End strip searches – End controlled movement.”
“They think that they have pacified Ireland, they think they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half … [They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything;] but the fools, the fools, the fools! …. [they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace]” The closing words of Patrick Pearse’s oration at the Dublin graveside of Jeremiah O’Donavan Rossa in 1915. His remains had been repatriated from the United States to Ireland.
“In memory of our friends and comrades. This Memorial is dedicated to all those Irish Republicans who fought in the Struggle for Irish Freedom, and in the defence of this community in our Time of Need. This Memorial honours their Courage and Dedication to the cause of Irish Freedom. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.” Hugo Wilkinson, Terry Murphy, Paul Watson, Jim McLaughlin, Richard McIlkenny, Jake McGowan, Patsy Quinn, Liam Mulholland, Francis O’Neill, Sean Delaney, Carmel Cahoon, Christine Beattie, Geraldine Rice, Anthony McIlkenny, Joey Saunders, Danny Mullan, Tony Molloy, Seamus Rice, Eamon McAllister, Gerry McAllister, John Bateson, Jojhn Barnes, Jim Floyd. With images of the prisons Armagh, Long Kesh H-Blocks, Magilligan, Long Kesh cages, HMS Maidstone, Portlaoise, Wormwood Scubs, Crumlin Road.
“We would like to thank all our friends from Wexford, Limerick & Fermanagh who kindly donated to this memorial. Go raibh maith agaibh.”
“Remember the tragic events surrounding the unlawful execution of IRA volunteers [Vols. Sean Savage, Mairead Farrell, Dan McCann] in Gibraltar by the SAS on the 6th March 1988, the shooting of Vol. Keven McCracken in the defence of the community, the murderous attack on the Gibraltar funeral by a British sponsored assassin and killing of mourners [John Murray, Thomas McErlean, Vol. Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh]. I ndíl [sic] chuimhne. Always remembered with pride by the people of the Colin area. Béirigí [sic] bua.”
While the demolition of the last house in the row is under way, the pair of boards on the gable wall (seen in 2012) has been mounted on some scaffolding, with their order reversed – Covenant Day on the left, Somme trench on the right.
Also included is a “Smash Sinn Fein IRA” stencil in the area.
A board to slain UVF/RHC members John Hanna (died 1991-09-10), Stevie McCrea (1989-02-18) and Sammy Mehaffy (1991-11-13), with poppies and image of WWI soldiers.
“Remembering our brother’s lost lives and the human cost of conflict, the legacy of lost hopes and dreams. We come not to mourn but to praise their memory. We keep the memory of the brave, the faithful and the few, some lie far off beyond the waves, some sleep in Ulster too. All are gone but still live on the names of those who died, and true men like you, remember them with pride.”
“36th ulster division, for they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them nor the years condemn, at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”