“Tógtha ar an 90ú comóradh de luíochán na hÁirse Éigiptigh/Erected on the 90th anniversary of the Epytian Arch Ambush. I gcuimhne [ar] Óglaigh/In memory of Óglaigh William Canning, John Francis O’Hare, Peter Shields, Óglaigh Na hÉireann. A maríodh iad, agus iad sa tóir ar Phoblacht na hÉireann, ag Forsaí Choróin na Breataine/Who were killed by the British Crown Forces in the pursuit of an Irish Republic. “The republic stands for truth and honour. For that is the noblest in our race. By truth and honour, principle and sacrifice alone will Ireland be free.” – Liam Mellows.”
“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.”
“The Story Of The Murder Of Volunteer Seamus Bradley On The 31st Of July 1972, Operation Motorman.
On the 4th of July 1972, the British government met with army intelligence and army personnel, between them they created a blue print which was first called operation carcan to later be changed to operation motorman. In this secret meeting that place on the 4th of July, the army were to take 20,000 troops from the UN forces, and the government gave orders on a shoot to kill policy and confirmed that no soldier would be held accountable for their actions on that day. Over 1,500 of these soldiers and 300 centurion tanks were sent to free Derry to tear down the barricades and cause havoc, but the provisional IRA intercepted their blue print and decided to step down to protect the innocent people of Northern Ireland. It was 4:10am, there were 25 – 30 people at the Creggan shops when there was gunfire heard, Vol. Seamus Bradley unarmed drew attention to himself to save others.
He ran down Bishop field where a soldier was to get out of a saracen, take aim in a kneeling position and fire two shots hitting him in the back, Vol. Seamus Bradley fell. Then the saracen drove down the field to where he lay, they put him in the saracen and took him away to St. Peter’s school, no one knew what happened after that. All they know is that he was interrogated, the pictures tell their own story. He was shot again three more times at close range, he was tortured and beaten and left to bleed to death at the hands of the British army. Afterwards it was confirmed by a doctor that none of Seamus Bradley’s injuries had been life threatening and had he received medical aid he would have lived.
This memorial is to commemorate Vol. Seamus Bradley just yards from where he fell. Vol. Seamus Bradley on the 2nd Battalion of B company Oglaigh Na H-Eireann, even though he was shot five times and beaten they could not make him betray his comrades.
I lived and loved and laboured with a patriot’s heart and will that the dawning years might make you fearless and unfettered still. When a future age shall find thee free men stand by thy side Mother Ireland o” remember me.
They may kill our bodies and take our blood but they will never break our spirits. Vol. Seamus Bradley. The war is not over until Ireland is free.”
March 2013 is the 25th anniversary of the Michael Stone’s attack on mourners attending the burials of the Gibraltar 3 in Milltown cemetery. Stone killed three people. The mural combines images of mourners taking shelter from Stone’s attack – links to the photographs represented and in-progress images can be found at Extramural – with the civil war memorial in Ballyseedy, Co. Kerry (WP) which was famously connected to the Gibraltar 3 in a mural prepared for the return of the coffins to Belfast – see A Legitimate Right To Take Up Arms. (Here is a copy of Tragedies In Kerry.) The Gibraltar 3 are portrayed on the left; Stone’s victims are on the right. In the top right is an IRA volunteer who had been shot two days earlier, on the night that the coffins of the Gibraltar 3 arrived in Belfast.
1988 puts us firmly in the era of video, and so you can see footage on youtube relating to each of these events. In chronological order:
Death On The Rock, a famous Thames Television production about the SAS killings of IRA members Mairéad Farrell, Danny McCann and Seán Savage on March 6th in Gibraltar.
Michael Stone’s attack on mourners at their funerals in Milltown cemetery, March 16th, which killed Thomas McErlean, John Murray, and IRA member Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh (Kevin Brady).
The funeral of IRA member Kevin McCracken on March 17th (he had been killed on March 14th) at which British Army corporals Wood and Howes were killed.
For the fortieth anniversary of their deaths (during 1972), five young volunteers from the lower Falls are remembered: Daniel McAreavey, Joseph McKinney, Jimmy Quigley, John Donaghy, Patrick Maguire (real name Patrick Pendleton). Maguire, McKinney and Donaghy died together in an explosion (Oct 10); Quigley (Sept 29) and McAreavey (Oct 6) were shot. For further details of the how these five met their deaths, see among others Lost Lives by McKittrick et al. (Archive.org | Amazon UK | US). Biographies of the five begin at 7m46s in this history of D Company.
Dolours Price died on January 23rd, in Malahide, apparently from an overdose or adverse mixture of medications. Price had served seven years of a twenty-year sentence for the 1973 car bombing of the Old Bailey in London, during which she went on hunger strike and was force fed (WP). She was the sister of Marian Price; both were IRA volunteers. See previously (from 1974): Bring Home The Winchester 8.
“The Workers Party National Commemoration Committee. Erected in memory of all those comrades who dedicated their lives for establishment of a democratic, secular, socialist, republic. ‘I have given whatever I had to give for the party, for the people of Ireland, and for a better world, but others have given more, much more. Comrades have given their lives.’ – Tomás Mac Giolla TD. For the unity of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter.”
On adjacent gables in McDonnell Street (strictly, Osman Street), Belfast, plaques to Kieran Nugent and Mairéad Farrell and to Joe McDonnell.
“Kieran Nugent 1857-2001, Mairéad Farrell 1957-1988. In memory of two heroic Republicans from the Falls area who defied Britain’s criminalisation policy in the H Blocks and Armagh Jail, ‘I’ll wear no convicts uniform nor meekly serve my time.'”
“Dedicated to the memory of Vol. Joe McDonnell born here in Slate Street 14th September 1950 and who died after 61 days on Hunger Strike in the H Blocks of Long Kesh 8th July 1981. ‘A mother kneels in silent prayer, a flower clasped to her breast, she lays it on the lonely grave, where her fallen son now rests. No tears blur her deep blue eyes, they shine with loving pride, she knows he fought for freedom, for liberty he died.’ Go ndéanfaidh Dia trócaire ar a anam.” “McDonnell Street” is the original name of the street and presumably not connected to Joe McDonnell or his predecessors; Slate Street is now Osman Street.
“I ndil chuimhne: fuair siad bás ag troid ar son saoirse agus muintir na hÉireann. In proud memory of the volunteers of Óglaigh Na hÉireann and dedicated friends of the republican movement from the greater Turf Lodge area who died fighting for the establishment of a socialist republic. … Go ndéanfar cuimhne orthú go deo. ‘Carry on. No matter what odds are against you, no matter what the enemy call you, no matter what torments are inflicted on you, the road to freedom is paved with suffering, hardships and torture, carry on, my gallant comrades, until that certain day’ – Tom Williams. We also remember the civilians who were murdered by British crown forces, loyalist extremists, and enemies of Ireland.”
The main panel, memorial plaque to Willie Rossini of Glasgow, and the dedication plaque – by Lily Fitzsimons, a local activist (dating back to the Relatives Action Committees) and SF councillor, were seen previously in 1999. The other three plaques are new. (“Neamhfholaigh” seems to be a conjunction of translations of the English words “un” and “cover”; the Irish for the verb “to bare” (or as here,”unveil”) is “nocht”.)