Women have appeared in murals, graffiti, and memorials as volunteers (in CNR murals as members of Cumann na mBan and Cumann na gCailíní and in PUL murals only once, in a UVF mural), prisoners, hunger strikers, victims (of plastic bullets), activists, electoral candidates; as Prime Minister, Queen Of England, and the Empress Of India; as the virgin Mary, as angels ferrying the dying and dead, and as representing “Mother” Ireland and Northern Ireland and Britain.
Female artists who have produced public work include Andrea Redmond, Rosie McGurran, Deirdre Robb, Joanne Vance, Rita Duffy, Daniela Balmaverde, Lesley Cherry.
- Loftus Mirrors: William III & Mother Ireland, 1990. (Reviewed by Fowler Oxford Art Journal, 1991, 14.2)
- Choosing The Green: Irish Women, Politics, and History (blog)
- Rolston “Women On The Walls”, Crime, Media, Culture, 2017/2018, 14.3
- Morgan & Fraser “Women and the Northern Ireland Conflict: Experiences and Responses” in Dunn, 1995. Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland
- Edgerton “Public Protest, Domestic Acquiescence: Women in Northern Ireland’ in Caught up in Conflict: Women’s Responses to Political Strife, 1986, Ridd and Calloway (eds)
- Buckley & Lonergan “Women and the Troubles, 1969–1980” in Terrorism in Ireland, 1983, Alexander & O’Day (eds)
- Herstory.ie photo essay
- Brenda Parkerson’s 1995 documentary about the killing of Caroline Moreland (youtube)
- Helen Cammock’s film The Long Note is on the role of Derry women in the civil rights movement
“Victory to our blanket-women” in Ballymurphy.
“We’re the fighters and we are strong. We are the 1st Batt. of the Cuman [sic] na gCailini [sic] girls!”
“We must grow tough but without ever losing our tenderness.”
An angel watches over the hunger strikers.
The virgin Mary shoots beams of light over the hunger strikers.
(1981 M00184 This image of male and female refusing prisoners is used throughout. See also 2010 M06289 | 2011 M07302 | 2011 M07524 | 2012 M08704)
Margaret Thatcher, UK prime minister, adversary of protesting prisoners.
Female members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Cumann na mBan, and the Southwest African People’s Organisation (from Namibia) drawn within the symbol for woman.
(1985 M00290 Also 1983 X05531)
Ireland as woman, reminiscent of Liberty leading the French revolutionaries.
“I have always believed we had a legitimate right to take up arms – Mairéad Farrell”, one of the Gibraltar 3.
(1988 M00591 See also 2001 M01455 | 2003 M01967 | plaque 2008 M04470 | 2008 M04584 | 25th anniversary 2013 X00979 | M09248 | M09378)
“Deserted – well, I can stand alone.” Farmer’s wife as symbol of Ulster at the time of Home Rule and WWI.
“For the revolution to triumph there mist be emancipation of women.”
“Stop strip searches.”
“How is freedom measured? By the effort which it costs to retain it.”
“Only our river runs free.”
(1990 M00929 Women with binlids are included as part of many murals. For just two examples, see below 1991 M00974 and 1997 M01351.)
“Women against oppression”
1991 “Where are women now” – a board for International Women’s Day, in Derry, possibly on FDC (see M00984)
1994 Spirit Of Freedom – two female pensioners remonstrating with a paratrooper.
Queen Victoria enjoying herself at the sea-side during the Great Hunger, by Rosie McGurran (Fb).
Saoirse/Lark/Ribbon By Andrea Redmond
(1995 T00106 | wide shot at C00897)
early/mid 1990s. “Ulster’s Finest.” Two female UVF volunteers carry Uzis. As far as we know, this is the only PUL mural showing armed females. The mural was plastered over in 1996 because the gable is next to Hollybank primary. Some of the pebbledash wore away in January/February of 2020 to reveal the mural – still in fair condition – beneath (see X07740).
(1997 T00230 | S00007)
With the on-set of the ceasefire and the peace process, murals depicting women and their role in the struggle disappear (as do images of male volunteers, etc). This does not, however, mean the end of women in CNR murals. As with males in murals, the depictions become ‘historical’ (and, as a subset, ‘memorial’), of women who have fought for the nationalist cause across time, such as Bernadette Devlin, Winifred Carney, Mary Ann McCracken, Countess Markievicz, and Mairéad Farrell.
“Bernadette” (Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) by the Bogside Artists.
Miriam Daly was a leader in the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), the political wing of the INLA.
(1996 T00189. See also M01453 | M02739 | M04022 | M05146 | Socialist Hero M05274)
Two Cumann na mBan murals side-by-side in Hawthorn Street, the one on the left celebrating Winifred Carney (from Belfast) and Nora Connolly (living in Belfast) at the time of the 1916 Rising.
(2001 dating to 1996 M01452)
(For more Winifred Carney see, ITGWU (2007 M03822) | appears in Oceanic mural M05066 | Antrim Road renamed “Winifred Carney Street” (2012 X01663) | appears in ICTU 2013 X01369 | ITGWU Workers’ Day (2015 X02574) | Carney & Casement (2016 M13170) | appears in (2016 X03471) | appears prominently in 2016 X03694 “armed with a typewriter and a Webley” (according to her WP page) shown typing up communications by candlelight in the GPO.)
(2001 dating to 1996 M01451)
Roisin McAliskey (daughter of Bernadette) was arrested in 1996 in connection with a mortar attack on a British Army base in Germany and held in Holloway prison (London) until March 1998.
(1997 M01337 See also M01314 | M01723)
“Interned without charge – Free Róisín and her baby” for International Women’s Day 1997
Mary Ann McCracken was an abolitionist and social reformer. Brother Henry Joy led the Antrim uprising of the United Irishmen in 1798 and was executed for it.
(1997 M01348 See also her “blue plaque” 2010 M05655. She is included as a minor figure in other murals, such as the Frederick Douglass mural in Northumberland St.)
Mairéad Farrell, Margaret Thatcher (“Wanted”), and women from a Relatives Action Committee dressed in blankets – for the classic photographs of such, see Do You Care?. See also 2012 M08649 for inclusion in a Dungiven mural.
Irish dancer as symbol of Gaelic culture. “Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí” = “Encourage youth and it will flourish”
200th anniversary of the 1798 rebellion, by Andrea Redmond.
(2004 dating to 1998 M02254)
Heroine Of 98 (Betsy Gray)
(1995 J0657 S00081)
UN Day For The Eradication Of Poverty, by Andrea Redmond
Countess Constance Markievicz
Who Killed Rosemary Nelson?
20th anniversary of the first hunger strike, in Long Kesh and Armagh Women’s Gaol.
(2001 dating to 2000 M01458)
“Diana Queen Of Hearts”
IRA Women (Laura Crawford | Patricia Black | Bridie Quinn | M Farrell)
(2009 dating to 2000 M05129 M05124 M05125 M05126 M05127)
(The same four appear in the Lenadoon Cú Chulainn M05134 and three of the four are listed on the Lenadoon memorial in the grounds of the Roddy’s M05543.)
“Zero tolerance to violence against women.” 2001 on the back of Free Derry Corner.
Women Through The Century
(2001 J0767 J0768 etc)
“The Death Of Innocence” by the Bogside Artists – Annette McGavigan was 11 when she was shot.
Nora McCabe, plastic bullet victim, with plaque
(2001 M01445 M01446 Updated in 2010 “Since 1970 …” 2010 M05621)
Countess Markievicz outside the GPO in 1916.
(2005 dating to 2001 M02271)
Carol Ann Kelly, killed by a plastic bullet, by Andrea Redmond
Generic female volunteer with historical predecessors.
Anne Parker (Glenalina 5)
Ballymurphy Cumann na mBan. Anti-clockwise, they are Maura Meehan, Anne Marie Pettigrew, Dorothy Maguire, Eileen Mackin, Catherine (Cathy) McGartland, Anne Parker. (All but Mackin are included in the Greater Ballymurphy plaque.)
Máire Drumm, Mairéad Farrell, binlid bashers, unknown girl, with Countess Markievicz in the centre. This board would be repainted in 2009 – see X00546)
Éire/Ireland, with activists from the Short Strand, east Belfast.
(2002 M01683 See also 2005 M02359)
“Forward to freedom” – generic female volunteer.
Rosemary Nelson was a lawyer killed by the Red Hand Defenders in Lurgan in 1999. At the time of her death she was representing the family of Robert Hamill.
(2002 M01808 See also 2010 M06014)
A number of murals were painted to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 50th anniversary of accession (1952) and coronation (1953)
See also: 1952-2002 in Rathcoole (2015 dating to 2002 X02489) | 1952-2002 in Argyle St/Shankill (2005 dating to 2002 M02455) | Cashel Dr, Monkstown, M03065 M03066.
Also: Queen Victoria in Shankill graveyard X00710 | Princess Diana in lower Shankill (2000 C01478) | Queen Mother in Conway St/Shankill (2004 dating to 2002 X00072).
Sinn Féin candidate Bairbre De Brún
(2004 M02242 See also M04916 on a bonfire! | M05159.
Martina Anderson 2011 M06597 | 2013 M09945 | 2014 M10926.
Mary Lou McDonald 2011 M06720 | 2012 M07979.
McDonald & Michelle O’Neill 2016 M13182)
A century of women’s work, from child-care and hand-wringing the washing in 1904 to using computers and graduating from university in 2004.(2005 dating to 2004 M02356)
For International Women’s Day in 2004, a modified version of Jim Fitzpatrick’s iconic Che Guevara print was turned into “Cher” Guevara, with the slogan “Yes, you can try this at home.”
“How is freedom measured”
Annie Blair resident of Cluan Place, which is divided from the Short Strand be a “peace” line.
Britannia, symbol of the British empire.
Palestine – Ireland
The image of a PUL woman defending the farm while her husband is off at war (see above in ‘How Is Freedom Measured’ and ‘Deserted! Well I can stand alone’) is augmented with a post-partition scene in which she – now masked – “guards her husband against sectarian attack from across the border”.
For more Deserted/How is freedom measured? see: Drumtara 2005 M03578 | panel in Grange M06154 | 2014 M11245
Falls Curfew plaque
Celtic heroine with wolves
(2006 dating to much earlier M03195)
Sinn Féin’s Máire Drumm giving the Wolfe Tone address at Bodenstown
Bogside & Brandywell Women’s Group
(2006 M03299 See also their Women At Work (2007 M03917))
Julie Livingstone, plastic bullet victim.
(2007 M03536 See also 2002 M01639 | 2010 M05525)
“Vote Peggy O’Hara”
(2007 M03407 | M03411 | M03413)
Kate Nash, brother of one of the Bloody Sunday victims and campaigner
Máire Drumm plaque
“Women unfree will never be at peace” graffiti, with “Fuck up and make the tea” retort.
Cúchulain [sic] & Queen Maeve
A youthful Queen Elizabeth II in the Village (south Belfast).
(2012 dating to 2007 X00613)
Vol. Rosemary Bleakley
(2008 M02409 M04403)
Workers in Ross’s linen mill
Mairéad Farrell “Everyone tells me I’m a feminist …”
(2008 M04435 | 2014 M10901)
(See also SF board 2012 M07980 | plaque 2012 M08923 | Farrell Youth Committee 2014 X02168)
(2009 dating to 2007 M04760 | 2012 M08902)
We Too Are Strong
Women On The Shankill
Lenadoon Women In Struggle
Countess Constance Markievicz as founder of Fianna Éireann
Máire Drumm breaking the Falls Curfew.
(2010 M05636 X00597)
Celtic warrior with harp and fawn
(2010 M05715 X00799)
Maureen Sheehan Centre
(2010 M05737 X01516)
Women Of Inspiration (St James’s)
Women Too, by Joanne Vance
Sandy Row Womans Group
Angel On WWI Battlefield
Armagh Hunger Strike/Relatives’ Action Committee
Roll Of Honour (inside Conway Mill)
Red Hand Of Ulster Pop Stars
Women Through The Ages
International Women’s Day 2011
Women Munitions Workers
Free Marian Price
2011: M06846 | M06946 | M06947 | M06949 | M07287 | M07507
2012: M07637 M07685 M07687 | M07689 | M07919 | M07921 | M07988 | M08077 Whiterock Rd | M08197 | M08261 | M08332 | M08345 | M08361 | M08461 | M08492 | M08511 | M08599 | M08600 | M08786 | M08831 on a bonfire! | M08890 | M08907
Added to International Wall murals Scaoil Saor Marian Price (M08276 | M08275 | M08273 | M08277 | M08279 | M08281 | M08284 | M08286 | M08288 | M08290)
2013: M09249 Int Wall | M09398 | M09415 | M09419 | M09420 | M09548 | M09985 | M10009 | M10016 | M10057 | M10059 | M10231 | M10296 | M10933 | M10961
UDR Memorial (Lisburn)
Dorothy Maguire Corner
Men And Women Of Willowfield
Frederick Douglass (incl. Angela Davis, Mary Ann McCracken, Rosa Parks, Rosie The Riveter (who would later be replaced by John Lewis), Betty Sinclair, Aung San Suu Kyi (who would later be X’ed out) Harriett Tubman)
(2013 dating to 2011 X00450)
Banquet by Rita Duffy, depicting women from the Shankill Women’s Centre in clothing from suffragettes to the present. The piece was originally on Argyle Street, just off the Shankill, before being moved to the Cupar Way “peace” line to be covered in tourists’ signatures.
(2012 dating to 2011 in Argyle Street X00644)
Goretti McDonnell at the funeral of husband (and hunger striker) Joe
2012 International Women’s Day, with Marian Price posters on front
(2012 M07987 M07988)
Mary Austin, Kathleen Clarke, Annie McWilliams
(2012 M07995 – individually M08048 M08049 M08050)
Margaret McAnaney tombstone
Susan Morrison tombstone
South Down Roll Of Honour
James & Nora Connolly
Political Status Now!
RIP Dolours Price
2013 International Women’s Day. A female petrol bomber in the style of Banksy’s Flower Thrower.
(2013 X01133 M09216)
Eileen Hickey (includes woman banging binlid)
(2013 M10213 | X01282)
(also inside the museum 2013 M09260)
Cahoon/Beattie/Rice Ard An Lao
2013 Gibraltar 25th events, including “a celebration of women in struggle” and “a plaque dedicated to deceased women republican POWs” in the Roddy’s.
2013 Thatcher death
M09426 M09427 M09428 | M09429 | M09430 FDC | M10234 | M010927 | X01047 | X01056
2013 Avondale House
Stop Domestic, Sexual & State Violence
Christie Beattie plaque
Safety Pin & Easter Lily
Suffragettes (Donegall bridge)
UDR plaque (Carrick)
(2013 M09639 M10770)
Flax Flowers by Deirdre Robb
2014 International Women’s Day
Cumann na mBan 100
Mary McConville SF
Theresa Villiers Ballymurphy Massacre Inquiry
Maya Angelou (Say No To Racism)
Orangefield Men And Women
Derry Women Made More Than Shirts
Kathleen Thompson (Oak tree glass)
Women Of The Struggle
Mna Na hÉireann
(2015 X02038 | X02697 | X02035)
To All The Women Of The Shankill
Women’s Voices Matter
C na mB/Éire (GPO 1916)
Peggy O’Hara (mother of Patsy) & Margaret Devine (sister of Michael)
Mná na hÉireann (Rockmount)
Corr sisters, Farrell, anonymous volunteers (Unbowed, Unbroken)
Dr Anne For Derry
Heating Empty Barns (Arlene Foster DUP)
Michelle And Arlene Holiday Special
My Body My Choice on the “peace” line
Short-lived Wee Nuls “Free Period Items Now” mural
QEII Platinum jubilee and death
As nurses in war
1912 (2016 X03564)
1916 (2002 M01785)
Blitz (2015 X02331)
WWII (2017 X04202)
Anonymous memorial plaques
Newry Socialists (2012 M08519)
Belfast Brigade (2012 M08552)
Beechmount garden (2008 M04426)
Falls Memorial Garden (M08851 | M08854 binlids)
Turf Lodge Memorial Garden (M08909)
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