Walls of Accord and Discord

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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In the early 1970s I was art director of the Irish Arts Center in NYC. A wonderful group of multi-ethnic characters, all of whom loved Irish music, literature and culture (we brought over the Chieftains for the first time, and even John Lennon was involved). But there was an elephant in the room, if you will.

The persistent violence that plagued Northern Ireland whereby the ostensibly Catholic Provisional IRA fought a continual urban battle against the British army and Protestant Ulster Defense Force. Some fierce sectarian clashes cost lives and polarized many people, in an out of Ireland. Maybe if the internet existed then, the means of protest and the outcomes might have been different.

One means of mass communication – akin to showing gang “colors” – were the large number of wall murals that stood sentry at the beginning and end of most Belfast streets. The graphics served as warnings and memorials (sometimes both) for the dead.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve culled from the web a few examples representing both sides. May peace reign in Ireland.