Home | Map | Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3 | Image 4 | Image 5 | Image 6 | Image 7 | Essay

Image V: Andersontown

 
This mural from Andersontown, a relatively isolated Catholic neighborhood northwest of Belfast City Center, bears witness to a conflict between the old and the new in modern Republicanism. The "sunburst," a potent symbol of continuity with the past, rises behind a troop of modern guerrillas, all in the signature fatigues and dark hoods. At the time of Fianna Éireann and the "sunburst," armed Republicans fancied themselves a standing army in the manner of those fighting on the Western Front. With the experience of the War of Independence in the early 1920s, Republicanism gravitated slowly toward the guerrilla and terrorist tactics that so characterize the modern Northern Irish conflict. In a single image, the muralist juxtaposes strong ties to the past, as represented by the "sunburst," and a relatively new and modern mode of fighting, as represented by the guerrillas. The banner along the top reads, "Beidh ár lá linn," or "Our day will come." Short catch phrases in Irish appear frequently in the murals, evidence of the Republican interest in Gaelic revivalism.