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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Murals in Northern Ireland

The over 300 "quality" murals in Belfast and other towns in Northern Ireland, such as Derry, have recently become a new tourist attraction.

Ulster Freedom Fighters mural in Northern Ireland

Many of them depict support for both sides of the religious and political divide in Northern Ireland during the so-called Troubles of the late 1960's to the 1990's.

However other murals are dedicated to Trade Unions, football and footballers such as George Best and Jimmy "Jinky" Johnstone and more recently murals depicting social harmony, which aim to portray a different image of Northern Ireland, apart from the earlier "bombs and bullets" of the violent and deadly paramilitary struggle.

Red Hand Commando mural in Northern Ireland

Murals reflect the shared values and beliefs of the communities where they were painted and are mostly found in working class areas. They are often found on the end walls of terraced houses.

Unionist mural in Northern Ireland

Nowadays, a number of taxi companies in Belfast arrange guided tours of the murals and there are also a number of tribute websites to Northern Ireland's murals on the Internet.

Various books on the subject include Politics and Painting: Murals and Conflict in Northern Ireland, Murals of Derry and Drawing Support 4.

Football mural in Northern Ireland

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