Mural painting has been a feature of Protestant popular culture since the early years of this century when symbols began to adorn the gable walls of the working-class areas of Belfast.
The Free Derry mural was an early example of the transformation of public space by nationalists through the installation of political imagery, but for a time it was an isolated example. It was not until the early 1980s that murals became a prominent form of street display in nationalist areas. Numerous murals and political slogans appeared across nationalist Belfast, kerbstones and lamp-posts were painted, streets were renamed in Irish, and the tricolour flew freely to assert a permanent and visible, political and cultural dominance over the area.
Northern Ireland's political street art has become something of a tourist attraction for visitors to the principal cities of Belfast and Londonderry.
|http://www.scotchirish.net/scots%20irish%20murals.php4||Murals in Ulster||---|
Some of the best-known symbols of the Troubles in Northern Ireland are to be painted over. Ten of the most militant political murals are being replaced with images looking forward to the future. So sectarian graffiti and murals have in recent years started to be removed and in some cases replaced by murals depicting local celebrities such as George Best a move aimed at reducing tensions that lead to violence.
For example: Brownstown Road, Portadown. The mural before and after the change is shown below.
Originally Billy Wright (loyalist gunman), now George Best. The only thing they have in common, other than the location, is that both a now dead (Wright murdered in prison, Best dead from alcoholism).
Information about murals, and the changes happening, can be found at the following links:
|http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/683821.stm||Murals reflect changing times||BBC Web-page from 2000|
|http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3112457.stm||Paramilitary murals change with times||BBC Web-page from 2003|
|http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4562793.stm||Old masters change murals||BBC Web-page from 2005|
|http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/4562513.stm||Loyalist art of east Belfast||BBC Web-page from 2005 (slideshow)|
|http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4774581.stm||Best mural 'marks new beginning'||BBC Web-page from 2006, Portadown, opposite Clounagh Junior High School|
|http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/mccormick/intro.htm||CAIN Directory of murals||A directory of murals, many of which have disappeared or been replaced.|
|http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsline/content/articles/2008/11/13/blasphemous_bestie_feature.shtml||and finally ... Blasphemous Bestie!!||---|