Whitewashing the Falls or just some bad coverup?

For decades political murals, slogans and graffiti have been part of the political and cultural landscape of republican areas and particularly West Belfast, a tradition that mainly arose to counter mainstream media refusal to cover republican views.

Recently stencils from groups like éirígí and the Republican Network for Unity have appeared where previously slogans supporting SF or the Provisional IRA would have been.

These and other markers normally remain in place for extended periods of time – apart from the quick painting over carried out by the RVH.

Recent days have been a bit different. While the scrawled ‘Fuck you and your pizza. Brits out’ has remained since Monday within yards of SF’s head office, some industrious souls have been the length of the Falls Road badly painting out slogans declaring SF and Adams in particular as ‘touts’. No other graffiti was touched during the enterprise.

The graffiti removers haven’t sought to return walls to original states, they’ve just blocked out the letters in household paints to hand including brilliant white and magnolia.

This immediate response to graffiti is a first. I wonder when they get round to removing some of the longstanding eyesores? – ‘Denise B’Mont’ scrawled the length of the road in massive letters certainly didn’t attract the attention of these hard working painter-overs.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Sinn Fein are clearly annoyed!

    Mission accomplished!

    The People such as RSF, Eirigi, RNU will not go away boys – You will be outed as “Traitors” and put to the sword by your former comrades politically!

    Eire Nua, Oglaigh na hEirean Abu!

  • Gareth

    Post number one is a good example of why Web 2.0 is not a wholly positive thing.

  • picador

    ‘Brits phoned Dominoes but got Goodfellas’ reported off the Antrim Road this morning – though quickly pointed out.

    Obviously Scorcese fans!

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks for that indication of your true feelings on the matter, pica..

  • Rory (South Derry)


    Are you coming round in your thinkin???

  • picador

    I think the grafitti was more likely black humour but the locals were horrified and painted it out a.s.a.p.

    I was down at the City Hall today to register by disgust at the attack on democracy represented by the murder of Stephen Carroll in the line of duty.

    SF, SDLP stood in 2006 on a platform of endorsing the PSNI and between them they cleaned up the nationalist vote. RSF stood in West Belfast (capital W for the constituency) and trailed in behind the Workers’ Party. Says it all.


  • I think the grafitti was more likely black humour but the locals were horrified and painted it out a.s.a.p.

    I was working from home this morning so missed it. Where was it?

  • picador

    Vancouver Drive apparently.

    Liked your bit on the 80s, Sammy

    Are you NLR or that other place up the Crumlin Road?

  • NLR originally, nahr up near the Kessel, so I am.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Around other parts of NI, some councils have been quick to paint over graffiti.

    According to Daithi McKay, RIRA grafitti been put up in parts of Ballymena.

    There’s also “LVF grafitti” about going back to war in Cloughmills (think same message was on the police station wall).

    Jackie McDonald was interviewed today. He seemed to think that some hotheads (loyalist ‘dissidents’ if you will) might take matters into their own hands.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Jackie was quoted in the Times, BTW, but can be read elsewhere later today.

  • SF activists have done this a few times before, notably for big events like the Bloody Sunday marches. Block out any critical graffiti and leave the rest untouched. A credit to them really, being that organised. Of course they did pass a motion at their last Ard Fheis demanding action on the ‘worsening litter/graffiti problem in this country’ amybe they’re just taking the initiative 🙂

  • Danny Boy

    This might be an unusually fast response but it’s happened before, repeatedly, around the Falls. I was surprised that the ‘Sinn FĂ©in Out’ someone recently added to a mural on the ‘International Wall’, where tourists are shepherded by ex-prisoner guides to take photos, remained untouched for so long. It seemed to say something about Sinn FĂ©in’s standing in the area.

  • dunreavynomore

    The same happens in sth Armagh, slogans painted out immidately if they are critical of S.F. Anything else can remain for ages.
    It makes it clear that S.F’s main concern is S.F, not Ireland, N.Ireland, This Island, Here or anything but Sinn FĂ©in. Selfish and self centerd with the cult of the glorious leaders well to the fore and no room for dissent or criticism.

  • Grassy Noel

    It’s funny, you know, but it’s like Pavlov’s dogs on here, on every one of the innumerable threads focussing on Sinn Fein in the wake of the two attacks by dissidents (whose political representatives, Slugger bloggers assured us, were going to eat into SF vote in the last assembly election) that many people just cannot stop blaming SF for everything and anything related to it.

    People on here are angry – as I certainly am – but many are so conditioned, so preprogrammed, so filled (in certain cases) with bitterness (and in many others) with pure stupidity, that they just lay into what they’ve always laid into when the words ‘republican’ and ‘violence’ are juxtaposed.

    They show no insight, no ability to discern or parse, no maturity of thought, vision or even courage. All they can do is stamp feet, wring hands and bite down on handkerchiefs – and spit and gurn in the direction of SF.

    Even when that party displays the leadership and courage that they and those whose writings they plaster this blog with lack, they still are too in thrall to the power of old, still dancing to an old tune, still doing and thinking and writing in ways to please the Master.

    This whole blog from the Saturday night through to today has become a bonfire around which those with all sorts of anti-SF agendas have danced around and shrieked, calling out to the demons of loyalism, and the SAS, speaking in the tongues of the political and chattering classes from across the water (who know and care little about the changes here over the past number of years, and simply pick up where they left off when last they wrote about the North – anti-SF) and the siren voices using the occasion to remind us of all and every comment uttered by SF over the years and from every minor, insignificant SF councillors in the now, which can be twisted, stretched and painted to distort everything the party has done and said from Saturday on.

    At this point, I HAVE to point out that I am not a republican and have NEVER voted SF – if you go back through my posts on here you will find plenty of evidence for that – but this place has got a severe dose of intellectual palsy and emotional fever, and has seriously lost the run of itself.

    It is very revealing that Mick doesn’t live in Northern Ireland and spends his time courting the great and the good of the London-based political blogosphere.

    That’s his excuse, what about the rest of you?

  • hartshill

    Grasy Noel
    I am enjoying your insight, discernment and parsing…

  • NCM

    “So farewell at last to West Belfast: to the Markets and the Falls
    I quickly got the message there it was written on the walls”