How free is ‘Free Derry’?

James Whoriskey

There’s a fascinating story on the front page of the Derry Journal this morning. It goes to the heart of one the issues raised by the public meet up at the Cafe del Mondo yesterday: just how free is Free Derry?

In fact Journal story is something of bureaucratic row over the siting of a poster just behind Free Derry Corner. The miscreant, according to Sinn Fein, is Eamonn McCann and his People Before Profit organisation who whacked his posters up on the free standing board behind the wall, where Sinn Fein normally have their election posters.

The Journal lays out the bones of the conflict in two short paragraphs:

Eamonn McCann has claimed that Sinn Féin have told him to take down by tomorrow afternoon an election mural at the back of Free Derry Corner on the Lecky Road.

However, Sinn Féin have said it had already booked the space in agreement with a committee who look after the wall in order to erect its own election poster.

Ironically, McCann was instrumental in having the wall painted in the first place back in 1969, the slogan borrowed from the University of Berkeley, where protesting students had proclaimed “You are now entering Free Berkeley.”

The wall has become not only an icon of radical Derry, but something of a mirror for the changing attitudes of its citizens. The free standing board plays host to a number of internationally facing political concerns, womens issues, and most controversially, a few years back, when the wall itself was painted pink.

Now, McCann told the Journal that “…he was unaware of any formal booking procedures, and claimed that his election workers had agreed with people usually involved with the wall that his banner could go up.”

And further:

I received a text telling me to take down the poster by Wednesday lunchtime or it would be taken down It is a community facility. It is not their wall or their area. They have claimed more public space than any other party and now they want the wall as well.

Apparently there is a committee which organises who can display what and when. Except no one seems to know who this committee is, or what it’s protocols are. Strangely McCann himself, who has been engaged with community activist groups, including the Bloody Sunday Trust, seems to know nothing about it either.

So, it has to be asked, how do you follow a protocol when apparently even Eamonn McCann does not know it even exists? Or, to raise a more general question, is it possible to be ‘free’ without ‘openness’?

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  • cynic2

    You are as free as Marty tells you you bare.

    You are free to vote Sinn Fein

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Personally I think that such an iconic image should be free of all Election posters.
    “Strangely McCann himself, who has been engaged with community activist groups, including the Bloody Sunday Trust, seems to know nothing about it either”.

    Not the first or last time taht our very own National Treasure has known nothing.

  • Argosjohn

    Is that Mary Lou in the Derry photo? Has she got Terence Clarke’s job or is it something more personal?

  • Neil

    Not really Oracle. Sometimes people ‘book’ things, you may have heard of the concept, if you’ve ever been in restaurant perhaps. Perhaps your visceral hatred of SF has some bearing on your motives for supporting no hoper McCann.

  • salem

    aaaah how’s about no!

  • old school

    Sinn Fein and their silly control freakery to the the fore again.
    In the past they have tore down posters which supported political prisoners. Painted over slogans which called for political status, and even beat a guy to a pulp in Derry for putting up Anti GFA posters.
    Free Derry died years ago.
    They are shooting themselves in the foot as always.
    Mc Cann will gain some extra votes thanks to this.
    Most Derry wans hate slabberers hi.

  • Liam Ó Comáin

    Oh the politicoes are at it again- Sands and O’Hara,etc,must be turning in their graves.
    The fact is that a ‘free’ Derry never existed at anytime.A fallacy,a myth! The foreign occupation army and their Lundy squad of Irish traitors i.e.RUC/PSNI COULD HAVE ENTERED THE AREA DESIGNATED IF THEY SO WISHED! However it was best that the myth prevailed for it was part of the Brit strategy to defeat the authentic revolutionaries.Those coming in and out were spied upon and searched daily and of course the local Brit agents kept providing information to their masters.
    As Bloody Sunday confirmed the occupiers entered at will.

  • old school

    Uf you go to Waterloo Square outside the Guildhall, there is a large tourist information poster placed on a frame.
    It was erected by Derry City Council.
    It advertises local sights etc and useful numbers.
    It advertises only ONE bar. That bar is run by Martin Mc Guinness’s brother.
    It advertises only ONE taxi company. That taxi company is owned by Derry Sinn Fein’s election director. The same guy who’s objecting to Mc Canns temporary poster.
    As I said, control freaks.

  • Nietzsche

    As taxi driver in Derry my observation are that Derry people are not free. Freedom is not a concept that is promoted among Catholics. Surely you can’t be free and be a Catholic? I know I’m a Catholic and unfree.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    SF control freakery? Surely not…

    I do hope this unfortunate incident doesn’t put anyone off voting for the partitionist abstentionist party.

  • As far as I am concerned they can give the area a face lift and take down the entire bloody slogan.

    The people are only as free as SF, the Dissidents and the Brits allow them to be, any suggestion otherwise is, to put it mildly, misleading.

  • Argosjohn

    Where did McGuonness’ brother get the ££ to buy a pub?

  • old school

    You can’t ask those questions, Argos. It’s Anti Peace Process.
    Neither Tony Doherty or Andrew Mc Cartney who are objecting live in the Bogside. They live in Middle class ‘burbs.
    Mc Cann however, does live in the Bogside.

  • Oracle

    Neil,

    I’d like to take you up on a few issues if I may.

    Firstly are you able to produce any evidence whatsoever to support your bizarre assertion that Free Derry Corner is subject to “booking arrangments” because if not it damns the local sinn fein election team as Bully-Boys if not “Corner Boys”

    Secondly if I decide to go to a resturant and arrive to find other diners sitting in the available seats then I go to another resturant nearby, if I had a desire to go to that specific resturant then I should have arrived sooner Neil shouldn’t I.
    If the McCann election team are superior to your parties election team then I suggest that it would be more benificial for you and your compatriots to observe the McCann team and learn from them instead of acting like the school yard bully.

    Thirdly did you even romotely consider giving your last line any thought before typing it, “supporting a no hoper like McCann” such belittling comments about a man who was involved heavily with the student protests, the civil rights marches, equality issues, anti-war protests, social issues and a continuing stalwart of scialist principles would be unfathomable to anyone with a double digit IQ perhaps that belittling line exposes the limits of your own ability and aspirations.

    One last thing you may want to consider is that with your fondness for only supporting candidates with outstanding chances of success then in effect you disagree with people voting for the following candidates as they are all no hopers.

    Oliver McMullan S/F East Antrim… no hoper
    Niall Ó Donnghaile S/F East Belfast… no hoper
    Paul Butler S/F Lagan Valley…. no hoper
    Daithi McKay S/F North Antrim ….. no hoper
    Vincent Parker S/F North Down ….. no hoper
    Mickey Coogan S/F Strangford ……. no hoper
    Caitriona Ruane S/F South Down …. no hoper
    Martina Anderson S/F Foyle ………….no hoper

  • Nietzsche

    Argosjohn ! What are you implying in the question where did McGuinness’ brother get the dosh to buy a pub, He got a loan from the Northern Bank of course that was before the credit crunch when you could walk into a bank a take what you needed.

  • sdelaneys

    Wonder has she heard about Michelle and the cuddling?

  • Argosjohn

    Thank you for that advice, Old School. I do not want to end up, blood spattered and bloated, on a Border road. I better not ask waht type of clietele frequent his boozer. Recruiting barmen used to be an MI5 forte. Guess times have moved on, in some ways, from Ryan’s Daughter.

  • Balor

    As far as I am aware a well know bogside community worker confirmed he McCann booking some time ago with one of the committee.

    Could it be the case that SF would not have expected anyone else to have the stones to use the wall during an election campaign. And the text he received ‘take down the poster by Wednesday lunchtime or it would be taken down’ would seem to be the opposite to someone seeking an amicable settlement.

  • Balor

    A no hoper like McCann, thats an interesting comment when SF MLA’s, councillors and activitists regularly turn up at events organised by McCann. Would you like me to post the links to the photos online?

  • Unfortunate title, would it have killed to put ‘Wall’ at the end of it? The ‘Free’ part of ‘Free Derry’ came to an abrupt end in 1969. I tend to agree with Fitzjameshorse1745, election posters should not go up on the back of the wall. It’s function for some time has been to display radical, alternative and community/voluntary sector causes and initiatives. No-one in their right mind can see a bourgeois election and the campaigning that surrounds it as a something that sits with these themes. McCann does know who the committee are, I do, and so do most people around the Bog. There is an issue of some confusion over whose ‘Vote for Me!’ shite was going up on the back of the wall, but it’s fair to say that those on the committee are not exactly enthusiastic about any candidate in the election. They are always put under pressure on this issue every time an election comes around and it’s high time the politicos gave it a rest. What’s wrong with the lamp posts, and here’s a thought, why not try a bit of old-fashioned graffiti, mofos?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Wee Andrew runs a taxi firm that doubles as a community group.

    How many taxi firms can lay claim to that?

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/taxi/personnel.php

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/project_profile.php

    Oh and they were able to pump £100,000 in 2004 for “a computerised booking and despatch system, the first of its kind in the Derry area.”

    http://www.derrytaxis.ie/home.html

  • old school

    Can you tell us who the Committee members are, Souvarine, and how many are PSF supporters/members.
    Are there any SDLP or 32CSM members?
    Tony Doherty (PSF) is mentioned in the Journal as a member
    Oh and how does one become a member?

  • I wouldn’t feel comfortable naming people whose names aren’t already in the public domain. Most people on the committee are members of the local community groups in Dove House and to a lesser extent the Gasyard. There are also a few people who have an interest through doing renovation and upkeep work on the wall over the years who’ve been on the committee from time to time. I would say most current members are from republican backgrounds but not in any political camp, having been disillusioned at one time or other from all of them. Membership of the committee is drawn from those active in community groups and largely came about as a result of those involved in maintaining and using the wall for community issues forming one to that end.

  • Mick O’Kelly

    Sinn Feins attitude regarding the Free Derry Wall is consistant with McCann’s earlier assertion that they have a sense of entitlement within Nationalist/Republican areas.As far as voting for them I believe a vote must be earned and by and most standards the Sinn Fein politicos have fallen far short of the mark in regard to standing up for the working class of said areas.Socialism seems to be a word they are unable to utter and the legacy of Connolly forgotten.For real change vote McCann.

  • old school

    I’m from the bogside, and almost everybody I know in Dove House or the Gasyard are card carrying PSF members paid via “peace funds” Govt. grants etc.
    Same for the gymnasium, Irish language, security firms which hire doormen, and Taxi Association and so on.
    One big clique, with jobs for the boys.
    i’m guessing the “Wall committe” is the same.
    Are those on the “Wall commitee” paid via peace funds, E.U grants,
    or British Government money as well, or are they volunteers?

  • RepublicanStones

    It seems the British army has been getting some free recruitment ads paid for by the irish taxpayer

  • RepublicanStones
  • pol

    You can’t ask those questions, Argos. It’s Anti Peace Process.
    Neither Tony Doherty or Andrew Mc Cartney who are objecting live in the Bogside. They live in Middle class ‘burbs.
    Mc Cann however, does live in the Bogside…………..

    That gives him the wright then to do as he likes, say deface the front of Free Derry corner in the last election for his own end’s. Didn’t he also get into a row with the Bogside artist’s when he defended the defacing of one of their murals, again for his own self-serving. Sinn Fein built the structure, later handing it over to the community and yes there is a committee made up from people from that community.

  • old school

    Sinn Fein built what structure??
    Are you for real?

  • old school

    I like how Pol is pissed at a wall being “defaced” with a Mc Cann poster..
    As we all know Shinners never defaced a wall in their lives. Honestly.

  • medillen

    The protocols (ie. a booking system through the Wall committee) around erecting murals on the specially constructed frame at the back of Free Derry Wall are well known and have been operated by community organisations from through-out the city, who regularly display at this site, for years. Eamonn McCann claims to have now no knowledge of this system, which is strange, as a similar row happened the last time he stood for election. This is a engineered publicity stunt by McCann to try and create an argument about Free Derry wall, it should not be taken seriously and treated for the contempt it deserves.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Er could someone explain why a comment I made at 9.01 is still awaiting moderation?

  • medillen

    You claim you are from the Bogside, if you are, you must never have left the house. The specially constructed frame which was erected by the Republican Movement a number of years ago, in order to protect the back of the wall which had recieved some damage by the constant erction and replacement of murals.

  • old school

    Medillen, do you know if there are any SDLP, 32CSM, or non aligned members on this committee?
    I don’t know who is on it, or how to contact it.
    How does one get elected on this committee?

  • old school

    And how can the richest party in Ireland, with dozens of offices, thousands of posters,funds from Britain, chauffeur driven cars, NIO funded newspaper, MI6 speechwriters, private helicopters, and a servile media get worked up about ONE manky poster of Mc Cann in the Bog?
    And still try and come across as MOPE’s

  • medillen

    As the SDLP have shown little or no interest in the maintainance of the Free Derry Wall and its surrounds for years I would doubt it. The structure was erected by the Republican Movement and is managed by a committee, if you have an interest in joining you should contact one of its members, at least one has now been publically identified.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Sure didn’t Marty even try and claim the very plot the dead volunteers are buried in?

  • medillen

    As I have already said this is engineered argument, that you, as an opponent of Sinn Fein are happy to try and inflate. You and eamonn need to get over yourselves.

  • old school

    The structure is a gable wall built at the turn of the century.
    I know you guys like to dabble in property but this is ridiculous.

  • old school

    As for the “engineered argument”, are you saying Mc Cann sent himself a text message?

  • medillen

    This conclusively proves one of three things:
    (a) You lying about being from the Bogside
    (b) You are from the Bogside and have never been to Free Derry Wall or
    (c) you are an idiot.

  • old school

    So you’re saying PSF built this gable wall??

  • medillen

    No I am saying he knew (from the last time this situation arose at election time when he was a candidate) that there was a booking system, but now claims he does not, and proceeded to erect a mural in effort to cause a row in the media. By the way I have absolutely no problem with Eamonn McCann erecting an election mural at this spot, but he cannot complain when he is told by the committee that he may have to remove at some point as it has also been legitimately booked by someone else for a particular date.

  • medillen

    The conclusion is (c) end of conversation.

  • old school

    Oh, I see.
    When you said structure you’re referring to the frame at the back of the wall?
    So if Sinn Fein made the frame at the back of the wall, why did they have to book it with the “committee”
    Unless
    1. Sinn Fein and the Committe are the same.
    2. they didn’t book it all, and just said they did.
    Just hope Mc Cann doesn’t meet the same fate as Mickey Donnelly, who got into a poster war with these guys.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Any reason why my earlier post is still awaiting moderation?

    I’ve made the relevant links to back it up…

  • old school

    If you can’t hold an argument with a opposing view, without resorting to calling people “idiots”, then wrap this up now.

  • old school

    Dixie can you not rephrase the post and try again?
    I’ve no idea what you wrote, but work around it.

  • old school

    Medellin, do you not agree PSF come out of this looking silly?
    Look at the election machine and wealth they have compared to Mc Cann.

  • seamus

    Being from the bog myself, i never knew there was a committee either.Eamonn was involved with the civil rights from the very start.Has even contributed to the world famous slogan on that very wall.I think Eamon has every right, as long serving community activist from the very birth of that wall, to put his poster up.
    And if there is a committee and it is full of shinners then i suggest it disolve and a new committee set up completely free from all political persuasion because we all know how that sinn fein crowd work dont we.

  • lamhdearg

    It is called national socialism., Get used to it, It hasnot gone away.

  • old school

    Mc Cann has said he will not take it down.
    Will Sinn Fein now remove it?

  • pol

    The structure is a gable wall built at the turn of the century.
    I know you guys like to dabble in property but this is ridiculous………..

    Sinn Fein has been the custodian’s of the wall. Re building half of the wall at one stage when a craised British soldier drove into it with a pig. They even prevented the SDLP driving a road through it. At the moment the wall needs painted will Mc Cann be there with a brush, I don’t think so……… Come to think of it, when was the last time you helped?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Wee Andrew runs a taxi firm that doubles as a community group.

    How many taxi firms can lay claim to that?

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/taxi/personnel.php

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/project_profile.php

    Oh and they were able to pump £100,000 in 2004 for “a computerised booking and despatch system, the first of its kind in the Derry area.”

    http://www.derrytaxis.ie/home.html

  • Dixie Elliott

    I’ve tried to repost it but it’s still awaiting moderation…

  • seamus

    Aint it funny.Sinn fein have been saying for years the people own the wall. Eamon is representing “people” before profit.Sinn fein represents “profit” before people so i think i know who is more fitting to put their poster up on “the peoples wall”.

  • Dixie Elliott

    You see when you say PSF did this and that for the wall, which members of this party did this, those who have since left with their Republican ideals intact or those who now work as government funded community workers.

    In fact we all know and it even refers to it in the article, McCann was behind the writing on the wall in the first place.

    Then again the writings on the wall regarding PSF’s claim to be Republicans.

  • old school

    Pol, I remember when the pig demolished the wall.
    Local Republicans rebuilt it.
    It was in the early 80s. Since then, some have died, some like Sean Keenan left in 86 to join RSF, some joined the IRSP, some recently joined the 32CSM, other just left.
    Only an arrogant Shinner would claim sole ownership of this landmark.
    You are also contradicting the earlier suggestion that the “Committee” was non party political.
    Either it belongs to the community or it belongs to Sinn Fein.
    You seem to be saying it belongs to Sinn Fein.
    Glad you’ve cleared that up.

  • old school

    Was only a month ago they were saying only they had the right to collect for the upkeep of Republican graves in Derry as well.
    They also think they own the history of the Hunger Strike.
    Feckin Copyright Kings.
    Yet when the British Army was raiding in Creggan last week, no PSF spokesman could be found anywhere.

  • old school

    When the Unionists objected to Sinn fein posters at the War Memorial in the Diamond last week. A Sinn Fein spokesman said,
    “Thats democracy. Get used to it.”
    Well, right back at you.

  • lamhdearg

    the brit in the pig, what a laugh he had.

  • old school

    Dixie, have you tried posting via the “leave a reply” option below.
    I’m having bother logging in as well. My password has not been recognised.

  • lamhdearg

    What link?

  • Dixie Elliott

    Wee Andy runs a taxi firm that doubles as a community group.

    How many taxi firms can lay claim to that?

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/taxi/personnel.php

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/project_profile.php

    Oh and they were able to pump £100,000 in 2004 for “a computerised booking and despatch system, the first of its kind in the Derry area.”

    http://www.derrytaxis.ie/home.html

  • lamhdearg

    no such thing as free.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Not everytime I try to post that comment it says awaiting moderation. I tried 3 times without success although my other posts have no problem.

  • seamus

    Aint it funny.Sinn fein have been saying for years the people own the wall. Eamon is representing “people” before profit.Sinn fein represents “profit” before people so i think i know who is more fitting to put their poster up on “the peoples

  • Dixie Elliott

    Wee Andy runs a taxi firm that doubles as a community group…Derry Taxi Association/ Community Connect Project.

    How many Taxi firms can lay claim to that?

    Oh and they were able to pump £100,000 in 2004 for “a computerised booking and dispatch system, the first of its kind in the Derry area.”

    The relevant links;

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/taxi/personnel.php

    http://www.derrycityconnect.org/project_profile.php

    http://www.derrytaxis.ie/home.html

  • Mick O’Kelly

    just another clique on the wall.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Whomever puts their poster on the wall is trying to claim its legacy as their own. It should be free of election posters IMO (particularly of those parties who have changed their defintion of “free” over the years)

  • Wabbits

    I too am from the Bogside area and I haven’t a clue who the people on the “Committee” are. I don’t even know how I would go about contacting anyone about putting something up on the wall. It really is so well publicised for local people.

    If I were hard pushed I would have had to ring Sinn Fein to find out. That sums up who has control of what messages appear on the back of the wall. Even if one doesn’t know the individuals then one can surely guess, like the dogs in the street can, that like many other things Sinn Fein have undemocratically taken posession of “Free Derry Wall”.

    The Shinners don’t like it up em and that’s a fact. Maybe they had a beautiful hand painted poster of Mona Lisa, sorry Martina Anderson, to erect along side the peoples gallery and they are now huffing bacause the tourists won’t see it.

    I have paid some attention to how the Shinners treat other parties election campaigning and I have looked at postering in particular.

    It is fair to say that it can be no coincidence that many SDLP posters around the city have miraculously dissappeared (they will probably be found burried like a body in a bog and discovered in years to come) to be replaced in the exact same spot by SF posters of Ms Anderson.

    I was chatting to an SDLP guy who puts up their posters in Derry and he said that he would “conservatively estimate” that over 100 of their posters have been removed and replaced by SF posters, in many cases.

    I can find out the specifics if anyone is interested.

    Furthermore, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and I would think it fair justice if the Shinners either remove or make McCann remove the “offending” poster that some other concerned citizens should take a couple of nights to go around and remove Martina Andersons posters from our city streets. As they say, two can play at that game.

  • Henry94

    It’s a bit much to be complaining about secret committees when you are running on behalf of a front organisation for the Socialist Workers Movement which is in turned a wholly owned subsidiary of the British version.

    Putting People in your title is a sure sign that there aren’t many people involved in the decision making. Just a central committee of unreconstructed (unlike the wall!) Trots.

    If those people ever got to power there would be free nothing, no civil rights, no free trade and no free speech.

  • Dev

    You didn’t submit an application for approval by the relevant committee!!

  • Oracle

    Dixie I had the same problem on another thread when someone was harping on about the SDLP member Thomas Burns M.O.D paid trip to Afghanistan.
    When I linked several articles about McGuiness in Baghdad and his involvment with the Iraqi pacification process, added to that the CIA picked up the entire bill, it was upfor 5 mins then down for moderation then up at 4amfor half an hour then down and off completely

  • Dixie – apologies – it’s live now. The site is set to hold comments that have more than a couple of hyperlinks in the moderation queue because they are often spam. I know it can be a bit annoying, it keeps the threads here tidier than they would be.

  • Oracle

    Right this is getting ridiculous,

    I was helping a friend put up posters in North Antrim, when we were approached by people claiming to be from Sinn Fein. They told us to remove our poster because they were to close to the Giants Causeway and that was build by Finn McCool who was life long republican and besides there’s now a committee to decide who can hang posters and S/F have it booked for the next 20 years.

    As we left they shouted after us to also forget about Corn Market because Henry Joy was hanged there,
    Toomebridge because Roddy McCorley was hanged there, or Fermanagh and South Tyrone because if Gildernew loses the seat then Fergal McKinny will be hanged there!

  • Neil

    Not at all, do feel free to post his tally though. The first count that comes up for me with a 5 minute google is his 2004 Euro tally. 1.6% of the votes. That to me is not hopeful, and from what I recall he does more or less as well in the other elections he stands for. Whether or not he organises events – in fact I know he does, his attack on Raytheon was well enough documented for example – and those events are attended by the elected representatives is a bit irrelevant. He has 0% chance of being elected, that is my definition of a no hoper. That is not me attacking his views, or suggesting he’s not an A1, sound geezer who has improved Northern Ireland for the better in his life. That is me attacking his chances of walking away with a seat for Westminster.

    Oracle, If you arrived at 7.30 and the waiter told you someone else booked it for 8, would you tell him you weren’t moving? Petulantly squealing ‘first come first served’?

    SF say they have it booked. McCann swoops in and sticks his stuff up anyway. SF tell McCann, we booked that, we’re due to stick our stuff up tomorrow, you can take yours elsewhere. Simple.

    if I had a desire to go to that specific resturant then I should have arrived sooner Neil shouldn’t I.

    No Oracle you should have booked a table. Sheesh it’s not that complicated.

    With regards your list of no hopers, I have not said McCann should not have any posters up anywhere. All candidates should go wild with posters as they always do.

    What I would suggest is none of them show up at a billboard and stick their posters up, then when the owner of the billboard says ‘here dingus, Lucozade have rented this for the next three weeks get your posters off’ they shouldn’t reply ‘first come first served, first come first served’.

  • Brian MacAodh

    “Down in the bogside is where i want to be
    Lying in the dark with a provo company
    A comrade on me left and another me on me right
    And a cap of ammunition for me little armalite”

    They should make a song about lying in ambush to take down other partitionist parties posters down.

  • argosjohn

    “Nietzsche says:27 April 2010 at 6:24 pmArgosjohn ! What are you implying in the question where did McGuinness’ brother get the dosh to buy a pub, He got a loan from the Northern Bank of course that was before the credit crunch when you could walk into a bank a take what you needed.”

    Well, groups not too far from McGuinness did get all the money they wanted from the NB. But they did not just give out money to open bars to all and sundry.

  • Burned out and disillusioned

    Sinn fein lost interest in the wall as a means of raising debate and highlighting radical issues years ago. They use it now to periodically issue instructions to the passive public – ‘votail X, attend this hunger strike commemoration march, attend yet another hunger strike commemoration march, votail Y’ etc.

    This means the wall is free most of the time and competition for space is not an issue. Increasingly it has been a problem to get it used, what with leftie republicans (what’s left of them) and many radicals being burned out and demoralised and not exactly clamouring to raise radical issues either (though the odd political mural can be seen still).

    Filling the gaps are community groups which also tend towards telling people what to do – lots of bossing people about their health, for example. More recently the wall has promoted non-community music festivals, and even the Catholic church (until Nell McCafferty made a public intervention).

    I would imagine the committee, because of the general lack of competition for slots, is normally pretty easy-going about ‘protocols’. It doesn’t look great when a well out of date mural is up there for months, as has happened. Better used than not, though of course a line has to be drawn somewhere (were they asleep when that Catholic church anniversary went up?)

    The way things are going, it’s just a matter of time before Tesco or Sainsbury’s worm their way up there on the back of donating crumbs to local schools. And you won’t find SF members being too concerned about that.

  • old school

    73 comments but I can only view 3.
    Trying hard to get used to this new set up.

  • oracle

    Neil

    Having read a lot of your posts and replys lately I’m left with one constant burning question………. do any adults know you have access to a computer?

  • DerTer

    I passed FDC this afternoon, and Eamonn’s poster was still there.

  • seamus

    Who cares who pbp is a front for.He could be fronting the nazi party and still couldnt be worse than sf. Besides, his socialist politics are what i am voting for, not him or the swp. His manifesto suits me and is the best out there at the min.

    And his votes will be real votes, not stolen ones.

  • pol

    Old School….

    Try reading the post. I said Sinn Fein handed the structure over to the community.

    Dixie..

    Getting a bit nasty in your old age. Be careful it doesn’t consume you.

  • Balor

    Members of McCann’s election team booked the wall with a member of the committee, now if a double booking has been made then the committee should stand up and say that an error was made. However the arrogance of sf ‘take it down or we take it down’ is well, not surprising.

    On a similar note, a lot of McCann posters have disappeared from lamp posts etc. Must be the poster pixies out stealing them. I wonder are they any connection to the provie painting and decorating hit squads who would have graffiti that espoused a different political view than sf’s painted over quick smart, yet they never manged to have enough paint to cover pro sf graffiti on adjacent walls

  • balor

    Free Derry Wall has been liberated from one-party rule.

    Today at 5:19pm
    Statement by Eamonn McCann at Free Derry Wall as members of People Before Profit removed the party’s election billboard from the back of the Wall – at noon, today Friday, May 30th.

    Free Derry Wall has been liberated from one-party rule.

    We have established that no one grouping has any special right to the use of the Wall.

    The presumption of some in Sinn Fein that they “owned” Free Derry Wall is over.

    Free Derry Wall dates back to and symbolises the civil rights period. No one party can claim ownership of the civil rights legacy. No one party can claim ownership of the Wall.

    Our analysis of the period differs sharply from Sinn Fein’s and leads to different and more radical conclusions. Our analysis is, at the very least, as valid as Sinn Fein’s.

    In future, the Wall will be open to all relevant political groupings, or to none. This has been recognised by all concerned. People Before Profit will see to it that there is no backsliding.

    The dispute over the Wall having been put in the past, we will now focus on the difference between a vote for the old parties which will scarcely be noticed and a vote for People Before Profit which will resonate across the North.

  • sammaguire

    People Before Profit…they’re against bin charges and water charges down here in the “Free State”. Apparently it’s double taxation. I can remember one of their activists in Dublin being arrested for disrupting the bin collection service in protest over “double taxation”. Funnily enough the activist was on the dole and therefore was exempt from paying the charges. He was apparently protesting on behalf of the wealthier residents in his area. Socialism can be funny sometimes. Funnily enough they don’t regard the ESB and Gas bills as double taxation for some reason.

  • mediilen

    This proves my point, that this was a very deliberate engineered row for political ends in the mouth of an election by McCann and his entourage. There was never any dispute over who could access to the frame at the back of the wall (which is not the same as the wall itself by the way, and which was constructed by the Republican Movement, not the civil rights movement) but that there was a booking system. McCann knew about this from a pprevious dispute but chose to forget, as he wanted a ‘who owns the wall’ argument as part of his election campaign. It didn’t work but nice try.

  • Wabbits

    I see McCanns poster has now been replaced by a Sinn Fein poster on said wall. Sadly McCann showed that he hasn’t got the guts to stand up to the bully boys of SF.No balls for the fight.

    Some kind of agreement and compromise was brokered and he agreed to let the Shinners put theirs up. The old war horse has lost his teeth. The McCann of old would have told Sinn Fein to do their worst and to hell with it.

    You lost my respect today Eamonn. I’m sure many others who might have voted for you might be thinking the same.You backed down and you shouldn’t have.

    I thought it only fair that McCann who is one of those responsible for the very existence of FDW should display his election posters. It was a bold move to erect his billboard and he should have stood firm.

    All he has done now is to confirm what everybody already knows. If the Shinners make enough noise and apply enough pressure they get what they want and the great Eamonn McCann is powerless to do anything about it.

    what was the point in arriving bloodied from Burntulet Bridge if you are going to allow yourself to be humiliated by a different gang of jackbooted thugs ?

    The fascists won today Eamonn. Well done.

  • balor

    The new adornment at the rear of Free Derry Wall was apparently redecorated last night

    b

  • balor

    The booking was made, which is something you choose to ignore it is up to the people who took he booking to admit an error was made. You can dress it up by talking about the frame behind the wall being erected by the ‘republican movement’, but that doesn’t negate that fact that psf weren’t looking for an amicable solution, as usual its the their way or no way crap. And out of curiosity who are the republican movement in derry btw?

  • balor

    And what about protesting on behalf of those ordinary people who are a mortgage payment away from being homeless?

    you gave a very skewed post them sam

  • balor

    p.s. there’s more than one way to win a fight!

  • sammaguire

    My post may have been skewed but so too is the People Before Profit flyers I get in my letter box. They’re 100% about the bin charges and double taxation. Nothing else! Personally I think it’s right to charge people who can afford it (with exemptions for those on low incomes/social welfare) for the delivery of clean drinkable water to their homes. If gas & electricity were free I certainly would be much more wasteful than I am at present…I’m human!! I waste a lot of free drinkable water in my garden at the moment. If I was charged for it I would certainly consider buying one of those rainwater collection thingies. I might also consider replacing my 2 loos which I am told waste 3 times the amount of water per flush than a loo in New York. Likewise since the bin charges came in I recycle more. And I’m not a Green voter…it’s just common sense not cheap populism.