Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Peace Wall 'good riddance' message to Theresa Villiers

By Cate McCurry

An image of Theresa Villiers on the International Peace Wall in west Belfast was vandalised days after she quit as Secretary of State - by the artist who painted the original mural.

The words "good riddance" and "this woman wants to hide her head in shame" appeared next to the painting on the famous tourist attraction.

The artwork has since been painted over as part of an ongoing project to create images reflecting the 1916 Easter Rising.

Artist Danny Devenny explained that it would later be replaced with a painting of the Irish tricolour being erected on the GPO - the key site of the Easter Rising.

Criticising Ms Villiers, Mr Devenny said she had "no impact" on the peace process. "I knew from an interview last week that she was leaving and decided that as she has done nothing for this part of Ireland, it should be written on the wall, so we defaced our own mural," he added.

"But the whole thing is being changed now. The mural is one continuous narrative of the North's connections to the Easter Rising. Theresa Villiers was going to get painted over whether she left or not.

"We painted those words on Monday and kept it up for a day, but we painted over it yesterday, so it's gone now.

"There's a connection to Liverpool in that the tricolour was raised on top of the GPO by a man from Liverpool who came to help out in the Rising.

"I have a group of friends from Liverpool who are coming over next week to paint that image of that man putting the tricolour up."

Mr Devenny went on to accuse Ms Villiers of blocking an inquiry into the 10 people killed in Ballymurphy in August 1971.

"Theresa Villiers obstructed the relatives of those killed in Ballymurphy from finding out what actually took place, so she should hang her head in shame over that," he said.

"I don't think that she had much input into the politics over here, whether it was nationalist or unionist.

"All the locals loved the new mural, and one lady suggested that we should add in about hanging her head in shame.

"There are 12 different murals dealing with all different issues, but this year we are doing one continuous narrative for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising."

The defaced mural of former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on the International Peace Wall on the Falls Road in west Belfast

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