Belfast Telegraph

Iconic Teenage Dreams mural returns to east Belfast

By Ricky Thompson

A much-loved east Belfast mural which was controversially removed in 2013 has been reinstated to its former glory.

The mural quotes lyrics from a song by one of Northern Ireland's best known bands, The Undertones, and was removed from the Bridge End flyover during a regeneration project undertaken by the Department of Social Development.

The lyrics read “Teenage dreams, so hard to beat” and were a familiar landmark to local residents and the wider musical community.

The words were taken from the Londonderry band’s debut single Teenage Kicks, which became famous when BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played the song twice back to back in 1978.

The day after Peel died in 2004, the mural appeared on the flyover. Written next to the lyric was “John Peel 1939-2004 RIP”.

The new, more artistic version, however, does not carry the name of the DJ due to allegations that he had sex with an underage girl being made against him in 2012.

Music writer and broadcaster Stuart Bailie said it's great to have the mural returned: "It salutes one of the greatest songs ever from Northern Ireland and Terry Hooley who released the record.

"It disappeared in 2013 and there was discussion, a bit of out-roar. Music fans were actually really upset about it and there was a lot of activity on social media.

"I guess the music community took it personally because all around here there are the most vile paramilitary murals and there it was, a harmless lyric from a beautiful song had disappeared without any discussion. 

"Belfast City Council then made a call and paperwork was delivered to the Department of Social Development and here we are in 2015 - the lyric has been returned to what is frankly a really ugly space in Belfast.

"It looks better now that we've got a bit of rock 'n' roll in here."

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