Belfast Telegraph

Carson mural in republican west Belfast is paint bombed

By Staff Reporter

A mural of the IRA man who started the blanket protest has been dumped on waste ground to make way for an image of unionist leader Edward Carson.

The Carson mural itself had been vandalised earlier.

The partly-completed mural near Divis was paint bombed within hours of appearing.

The artwork on the 'International Wall' relating to the Home Rule crisis in 1912 was defaced with white paint.

Most of the damage was removed yesterday, before the discovery of the discarded Nugent mural. The image is part of a display to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Carson led the resistance to Home Rule and was the first to sign the Ulster Covenant in 1912. He also helped establish the UVF.

The PSNI said no report had been made of the incident.

Meanwhile, angry republicans last night posted photographs on social media of the broken mural of Kieran Nugent lying in pieces in the grounds of disused old St Comgalls school on the Falls Road.

"This is unbelievable," one resident said.

"I never thought I'd see the day that a man like Kieran Nugent, a hero in this community, would be discarded literally in the dirt so the founder of the UVF could be honoured. The people who did this are shameless."

Another man said: "Putting up the mural to Carson was bad enough but this is a step too far.

"Kieran Nugent gave his all to the republican movement.

"Now he's just a piece of rubbish to the Provos."

Nugent, the first IRA man on the blanket protest in the H-Blocks, died in 2000. When warders asked him to wear prison uniform, he replied: "You'll have to nail it to my back."

The Carson mural depicts him with an outstretched arm.

It also shows armed members of the original UVF militia, as well as a convoy of cars travelling along a dark road to depict the Larne gunrunning operation that armed the group.

Below this is painted the slogan: 'We will not have Home Rule.'

One former Divis resident said: "The murals on the International Wall are popular with tourists and visitors, as they're part of black taxi and bus tours.

"Both Nugent and Carson are regarded as heroes by their respective communities, but replacing a west Belfast blanketman with a unionist icon appears to have hit a raw nerve."

Belfast Telegraph


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