Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein defends mural depicting IRA hunger striker Kieran Doherty's funeral in west Belfast

By Rebecca Black

Sinn Fein has defended a new mural that depicts hooded gunmen close to the grounds of Casement Park in west Belfast.

The mural, on Slemish Way, shows the gunmen standing over the coffin of IRA hunger striker Kieran Doherty.

Yesterday the Belfast Telegraph reported criticism of the new mural across the political spectrum.

The mural replaced a previous mural of Doherty, who died in 1981 during the hunger strike in the Maze Prison.

Last night Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan said the mural "was a local community honouring one of its heroes".

Mr Sheehan, a former IRA prisoner who himself took part in the hunger strikes, said Doherty grew up in that area and was highly regarded there.

"The mural itself is a reproduction of a historical photo from the hunger strike which shows Kieran's comrades and members of the local community paying tribute to him at his funeral," he said.

"It is part of a larger piece of work being done in the area to remember the hunger strike era, which was a watershed moment in our history."

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