The hills that look down on West Belfast have hosted many messages of support for the Irish Republican cause over many decades. Recently however, the familiar white letters on the hillside have been dedicated to the suffering of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.
There is a history of Sinn Fein and Irish Nationalist support for the Palestinian cause and I can clearly remember a mural somewhere on The Falls Road or in the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast, depicting Yasser Arafat alongside others including Nelson Mandela. That mural has gone now, although Nelson Mandela still features strongly in the street art of West Belfast. Numerous new murals express Irish Nationalist and Republican empathy for the civilian population of Gaza, and I have to admit that I was stunned and moved by their presence as I drove from South Belfast up to the city this morning. Someone had even stencilled the pavement in half a dozen places with the words, ‘Stop the Genocide in Palestine’. Here are some of the images which will stay with me for a while.