Representing the (un)finished revolution in Belfast's political murals

Stephen Goulding, Amy McCroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Political murals have a long history in Northern Ireland. During the Troubles, political murals were used by republicans in working-class areas to construct narratives that would legitimise their ideological assertions and help galvanise popular support for their political causes. In recent years, Belfast's republican political murals have not only become the forefront of a flourishing political tourism sector, but they also provide a risk-free means of drawing attention to dissident republican grievances – both of which challenge traditional and contemporaneous conceptualisations of Northern Ireland's political murals. This study critically examines the communicative function of Belfast's republican political murals in relation to location and audience. It also articulates a conceptual approach to interpreting the function of Northern Ireland's republican political murals. We present calibrated findings that indicate a disparity of function in relation to location and audience and point toward the capacity of murals to fulfil specific communicative functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-564
Number of pages27
JournalCritical Discourse Studies
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 9 Jun 2020

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© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • political murals
  • republican murals
  • northern Ireland murals
  • visual analysis
  • political tourism
  • republicanism


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