chapter  14
18 Pages

The Gaeltacht Quarter of Mural City

Irish in Falls Road murals
BySiun Carden

The Falls Road, which forms an arterial route between sprawling Catholic residential areas and the city centre, is perhaps the most famous Catholic place-name within Belfast's largely segregated working-class landscape. This chapter examines the evolving uses of Irish in Falls Road murals as the latest plan for the Gaeltacht Quarter aspires to double their number. The use of Irish in the Gaeltacht Quarter murals demonstrates a tension between exoticization, creating a spectacle of cultural difference, and normalization, presenting Irish as part of an integrated global economy. A crucial way in which the Gaeltacht Quarter is distinguished from its surroundings and promoted as a unique tourism product is through the creation of a particular kind of multilingual 'linguistic landscape'. The 'linguistic landscape' of Irish-language-themed cultural quarter includes not only bilingual signage and advertisements but also the murals that emerged during the conflict. The linguistic landscape of the Gaeltacht Quarter also includes a more overtly political element in the form of murals.