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Shifting references

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Activity 3

Shifting references

Group 1: Cuchulàinn

A mural in Belfast, 1997.

Group 2: Saoirse (freedom)

A mural in Belfast, 2015.

Groups 1 and 2: Translation

Translating Ireland, Michael Cronin, 1996.

The subjection of Ireland from the sixteenth century onwards demanded, not only military and political, but also cultural submission. The native Irish had to be translated. […]

There often appears to be an unspoken assumption of ideal equivalence. Translation is a transparent, painless process and full equivalence is possible in the other language. […] But translation is not mechanical reproduction. It is transformation. […]

Translating Ireland, Michael Cronin, 1996.

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You are in charge of one mural from this page and the small text.

Look at the mural. What strikes you? What does it represent?

Read the text. What is the link between your mural and the text?

Useful vocabulary:
This mural depicts… It pays a tribute to…
On the right / left, there is / are… This means that...
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Let's talk this out!

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Share your findings with your classmates.

Which mural was painted by Loyalists or Nationalists?

What tools did fighters from both sides use to make their voices heard?

Which mural do you prefer? Why?

Useful vocabulary: The best solution seems to be to…
Unlike violence… It appeals to me… I prefer…
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Culture note

Culture note
Cuchulàinn was the nephew of King Conor of Ulster, and is renowned as the ‘Achilles’ of Ireland.


  • discrepancy /dɪˈskrεpənsɪ/ = big difference (n.)
  • icon (n.) → iconic /ˌaɪˈkɒnɪk/ (adj.)
  • propaganda (n.)
  • tribute to / homage (n.)
  • embody /ɪmˈbɒdɪ/ / personify / epitomise /ɪˈpɪtəˌmaɪz/ (v.)
  • emphasise / stress (v.)

Let's learn!

Memory game

In pairs, each of you looks at one of the murals for one minute. Then, close your book and answer your classmate’s questions about it (description, references, etc.).

Over to you!

Irish culture for dummies

Let’s use what you have learnt in and / or !

Write a short opinion piece about how important and / or effective culture is(n’t) to let people know about Ireland’s troubled history and post it on a social network. You can use a Facebook post generator such as

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