Falls Road, derived from the Irish word for “district of the falls or hedges,” is a predominantly working-class area of western Belfast. The neighborhood is known for its role in “The Troubles,” having served as the central hub for many of the nationalist organizations of the time, and is divided from Shankill Road by one of the peace walls of Belfast.
Many famous Republican murals can be found in the area, such as the mural of hunger striker Bobby Sands on the wall of the Sinn Féin shop and office. Sands died after a hunger strike in Maze Prison, which left nine other prisoners dead. There are a few murals where you might notice a few repetitive motifs and symbols, such as a phoenix rising from the ashes, which stands for Ireland emerging from the flames of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Also of note is the “solidarity wall', featuring murals dedicated to people with connections to Irish Republicanism, such as the Blanketmen, Palestinians, ETA and Frederick Douglass. The solidarity wall is located close to the newly rebuilt Falls Road Leisure Centre and the Divis area.
Since the 1960s, the Falls Road district has been a center of the revival of traditional Irish culture in Northern Ireland. Today, it's home to the Cultúrlann, an Irish cultural center, which is open throughout the year, as well as the annual West Belfast Festival (Féile an Phobail).
Visiting the Falls Road Murals is easy on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, which takes you through all the major sights in Belfast. There is even an option for a day trip from Dublin to see the Falls area.