Sentinel cartoons satirised plastic bullet ban and Council name change

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The Londonderry Sentinel has been amongst the many publications, which has used cartoons as a form of satirical comment.

In light of the overwhelming displays of solidarity following the murder of ten staff at Charlie Hebdo, here are two satirical cartoons, which appeared in this paper at the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Both cartoons, signed Frank, appeared in the paper in January 1985.

The first is a scathing attack on the ban on the use of plastic bullets in the European Economic Community (EEC) area, which had been passed in the European Parliament in 1982.

It shows RUC officers with targets attached to their backs.

On a table is a box of pea shooters and targets marked “with compliments of the European Union.”

The cartoon is headlined with the comment: “You’ll be OK - this is our new riot gear to replace plastic bullets!!”

Another cartoon refers to the growing feeling, in light of the decision to change the name of the local Council from Londonderry to Derry, that the city was becoming a cold house for unionists.

The illustration shows a listing Guildhall in the middle of a spreading morass with a sign in the middle warning “Danger Swamp.”

A flag on the Guildhall reads Londonderry City Council with the London scored out and banners reading “Union Jack Banned” and “Notice: Minority Views Will Be Ignored.”

A group of unionists with a Union Flag stand marooned on a small island in the middle of the swamp with a sign reading “No Surrender.”

They are surrounded by gassy eruptions reading “bigotry,” “intolerance,” “Anti-British propaganda,” and “hypocrisy.”

Last week’s atrocity in Paris has brought into sharp focus the importance of satire and ignited a global debate on how best to safeguard freedom of expression.