Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea, riding for Kawasaki, became Superbike World Champion for a fifth consecutive time with wins in the final three stops of the year, in France, Argentina, and Qatar (WP). He grew up in Ballynure, near Ballyclare. (Belfast Live has a profile.) This mural, by Noel Morrison (Fb), is in Blenheim Drive in the Westwinds estate, Newtownards. (BelTel has a write-up. BBC Bikes has video showing Morrison adding “2019” to the mural after Rea’s recent win.)

The mural replaces The Union Jack.

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Steeped In Blood

The Westminster election called by Boris Johnson and the Conservatives for December 12th has become a referendum on Brexit, with a pro-Remain pact between the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Plaid Cymru in 60 British constituencies (BBC). In Northern Ireland, manoeuvring got under way with UDA threats against any UUP candidate who might stand in North Belfast (News Letter). The UUP, which had previously committed itself to stand in all 18 NI constituencies, withdrew (BBC), as did the SDLP (BelTel), leaving the contest essentially between the (pro-Brexit) DUP’s Nigel Dodds and (anti-Brexit) Sinn Féin’s John Finucane (shown second from left). Finucane is current Belfast Mayor but is presented here as part of a “republican family”: he is son of murdered lawyer Pat Finucane (fourth from left) and Shankill bomber Sean Kelly (WP) was seen canvassing for him. The vote in North Belfast is expected to be close. The current Brexit proposal involves customs checks in the Irish Sea (BBC), but the DUP will be hoping for No-Deal or the end to the NI backstop.

For analysis of North Belfast and all of the NI seats, see Bangor Dub.

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X06872 X06873 shankill road by not voting these people win fight back vote unionist steeped in the blood of our loved ones

Concerned Unionists

“Public meeting. Concerned unionists of south Belfast. Wednesday 6th November 7.15 pm Sandy Row Orange Hall. Stop the #BetrayalAct”. Tonight will see a meeting in south Belfast (and another at the same time in Antrim) discussing the current Conservative Brexit plan that would allow some cross-border economic activity to continue – see The Betrayal Act. “VTOT” is “Village Team On Tour“.

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The Betrayal Act

Is Brexit more important than the Union? Conservative party leader Boris Johnson, whose current plan involves a border in the Irish Sea, is depicted as betraying the sacrifice of the Ulster Volunteers, formed in 1912 to resist the threat of Home Rule. In response, meetings are being held in different unionist areas: November 1st saw meetings in north Belfast and on the Shankill; meetings are scheduled in Sandy Row and the Steeple (Antrim) for Wednesday the 6th. Rallies and civil disobedience are being contemplated but also that the DUP would join Remainers in order to stop Brexit entirely. “Ulster says “No” to an economic united Ireland”.

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Volunteer, Brigadier, Ulsterman

Tommy Herron was kidnapped and executed in September 1973, perhaps by members of his own East Belfast UDA brigade (Holland | BelTel). His 18-year-old brother-in-law had been killed at his house in June (WP). Despite the internal conflict over Herron’s position and profiteering, 25,000 people attended his funeral and hearkened to the word of the Reverend Ian Paisley (AP video | Patterson images). The video shows ranks of UDA volunteers marching in the procession; the mural was launched with (two) masked UDA volunteers flanking speaker Dee Stitt (for whom see previously Welcome To The Jungle) (BelTel).

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We Await In The Shadows

Ten years after ending its armed campaign, the Red Hand Commando in 2017 applied to be de-proscribed, on the basis that it had given up its arms in 2009 and transformed itself into an ‘old comrades association’ (see the emblem in the bottom left of the wide shot) (BBC | NewsLetter). According to this mural, however, B company is ready to reform in response to those who “play with peace”, fifty years later (or so – the mural claims the group was founded in 1970; other sources give 1972 (WP cites Peter Taylor).

“50 years has passed/We were forced to don our masks/Don’t play with peace/Or attack our land/We await in the shadows/B Coy Red Hand”

Replaces the ‘99.9% need not apply‘ RHC mural.

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Close Yir Een An Remember Me

“Aye ready they stood, aye ready they fought, through conflict, blood and tears, loyal to the end, every one, the Scottish volunteers.” “Aye ready” was the motto of the 59th Scinde Rifles of the British Indian Army (and later of the Canadian Navy) but is best known from the label of Camp Coffee, in which a Highlander was served a cup of Camp by a Sikh servant (nowadays, they both have a cup of their own). In this new mural and plaque at the newly-christened “Scots Corner” (see final image), a Scottish soldier plays the pipes over a list of the “Battalion Of The Dead”, Scottish volunteers from the (modern) UVF. The list is led by William “Big Bill” Campbell, who has had a small plaque in his memory at this spot since (at least) 2014. Preacher and DUP politician George Seawright (see A Crown Of Life) is also included – he was born in Glasgow in 1951.

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Thoughts Awe Hame

This contemplative WWI soldier is the mural part of a new memorial commemorating fallen UVF volunteers from Scotland. On the shutters of the Pizza Cabin on the Shankill.

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Parkside

The new homes in Parkside Gardens were completed in March 2018 (in the same style as the award-winning houses in Parkend), but the security fencing separating Newington from Mountcollyer remain. The “park” in question is Alexandra Park, believed to be Europe’s only park with a “peace” line running through it (BBC) – see previous posts from 2011 and 2013.

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Confrontier

Friday (September 27th) saw the launch of Kai Wiedenhöfer’s ‘Wall On Wall’ exhibition, mounted to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Cupar Way “peace” line and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On the wall there are 36 images of walls from ten sites across the planet, taken between 1989 and 2018: Baghdad, Korea, Cyprus, USA-Mexico, Spain & Morocco, Israel-Palestine, France-UK, Greece-North Macedonia, Berlin. (His latest book is called Confrontier – the web site includes 53 images.)

See previously, the trial run image of Al Bayya in Baghdad in Wall On Wall.

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X06826 [X06823] [X06824] X06825 X06830 [X06829] X06828 X06827 churchill first we shape our buildings and then the buildings start to shape us walls have made a big renaissance a barrier is the proof of human weakness and errors the inability of human beings to communicate with each other the trappings of globalization are deceptive the gap between rich and poor is deepening Irish News