East East Belfast

This hooded gunman from the East Belfast UVF – like the series of stencils featured previously in EB UVF – is on a wall in Bangor’s Westwinds estate. Questions about EB UVF lawlessness in north Down arose over the summer with a “business opportunity” presented to local hostelries (Belfast Live | ITV).
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Welcome To The Jungle

Dee Stitt resigned last week as chair of Charter NI citing the strain on his family caused by negative media attention (BBC-NI | Irish News). At the end of 2016, Stitt was criticised for remarks describing his North Down Defenders (tw | Fb) as the “homeland security” of the area and describing working-class estates as “jungles” in which there is always a “big guy” (Guardian video 8 min mark ff.| BelTel | ITV) . The mural above does not directly mention ties to the UDA/UFF except for the red fist. For a more explicit NDD board further down the estate, with UDA, UFF, UYM, and LPA flags, see North Down Defenders.
For the recent tension between UDA factions in north Down, see Ulster Defence Unions.
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Available Here

On the right of this image there is a European Regional Development Fund plaque (dating back to at least 2008) but we do not have any record of a previous piece in this spot (Main Street, Conlig). It is not likely that it is referring to the Red Hand Commando board. Please get in touch if you have any information. See also the UVF board on the Today’s Local in the Glen estate, Newtownards.
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North Down UVF

This mural at the bottom of Kilcooley estate in Bangor has recently been repainted, with the main alteration being the “North Down UVF” replaces “1st July 1916”, focusing attention on the locals from battalion that joined the 36th and away from the Somme. (See the previous mural in 1st July 1916.)
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text: X06077 clandeboye rd

Negative Space

This was presumably to be a UDA mural in the Bangor estate of Kilcooley (there used to be a UFF mural on this wall), but the mural was started in May 2016 and the image above taken in April 2017. If you have any information about why the painting stopped, please get in touch.
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They Sleep Side-By-Side

Bangor’s Finest” the Pride of Whitehill Flute Band marks its 40th anniversary (1976-2016) with a mural and two small boards dedicated to Ulster Volunteers and Young Citizen Volunteers in WWI: “When you go home, tell them of us and say “For your tomorrow we gave our today.” “They fought together as brothers-in-arms, they died together and now they sleep side-by-side. To them we have a solemn obligation.”
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text: X04222 X04223 X04224

Always A Little Further

East Belfast now extends all the way to Bangor: shown today are two East Belfast UVF boards in Whitehill, one a red hand and the other the familiar “pilgrims” image, seen continuously in east Belfast since the 90s in Tamar Street, Mersey Street, and (twice) on the Newtownards Road (currently in the Iceland car park). (Article on the EB – North Down UVF dispute in nearby Bowtown area in 2015.)
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text: X04227 X04226 X04225 clanmorris ave

Shared Space

Here are two final images from the memorial garden in Kilcooley. As mentioned in Tuesday’s post (To Keep Our Ulster Free), it seems that the combination of WWI imagery (today’s post and Across The Wire) and paramilitary memorials was not the plan approved by the Department of Social Development, which contributed funds to the project (Belfast Telegraph). A wide shot of the whole is included below.
According to an article in the Tele last Friday (2017-04-21), the Housing Executive has a list of over 100 memorial on Executive-owned land that it considers illegal. The list itself does not seem to be available and so it is not not known if the Kilcooley garden is one of these.
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To Keep Our Ulster Free

“We have slain him but we fear him/As we stand in silence now/For the hero light still lingers/Like a lantern on his brow. And the wiles of witchcraft jeer him/With the phantoms of our dead/As they moil like may mosquitoes/Round his torn and bleeding head.” Cuchulainn is invoked as a “defender of Ulster” on the UDA memorial stone in the Kilcooley estate. The Red Hand Commando and UVF stones are shown below. The three paramilitary stones were added independently of the WWI garden (BelTel).
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text: X04095 X04093 X04096 owernroe drive the death call of cuchulainn champion of ulster the sons of ulster’s best who have stood the test? would you take the oath with hand held high are you prepared to die to keep our ulster free it is up to you and me god save ulster is our cry would you weep if i should die remember me when poppies fall for our ulster i gave all tell me i have lived my life well and it has not all been in vain

Across The Wire

WWI soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division go over the top and make their way through the barbed wire. Not a mural but a painted sky on a memorial stone. Part of the Owenroe memorial garden in Bangor.
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