Because He Loves What Is Behind Him

The Shankill Somme Association’s garden of reflection has added a number of new boards.

The board shown above is JP Beadle’s painting “Battle of the Somme: Attack of the Ulster Division”, which hangs in Belfast City Hall (militaryprints.com). It replaces a painting of a soldier in a field of poppies, seen in The Great War.

To its left is John Singer Sargent’s painting “Gassed”, showing the “aftermath of an indiscriminate mustard gas attack on British forces during the Battle of Arras 21st August 1918” (which also forms a part of a memorial in east Belfast) with the GK Chesterton quote “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is front of him, but because he loves what is behind him”.

Also new – and somewhat out of place – is the Northern Ireland Centenary board featuring James Craig: “It would be rather interesting for historians of the future to compare a Catholic state launched in the south with a Protestant state launched in the north and to see which gets on the better and prospers the more”. There are other “floreat Ultona” boards/murals in the Village (focusing on the B Specials and UDR) and in Rathcoole (where “Ulster welcomes her King and Queen”).

There are also three insignia on the gates (compare with M05717), to the Royal Navy, the Ulster Volunteer Medical & Nursing Corps, and the Royal Flying Corp.

Previously (c. 2017), the undead soldiers of We Shall Not Sleep were replaced with an image of the Cross Of Sacrifice memorial – the original is in Ypres, Belgium but there is also one in the City Cemetery – see One In Design And Intention. At the same time, the poppy plaques for individual local soldiers and the image of the Menin Gate were also added.

The Flanders Field board appears to have survived since 2012 – see Somme Memorial.

The final image below shows the new stone surround for the main memorial. See (again) Somme Memorial and for a close-up of the frosted glass, Reflections On The Somme.

For the 20th anniversary electrical box on the footpath outside, see Shankill Somme Association.

With thanks to Paddy Duffy for the photographs.

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Unhappy Anniversary

Noah Donohoe would have been 17 last Friday (November 25th). The inquest had been due to start on the 28th, but after the Coroner Joe McCrisker ruled at the end of October that it should take place in front of a jury, a preliminary hearing will be held on December 9th at which a new date might be set (Belfast Media | Sunday World).

There are 23 other posts featuring Noah Donohoe on Extramural Activity. This mural is at the entrance to the Kashmir Bar on the Springfield Road; for the mural on the outside wall, see The Best Singers In The West.

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S Company, C Company

Joe Coggle and Paul McClelland were arrested as they sat with weapons in a car on the Falls Road in 1991; they were jailed for 18 years (Independent) but released under the Agreement. The Sunday World also report that the pair were involved in the killing of David Braniff in 1989. Both UVF men are said to be deceased; Coggle died in September.

Coggle had previously served 18 months for running over and killing Elizabeth Masterson in Beechmount in 1986 and her descendants objected to the mural (Irish News | BBC).

S Company was a predecessor to C Company, existing from 1969 to 1974, when C Company was formed (see M08105 for an older S Coy – C Coy mural in Ballygomartin). A previous UVF uzi can be seen in M01186.

Replaces Here Dead We Lie. For mural of five volunteers to the right (in the wide shot), see C Coy Street.

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Christmas Meat

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States, also commonly known as “turkey day”, and the orgy of eating is today followed by the orgy of spending – Black Friday. The terms are gradually creeping into local parlance, to mark an artificial beginning to the Christmas shopping season. One local petrol chain made headlines yesterday with its “Thanksgiving Thursday” promotion (BelTel | Belfast Live gallery), while one Woodvale butcher is encouraging people to “order your Christmas meat now”, using a saving club if necessary.

The mural underneath is Dan Kitchener’s Night Taxi.

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Bap McGreevy

IRA volunteer Frank “Bap” McGreevy spent 15 (Irish Times) or 17 (An Phoblacht) years in Long Kesh (for a crime of which he was innocent, says Anthony McIntyre; possibly the car bombing of the Klondyke Bar in Sandy Row). He was attacked by two assailants at his home in (the old) Ross Street, near this memorial board, in March 2008 and died of his wounds after three days in hospital.

As the wide shots below show, there are now a dozen pieces along this stretch of the Falls Road. The other pieces have all been seen in previous posts. For close-ups, see
Kieran Abram with Charlie Hughes
plaque and map of The Falls Road Massacre
Unrepentant Republicans Billy McKee, Alec Murphy, and Brendan Hughes; the Falls Curfew
Web Of Corruption: Drop The Rents; PSNI Not Supported; Divis 81 in Defund The Police
For A Socialist Republic

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105 Years Of Balfour

“Britain in Palestine & Ireland” The Balfour Declaration of November 1917 is seen as a pivotal moment in the history leading to the what is formally known as the State Of Israel, as it made the UK the first major government to endorse the idea of a homeland for Jews (WP).

The poster (for a talk in Cultúrlann) is in Allworthy Avenue; the board is on Northumberland Street. The latter draws parallels between Ireland and Palestine: homelands partitioned for British imperialist interests, struggles for freedom met with British barbarism … forbidden from speaking their native tongue, faiths outlawed … . About 650 former RIC members were recruited to the “British Gendarmarie” that would police what was called “Mandatory Palestine” (Palestine Studies | Irish History) after WWI.

The League Of Nations mandate putting the UK in change of the Palestinian territory was replaced (in 1947) by a UN plan for partition, which triggered an internal war between Jews and Arabs, and when the UK ended the mandate and evacuated from Palestine in May 1948, Israel declared independence and neighbouring Arab states entered the conflict. About 700,000 Arabs were displaced during the fighting. Key48 (tw) advocates for the right of return and uses as a symbol the keys that householders took with them when they fled.

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X11793 X11794 X11838 X11839 X11840 X11841 His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

West Belfast UFF

Here is some vintage graffiti and a small UDA mural from behind the Tennent Street police station in the upper Shankill (Mill Street West). Above: “Ulster says No”. Bottom: “S/Hill West Belfast UFF 2nd Batt C Coy”.

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Remembrance Day

For November 11th – Armistice Day/Veterans Day/Remembrance Day – this giant tarp showing light pouring through the Thiepval Memorial was placed on the Shore Road, surrounded by 12 white crosses.

For the memorial to the right, which includes the 10th and 16th Divisions along with the 36th (Ulster) Division, see In Defence Of The Citizens Of Belfast.

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Ship Of Fools

Liz Truss’s Titanic hit not one but a series of icebergs (described previously in Broken Promises) and announced her resignation as leader of the Conservative party, and therefore as UK prime minister, on October 20th, triggering another leadership contest, with the previously-defeated Rishi Sunak back in the running in addition to – for a day, at least – former PM Boris Johnson; the third person shown is Penny Mordaunt. In the end, Sunak went unopposed (WP) and left the lifeboat to join the circling sharks: Putin, strikes, NI Protocol, energy costs.

This is the fourth in a chronicle of the Truss premiership by Ciaran Gallagher (web) in Hill St: And In The Blue Corner … (Truss vs. Sunak) | It’s A Knockout! (Truss wins) | Broken Promises (Truss crisis)

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For His Family

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his family.” The words of John 15:13 are modified slightly to pay tribute to Cluan Place resident Ian Ogle, who was stabbed and beaten to death in January, 2019, after several years of intimidation of the family by members of the east Belfast UVF (Sunday World).

For the original tarp and tributes, see Justice For Ian Ogle; there is also a plaque to Ogle in the street.

“CPV” is presumably “Cluan Place Volunteers” – the initialism was included in some graffiti about houses in the street being burnt out in the early 2000s.

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