Death’s Parade Ground

The bugler in period uniform and the language of the poem are reminiscent of WWI but all of the UVF mural, roll of honour, and reproduction of an old YCV mural refer to the modern UVF and in particular to William Millar [sometimes given as “Miller”], Bobby Morton, and Tommy McAllister. Millar and Morton were ambushed by the RUC on the 16th of March 1983 – Millar died and Morton was injured (Long Kesh Inside Out). Millar was included in an old Cregagh mural – see C00956). Morton died in 2016 (Young Conquerors), hence is portrait shows him as an older man. The same is true of McAllister’s portrait, though no information about him is readily available.

“As the bugler blows/O’er the graves in rows/As reveille sounds/Over death[‘]s parade ground/Where our fallen comrades lie/With our standards proud/Once their deathbeads shroud/We will come from far and near/To salute our dead/And the roles they played/With the Ulster Volunteers.”

The mural was launched on March 19th (ACT). Below the new mural are a roll of honour and a board reproducing a former mural by Gareth Keys one street over, in Walnut Street – see The Young, The Brave, The Fearless.

The vintage graffiti (second image) is across the street.

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Splendid Isolation

“Splendid isolation” was the name given to the overarching foreign policy doctrine of the British Empire by which the UK professed no permanent allies, particularly among the great powers of Europe. The doctrine was aimed at keeping the UK from becoming entangled in disputes so that the economic activity of the empire could continue smoothly. (Global Security | WP) Hong Kong island became a UK colony after a dispute with the Chinese over UK’s use of Indian-grown opium as a substitute for silver in trading for Chinese tea and other goods. It was turned over to the Chinese in 1997. The Wai Kee “traditional Hong Kong-style cafe” in Donegall Pass has been closed for years but you can still get Hong Kong-style barbecue at Same Happy, four doors down from the mural celebrating the reign of Queen Elizabeth (prior to her death) over the 50+ commonwealth nations.

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Hurricane Higgins

“Higgy – simply the best.” 2022 is the 50th anniversary of Alex “Hurricane” Higgins’s first World snooker title as a 22-year-old qualifier, and the 40th anniversary of his second World title in 1982, watched by a television audience of almost 11 million people (WP). You can relive the 1982 world championship on youtube.

This mural is outside the Royal Bar on Donegall Road in Sandy Row, where Higgins grew up. “A true legend of Belfast.”

Seen previously in 2010.

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Life Is Tough

“… but so are you”. LAD Talk (ig | profile) mural in Sandy Row by ArtFillNI (Fb) and Codo (ig).

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Grief Is The Price We Pay For Love

Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom, passed away on September 8th, at the age of 96, in the same year of her platinum jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession. The phrase “grief is the price we pay for love” comes from a message from Elizabeth in consolation with the relatives of those killed in the “9-11” attacks in 2001 (text at The Guardian).

“In everlasting memory – her majesty Queen Elizabeth II – 1926-2022.” “Long live the King”

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Floreat Ultona

“May Ulster flourish” as the newly created Northern Ireland under “Sir James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland”. The Northern Ireland parliament was opened in 1921 and the coat of arms adopted in 1924 (WP); the Special Constabulary (including the B-Specials) had been formed prior to and in preparation for partition – the quote from Carson (also seen in an east Belfast mural) is from July 12th, 1920.

The text on the board is the same as at WP: “The Ulster Special Constabulary (USC; commonly called the “B-Specials” or “B Men”) was a quasi-military reserve special constable police force in what would later become Northern Ireland. It was set up in October 1920, shortly before the partition of Ireland. It was an armed corps, organised partially on military lines and called out in times of emergency, such as war or insurgency. It performed this role most notably in the early 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and the 1956-1962 IRA Border Campaign. During its existence, 95 USC members were killed in the line of duty. Most of these (72) were killed in conflict with the IRA in 1921 and 1922. Another 8 died during the Second World War, in air raids or IRA attacks. Of the remainder, most died in accidents but two former officers were killed during the Troubles in the 1980s. The Special Constabulary was disbanded in May 1970, after the Hunt Report, which advised re-shaping Northern Ireland’s security forces and demilitarizing the police. Its functions and membership were largely taken over by the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Ulster Constabulary.”

This Belfast Live article (which has images from the launch) leads with the headline that this new board replaces a UVF mural, but there hasn’t been anything on this wall since a large “UDA” lettering in 1999. The adjacent wall, which has now been painted over, previously (in 2010) had a UVF flag which had been vandalised with “Jesus Christ Is Lord Of All’ graffiti by 2017.

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Wildflower Alley

Handy Helpers from Queen’s University help maintain the Wildflower Alley (Fb) between College Park Avenue and University Avenue. To “recognise the joint effort” (LinkedIn) a mural has been painted (by emic (ig)) along the Stanmillis Embankment, featuring flowers grown in the Alley.

Funding from Belfast City Council. Officially launched 2022-09-22 (Belfast Live)

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Stand By

There’s no sectarian muraling yet concerning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as distinct from pieces in shared spaces by street artists – see Ukraine Has Suffered Enough by FGB | Take These Seeds by emic | Нет войне! by Leo Boyd.

Previously we featured anti-Russian graffiti in east Belfast, pro-Donetsk graffiti in CNR west Belfast (Ireland Supports The People Of Donetsk, updated in My Enemy’s Enemy) and a mixture of pro-peace and anti-NATO pieces.

Today’s post shows a small sample of pro-Ukraine flags in PUL areas, including the Shankill (above, over the Bayardo Bombing memorial; something similar was seen in Ballycarry) and (below) the Village, and on the CNR side, a Russian and Soviet flag flying from Divis tower (final image).

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Soldier Of Ireland

After serving in the IRA in the War Of Independence, Liam Mellows was elected to the First Dáil and as a member of the second Dáil voted against the Treaty in January 1922 (his speech is recorded in Oireachtas.ie under the name “Liam Mellowes”). In the Civil War that followed, he served as IRA quartermaster in the force in the Four Courts that surrendered to Free State forces on June 30th, 1922. He was imprisoned in Mountjoy and executed in December, in reprisal for the killing of Seán Hayes (see Executed). (WP | An Phoblacht) His proposals for government were published posthumously as ‘Mellows Testament’ (NLI) and include state ownership of heavy industry, large estates, the transport system, and the banks. The sticker below quotes from that document: “Ireland, if her industries and banks were controlled by foreign capital, would be at the mercy of every breeze that ruffled the surface of the world’s money-markets.”

Stewart Street, Belfast

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The Industrial Revolution

Artist Raymond Henshaw produced a series of Markets-related boards in 2008 with support from the Arts Council and even though they are printed on laminates there is crazing – as well as human-caused damage – on some of them, the worst of which is the ‘Industry’ board in Upper Stanfield Street.

Previously: Social | Social History | Portraits | Sport & Culture

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