This Is Ireland

Richard Hayward was born in England but spent his childhood in Larne in a time Henry McNeill was developing the tourist industry (see previously Larne – The Original Tourist Resort and Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines) – the Black Arch on the Coast Road is shown over Hayward’s right shoulder.

He collected songs, both Orange and traditional Irish, and played the harp. He went on to record 156 records, act in at least eight movies and write 11 travel books, the most popular of which was In Praise Of Ulster, with drawings by the landscape artist James Humbert Craig – some images from the book can be seen here.

(Ulster Biography | IMDb | Atlas Obscura)

The mural, in Larne’s Main Street, was designed by emic (ig) and painted by Dee Craig (Fb). Since 2021 you can also follow a trail around Richard Hayward’s East Antrim .

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The Dress Is Yellow And Black

“Geraldine Connon [web] – Geraldiine is a well renowned fashion designer based in Larne. She has created this piece inspired by the Games of Thrones and Larne’s Ulster Scots Heritage. Geraldine used Irish linen in the tasel [sic], mesh within the helmet, and created the neck cuff from black feathers representing a crow. Crows are iconic in the TV series. The yellow and black tartan skirt brings in the Ulster Scots element to the piece. The image was photographed by fashion photographer Mitchell Cahoon [ig].”

The official name of the outfit is “Valentine”. This is another of the Game Of Thrones-inspired pieces in Larne town centre – Lower Quay St in this case – sponsored by the Mid & East Antrim Council, with Larne Renovation Generation (Fb) and the Traders Forum (BelTel | News Desk | Fb video). See previously: Larne – The Original Tourist Resort | The Battle Of Ulfreksfjord | Dire Wolf.

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The Earth Writes Upon The Sky

Two Larne trees: above, the tree mosaic at the Town Hall steps created by artist Janet Crymble (see previously Sports We Love), with support from Larne Renovation Regeneration, Larne Trader’s Forum, and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council (NIWorld); below, the “Armada Tree” that is purported to have sprung from a chestnut or chestnut seeds in the pocket of a dead sailor in the Spanish Armada – the tree fell over after 432 years in 2020, a victim of root disease (anglican.org), but is remembered by the board depicting it in Upper Main Street, Larne.

“Local legend has it that when the Spanish Armada was passing these shores in 1588, a sailor was washed up at Ballygally village, no doubt from one of the ships blown off course by gales. Locals were said to have taken the body and buried it in the graveyard of the picturesque St Patrick’s Church at Cairncastle. The ancient tree beside the chuch grew from one of the chestnut seeds that the sailor had in his pocket when he was buried. The tree has been analysed and found to date back to the sixteenth century, adding credence to the story.”

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Larne Sports

Toals bookmakers are offering odds and taking bets on racing, soccer, and … shooting? The PSNI are in the crosshairs. In the background are the Black Arch on the Coast Road and Chaine Memorial tower.

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The Volunteers Who Bravely Fought For Our Freedom

The emblem at the centre of this latest version of the 36th (Ulster) Division mural in Glynn seems to be a novel creation, putting together a crown sitting on a blue ribbon draped over a shield showing a (right-handed) red hand, with a garland of shamrock, thistle, and rose.

This is the fifth mural (at least) on this wall since 2008. The only images we have of the previous one shows it in a vandalised state (see the images from 2020 below); for earlier, see 2015, 2011 (Street View), and 2008.

The plaque on the stone to the right reads, “When you go home, tell them of us and say for their tomorrow we gave our today”

The new mural has the following to its left: “This mural was erected by the Friends of the Somme Co. Antrim in remembrance of the volunteers of the 36th (Ulster) Division who bravely fought for our freedom. ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”

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Welcome To Antiville

“Antiville” is perhaps derived from the Irish “an tigh bhile, “the house of/by the sacred tree” (rather than just “the house of the old tree”, as on the board below). The two boards shown here are at the Linn Road entrance to the estate: above is the UDA’s welcome, below is the welcome from the Bonfire committee and Antiville Partnership (Fb), showing a tree. The 2022 Antiville bonfire was torn down after the death of one of its builders, John Steele – see With Heart And Hand.

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Andrew Cairns

Andrew Cairns of the UVF was chased and beaten by about a dozen people before being killed by a single shot to the head (BBC). The killing took place next to the burning Boyne Square bonfire and the memorial (shown below) is on the other side of the bonfire site. Sutton attributes the killing to the UDA (Sutton); the Sunday Mirror reported that the killer was rejected by the UDA and was a member of the LVF (Free Library); see also BelTel | Guardian. One of the accused (Irish Times) was later UDA South East Antrim chief (BelTel).

Cairns was included in an old UVF mural, also in Wellington Green.

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Stronger Together

“Suicide awareness and mental health initiative – Larne, stronger together.” With contact information for Extern (web), Lifeline (web), Childline (web), Samaritans (web). Possibly connected to Stronger Together NI (Fb).

For the drugs-awareness board on the left, see Stop Mephedrone Before It Stops You. For the sectarian boards, see The Flax And The Lily and The Loyalty Of Northern Ireland. For the women’s board, see Women Are A Whole Community.

See also the Stronger Together shutters on the Shankill.

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It’s A Long Way To Tullygarley

The previous Tullygarley mural on this wall included images of the local area in addition to the emblem of the 36th Division and the Clyde Valley but the new one is devoted solely to the years 1912-1918. On the left is the Ulster Covenant and the Clyde Valley, then an image of Drumalis House, Larne, which was a training ground for the Ulster Volunteers (see silent film from 1914 at BFI and photo of Carson presenting colours at Drumalis) and the base from which the gunrunning was staged, along with Carson acknowledging the troops at Glencairn (in Belfast). In the third image, the 36th (Ulster) Division goes over the top and sits in trenches. Finally, there is a ‘Local Area Roll of Honour’ listing 60 locals who died in WWI.

The odd-man-out image – of paint peeling to reveal a red hand – shows the re-emergence of a mural from 1999 on the side wall.

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Shaped By Sea And Stone

Brussels artist iota (ig) painted a mermaid in Larne, inspired by the local myth of Lí Ban (NI World), who was caught in nets in Larne Lough and baptised by Christian monks (WP). 

With support from the Recovery Revitalisation Programme for town centres, administered here by Mid And East Antrim Borough Council (web) in consultation with Daisy Chain (tw), Seedhead Arts (ig), and FGB (ig).

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