Four F*cks Given

Derry’s Bogside is at odds with everyone, it seems: above, the English Queen and her platinum jubilee, below, NATO, and … Creggan!

Lasair Dhearg’s take on the jubilee is entitled 70 Years A Parasite.

The anti-NATO placard has a small hammer-and-sickle at the bottom.

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The Famous

Sons Of KAI flute band (ig) re-formed in 2006 (youtube | Coin Talk) but here claims as its origin date “1972” which is when the “tartan” gang (History Ireland) ‘Rathcoole KAI’ was formed.

One of the founders claims that the gang was named after a (not-famous) Danish soccer player Kai Johansen (WP), who played for Rangers from 1965-1970 (IWM) but then (BelTel) and now (Irish News | Slugger) “KAI” is understood to stand for “Kill All Irish”.

A 1982 image of the Rathcoole KAI “red devils” mural can be seen in the Ciaran McGowan collection at IWM.

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On The Occasion Of Her Platinum Jubilee

“The people of Rathcoole send their sincere and heartfelt congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the historic occasion of Her Platinum Jubilee.” The Monday at the end of May is usually a bank holiday in the UK, but this year it is being postponed until the end of the week and combined with an additional one to create a four-day weekend beginning this Thursday in celebration of the 70th (“platinum”) anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth on February 6th, 1952 (the coronation was on June 2nd, 1953).

The mural centrally shows an official portrait from 1992, wearing the orders of George VI and George V; the four medallions show Elizabeth at her birth, her coronation, “trooping the colour” on her birthday, and 70th wedding anniversary in 2017.

With support from RATH (Rathcoole Achieving, Transforming, Helping each other) and Dalaradia (web). For another Dalaradia board in Rathcoole, see Kingdom Of The Pretani ; for a Cú Chulainn version of the Dalaradia board, see Defending Ulster From Gaelic Attacks.

See previously: Rathcoole UDA celebrate the golden jubilee.

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NI Protocol, I Am Your Father

Darth Vader in a bowler and collarette on a Rathcoole porch demanding “equal rights” for “British citizens” and protesting the NI Protocol (“No Irish Sea border”), which is result of Brexit. Lord Vader is accompanied by more traditional icons of loyalism: King William III and Eddie The Trooper (who has his own Visual History page).

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No Union Without “NI”

Celebrations of the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland have been dampened by the fall-out from Brexit and the NI Protocol, the on-going coronavirus restrictions (and the leadership races in both the DUP and UUP). This Rathcoole house a flag to mark the centenary (the coat of arms of NI on a St Patrick’s Saltire) and stickers decrying the Protocol (“Northern Ireland unionists against NI Protocol”) and thanking the NHS.

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Contractors Beware

“By order of R. Coole.” Two of the Rathcoole towers have been scheduled for demolition by the NIHE, beginning with Monkscoole House this summer, to be followed later by Abbottscoole House. In their place, 50 homes will be built, about half as many as currently reside in the two blocks; this has led to graffiti in the estate protesting the plan (Newtownabbey Times one | two).

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How Is Freedom Measured?

The slogan “How is freedom measured? By the effort which it costs to retain!” dates back to WWI and, in the Irish context, to the Home Rule era. It looked as though Britain was going to give Ireland – as a whole – some measure of self-governance (whether while remaining in the UK (“constitutional Home Rule”) or separating from it (“revolutionary Home Rule” or “Fenianism”). In response, it seemed to some that fighting for Britain in the war might secure the status quo. Perhaps additionally or alternatively, it indicated the willingness of unionists to fight. Great effort is the measure of freedom greatly prized – “loyalist Rathcoole will NEVER accept a border in the Irish Sea.” The placards are a product of United Unionists Of Ulster (News Letter). For a mural rendition of the WWI postcard, see previously: How Is Freedom Measured?

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To Every Thing There Is A Season

“Ulster sold out – time to fight”. The DUP’s Sammy Wilson declared the party would “fight guerilla warfare” against the ‘Northern Ireland Protocol’ which caused Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to beseech them to “work through the democratic processes” (Irish Times). This graffiti is on Church Road, Newtownabbey.

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Portrush Flyer

The Portrush Flyer is a steam-engine train service operating (since 1973) between Belfast and Portrush on Sundays during the summer months. The mural, in Ards Park, Monkstown, replaces a UFF mural dating back to 2001. Shown is engine ‘No. 85’ (which is just one of the engines that have been used; for images of ‘No. 171’, ‘No. 4’, ‘No. 85’, and ‘No. 131’ dating back to the 1970s, see SteamTrainsIreland) passing under one of the “new” viaducts (for more info, see Geograph). For an image of the mural’s 2019 launch, see Newtownabbey Times.

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The Past Comes Back

The “Ulster’s Finest” mural in Monkstown was remarkable for its depiction of two female volunteers, carrying Uzis, the only depiction of female loyalist volunteers (see Rolston ‘Women on the walls’ in Crime Media Culture 14.3, 2018, p. 373). It was plastered over in 1996 because the gable is next to Hollybank primary. Some of the pebbledash wore away in January/February to reveal the mural – still in good condition – beneath (Vintage_UVF).

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