“I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the First of July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world. My pen cannot describe adequately the hundreds of heroic acts I witnessed, the Ulster Volunteer Force, from which the Division was made, has won a name that equals any in history. Their devotion deserves the gratitude of the British empire.”
These are the words of Wilfrid (not “Wilfred”) Spender, Plymouth-born newspaper manager, quartermaster of the Ulster Volunteers, general staff officer of the 36th (Ulster) Division, winner of the Military Cross for actions at Thiepval, and Cabinet Secretary of the new “Northern Ireland” in 1921.
The Ulster Tower memorial is in the top left and the Thiepval Memorial To The Missing is in the top right. The emblems are of the Royal Irish Rifles.
Main Street, Greyabbey, Co. Down, on the outside wall of the Orange Hall.
The Downtime summer festival is held annually in August (covid-permitting) (Fb). The 2019 event included street art at the junction of St Patrick’s Avenue and Market Street. From left to right (top to bottom in this post), the art is by DMC & JMK (ig), KVLR (ig), emic (ig), Dan Leo (ig), Friz (ig).
Magnús Óláfsson – Magnus Barelegs – was king of Norway from 1093 to 1103 and raided settlements in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the isle of Man, and Sweden. During a second campaign around the Irish Sea he was killed somewhere near the River Quoile, which flows through Downpatrick, and was buried close to St Patrick’s church. (WP) The Magnus Viking Association (Fb) hosts an annual Magnus Viking festival.
The mural is by friz (web) in Church Street, Downpatrick.
A space and a question-mark were left at the bottom of the rainbow for future stars, in particular for then-seventeen-year-old up-and-comer Trevor Carson (Glasgow Times) who indeed went on to win his first (senior) cap in 2018 and currently has eight in total. He was added to the mural in 2021 (tw).
Braeside Gardens/Frederick Street, Killyleagh. Carson’s mother lives in the estate (Sunderland Echo).
With GameStore from the National Lottery you can win up to 2 million quid, with the St Molaise lotto you can win considerably less (the current jackpot is 6,450 pounds) but support your local GAA club (specifically St Molaise in Irvinestown). If you’re trying to recover anything – or anyone – that has been lost, St Anthony is the main chance.
The war memorial in Redburn Square, Holywood, was removed in 2017 while the square was redeveloped (Belfast Live). It returned that November (County Down Spectator Fb) with a new base and several additions have been made since then, including the bench above (with art deco styling), a NI Centenary stone (below), and reproduction photographs from the period covering the utility box (final image), including one of the statue many years previously – it was sculpted by Leonard Merrifield and unveiled January, 1922, with the dedication a few months later (History Hub Ulster video | Wartime NI). In addition to the names of 110 locals who perished in the Great War, there are 28 names from WWII (Ulster War Memorials) and one from the Korean War (Traces Of War).
Our History In The Making – NI Beyond 100 is a NI Office programme collecting stories showcasing Northern Ireland “on the world stage”. It has lent its brand to the Ballycarry centenary boards shown in today’s post, which have black-and-white photographs on the left (beginning with “Home to Ballycarry – General Sir James Stuart Steele visits his birthplace”) and colour photographs on the right (beginning with children visiting the Steele monument).
A ‘Stand With Ukraine’ flag and Ulster Banner fly above the walls; a bonfire is being hastily erected in the background.
Ballykinlar barracks in County Down was originally Abercorn barracks, used by the British to intern IRA prisoners during the War Of Independence, and the use continued under the new Northern Irish government (WP); the camp held about 2,000 prisoners (McGuffin, ch. 5). The prisoners attempted to maintain their military structure and perform drills; they created a currency using cardboard discs (images can be seen at Old Currency Exchange) – and, as a way to keep up morale, worked on “autograph books” in which prisoners would write dedications and verses for one another and occasionally draw pictures. The pages shown here are from books currently exhibited in Monaghan County Museum; Offaly Archives has digitised an autograph book; a few more images from a book in the Kilmainham collection can be seen at the BBC.
Benjamin West painted The Battle Of The Boyne in 1778 and his composition – with William moving from left to right on a white horse and Marshal Schomberg dying in the bottom-right corner – has become the standard representation in loyalist culture, perhaps due to versions of it appearing on the covers of songbooks for the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys soon after (Belinda Loftus 1982 Images In Conflict). It appears here on the wall of Whitehead Orange Hall, along with a board connecting service by Irish soldiers in British forces in WWI and Afghanistan (see previously: Time Changes in east Belfast).
Glentaisie Drive – site of this mural by Friz (web | tw | ig) – is named for Glentaisie, the glen – one of the nine Glens Of Antrim, at the foot of which lies Ballycastle – and Glentaisie is named for Taise Taobhgheal (Taise the bright-cheeked), daughter of King Donn of Rathlin island, renowned for her beauty, and who lived in the glen with her husband Congal, who had to kill the Norwegian king Nabghdon to prevent her being carried off (Archaeology Ireland). Or so they say. She also inspired the name “Fair Head” for the local cliffs. Or so they say.
In later years (1565), Sorley Boy MacDonnell was taken prisoner by the O’Neill’s after a battle in Glentaisie (WP).