Local club Linfield are premier league champions for the 55th time, matching Glasgow Rangers in Scotland for the most league championships in the world. The celebratory tarp is at the Rangers Club on the Shankill Road.
In April, UK Defence minister Johnny Mercer resigned/was sacked due to his protestations over the Overseas Operations bill (which passed on April 29th but does not apply to service in NI (BBC)) and the prosecution of two soldiers for a 1972 killing of Joe McCann – they were acquitted (BelTel). Cases against British Army soldier will continue to be investigated, however, unless there is legislation introduced by the British government to deal with “legacy” issues in Northern Ireland. This VASU tarp is next to the Boundary Way waste ground, site of the lower Shankill bonfire. “Support the men who supported & protected us against Sinn Fein IRA – Soldier A-Z.”
RHC volunteer Stevie McCrea (born 31.5.52, killed 18.2.89) was imprisoned for his role in the killing of 17 year-old Catholic James Kerr in a Lisburn Road garage, on the same day as the RHC bombed Benny’s Bar in Sailortown. He was killed in an IPLO attack on the Orange Cross (the Shankill Social Club). This Village mural is the second tribute to McCrea this year – see also A True Soldier Of Ulster in the lower Shankill, near the former location of the Orange Cross in Craven Street.
“Stevie was raised in The Village Area of South Belfast. He was just a young man when The Troubles started but without hesitation answered the call by joi[ni]ng the Village RHC. He soon started making a name for himself by putting himself on the front line with his brothers in arms in the RHC. These men where [sic] one of the most active units in Ulster by taking the fight the republicans. In 1972 at the height of The Troubles Stevie was sentenced to life for his part in a retaliation shooting and was imprisoned in Long Kesh. After serving 15 years with dignity and courage he was released. On the 16th February 1989 just after receiving his last pay cheque [from a transitional work scheme] he decided to join a few friends in The Orange Cross Club in the Shankill area. This would be his last drink as republican scum decided to target the Loyalist club. Stevie sacrificed himself to protect his friend by throwing himself in front of a hail of bullets. Stevie died 2 days later from his injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital.”
“HM Queen Elizabeth II 1952-2012”. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom in 1952 (she was crowned in 1953). 2002 was her golden jubilee year. She is surrounded by the flags of the four constituents of the UK: Northern Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland.
“Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the USA and the first of Ulster-Scots descent, his family emigrated from Carrickfergus to North Carolina in 1765. After leading the army to victory in the Battle Of New Orleans in 1815 Jackson became a national hero and became known as “Old Hickory” after the tough wood of the native American tree. His “common man” credentials earned Jackson a massive popular vote and swept him into the Presidency for two consecutive terms (1829-1837).”
“In loving memory of military commander Stevie ‘Top Gun’ McKeag – sleeping where no shadows fall. Born 1970, died 2000.” McKeag’s portrait (now a head-and-shoulders shot rather than just the face – see M03803) is on a board at the centre of a mural of flags – UFF, Ulster Banner, St Andrew’s Saltire, and UDA .
“The Union flag, or Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom and it is so called because it embodies the emblems of three countries united under one sovereign – the Kingdoms of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Ireland. The flag consists of three heraldic crosses, those of St Patrick, St George and St Andrew. The Welsh dragon does not appear on the Union flag. This is because when the first Union flag was created in 1606, Wales by that time was already united with England and was no longer a separate principality.”