This year – 2021 – is the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland and the year in which Scottish football club Glasgow Rangers won their 55th league title. Support for the club is widespread among the PUL community in Northern Ireland; local soccer and the international team is overseen by the IFA.
More anti-Good Friday/Belfast Agreement sentiment, this time from Dungannon, and this time claiming not that support has been withdrawn from the Agreement but that it was not supported in the first place: “Loyalist Eastvale Avenue says ‘No’ to Irish Sea border – Anti-GF 1998, still anfi-GFA 2021”.
This time last year, Portadown True Blues flute band (Fb) was preparing for a trip to Toronto, Canada, for an international celebration of the Twelfth (News Letter) but it was cancelled on account of the pandemic. This blue board was an update of their long-standing purple mural in Edgarstown next to the Somme mural, also featured below (and previously in In Answer To The Echo Of Alarm.
“Loyalist Ballysillan says NO! to Irish Sea border.” The Ulster Banner merges with the Union Flag, and a Northern Ireland floating free of the south is cradled by Britain. (Compare with Give And Take from last week.)
This is a vintage board in Milltown (south Belvoir), carved and painted with the YCV/UVF emblems but with “MYV” instead of “YCV”. The band’s last on-line presence seems to be from a decade ago, playing in Rathcoole.
“Glentoran FC. Pride of Ulster.” Two examples from the Glentoran sticker campaign in the early months of the year, before coronavirus put and end to the season and the players on furlough. See previously Le Coq Sportif.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people celebrating the Twelfth yesterday were encouraged to maintain physical distance from others by staying in their gardens as the bands marched by. Homeowners decorated their properties (perhaps using these Twelfth At Home packs in Lurgan). Here is video from the Belfast Telegraph of yesterday’s marches.
“[Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous.] In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. [ – Winston Churchill, 1903] Our British identity is non-negotiable! UVF East Belfast Battalion.” Hooded UVF volunteers are shown in active poses (as compared to the cradled rifles in The Erosion Of Our Identity) ready to resist any compromise in the still-unresolved tension between Brexit and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998.
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.”
This UVF LPOW mural in Inverary Drive, east Belfast, probably dates back to the years after the Agreement, when the release of prisoners from both sides was being implemented between 1998 and 2000. That would make the mural about 20 years old.