Eddie Supports The Flag

“Happy Christmas, Belfast.” A time of mythical creatures and twelve days of gifts. On the seventh anniversary of the flag protests (in response to a vote by the Council to fly the Union Flag from city hall only 18 days a year as in the rest of the UK) my true love gave to me a dozen or so Union Flags (and a few Ulster Banners) attached to the railings. Santa was nowhere to be seen but, as is fitting for a zombie, Eddie The Trooper continued to stalk the land. For Eddie’s previous appearances, see his Visual History page.

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Stephen Desmond McCrea

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.”

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Concerned Unionists

“Public meeting. Concerned unionists of south Belfast. Wednesday 6th November 7.15 pm Sandy Row Orange Hall. Stop the #BetrayalAct”. Tonight will see a meeting in south Belfast (and another at the same time in Antrim) discussing the current Conservative Brexit plan that would allow some cross-border economic activity to continue – see The Betrayal Act. “VTOT” is “Village Team On Tour“.

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Loyalist Prisoners Of War

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.

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Kill Your Speed

A message from the students at Glenwood Primary School: “Kill your speed, not a child. Look at the road, not your phone.” With support from the Greater Shankill A[ction for] C[omunity] T[ransformation] Initiative (Fb). Although these are boards, they have been printed to look as though they are on brick. BelfastLive has a gallery of images from the 2016 launch. Shankill Road at the top of Lanark Way.

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British And Proud

The UDA roll of honour mural (led by John McMichael) in Rowland Way was blacked out in the mid-2000s but has been gradually reappearing since then. (The steps painted on the wall in front read “In proud memory of our fallen comrades who lost their lives in the conflict – we forget them not.”) The banner was used for the “flag protests” surrounding the flying of the Union Flag on Belfast City Hall (in 2012-2013) and then was first hung next to the King Billy mural at the bottom of the Row.
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Stop The Genocide Of Yemeni People

The United Nations in February called the humanitarian crisis in Yemen the worst in the world (UN) with famine and cholera affecting 18 million people (WP). According to UNICEF, a child is dying every ten minutes (UNICEF). The crisis results from the on-going civil war. Saudi Arabia (with arms, training, and intelligence support from the UK (Theresa May on the left next to Union Flag headscarf), the US (Trump on the right next to US flag headscarf), and France (French flag on the lowest missile) has conducted an air campaign to restore Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was driven from Aden in March, 2015, by Houthi forces. The Saudi intervention has been criticized for killing citizens and destroying infrastructure (WP), shown in the mural above by bombs falling on a hospital and a school. Update: UK sales were found to be illegal by the Court Of Appeal on June 20th, 2019 (BBC).
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Three Scottish Soldiers

Highland Fusiliers Joseph McCaig (18), (his brother) John McCaig (17), and Dougald McCaughey (23) were lured by members of the (P)IRA from a city-centre pub to their deaths in the fields above Ligoniel in 1971 (WP). Their deaths contributed to the resignation of Chichester-Clark and the introduction of internment in August. There are monuments to the three men in Ballysillan and at the site of their deaths on White Brae depicted on the right of the mural – for images of the monuments see The Highland. This new Rathcoole mural to their memory replaces one to Queen Elizabeth II.
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East Belfast Ulster Volunteers

The Union Flag/UVF side-wall is a new addition to the Ulster Volunteers/UVF memorial in London Road, east Belfast. The main panel shows WWI soldiers going over the top (see Between The Crosses) while the four portraits to its right are of deceased UVF volunteers of the 70s and 80s – Seymour, Long, Cordner, and Bennett – (see Ulster’s Brave).
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Westwinds East Belfast

This large Union Flag is another “East Belfast UVF” marking in the Westwinds estate in Newtownards (10 miles to the east of Belfast), a more colourful companion to the hooded gunmen in  East East Belfast and EB UVF.
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