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.”
The fourth “Home Rule” bill, formerly known as the “Government of Ireland Act” was passed by the 11 November, 1920, and came into effect on May 3rd, 1921, partitioning Ireland into Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland (WP). There has been little to mark the centenary, perhaps due to distraction from Brexit and the DUP leadership change. The flag shown above celebrates the creation of the North, showing, clockwise from bottom left, the Crown, the Union Flag, King William at the Boyne, and Orangemen parading.
After a break for the funeral of the Duke Of Edinburgh, the Loyalist Communities Council has resumed its protest of Brexit with a banner campaign (Irish News). The banner seems to be offering viewers the choice of one of four affiliations (“Europe – UK – USA – Ireland – choose one or the other! It’s your decision!) but the “correct” answer is at the bottom (and in the faded background of the Covenant): “Ulster is British and this we will always maintain!” even though “Political leaders are not listening!” (including, perhaps, Arlene Foster and the DUP.) The Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement) allows people in Northern Ireland to identify themselves as Irish, British, or both.
Banners have been placed in various PUL areas; this one is along the York Road. The launch of the campaign outside the Irish Secretariat Office in Linenhall St, which the Belfast Telegraph called “tiny” as it involved only the LCC’s David Campbell and David McNary, was interrupted by Gareth McCord (BelTel video) whose brother Raymond was beaten to death by the UVF in 1997, allegedly to cover up drug dealing by the Mount Vernon UVF (Magill).
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Friday/Belfast Agreement sentiment, this time from Dungannon, and this time claiming not that support has been withdrawn from the Agreement but that it was not supported in the first place: “Loyalist Eastvale Avenue says ‘No’ to Irish Sea border – Anti-GF 1998, still anfi-GFA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”.
“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.)
The Shankill Road pays to tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised more than 30 million pounds for the NHS, after his death on February 2nd, with a tarpaulin on the fence of the community garden. The flowers are from current Belfast mayor, Frank McCoubrey of the DUP. Elsewhere, Sinn Féin members of Fermanagh & Omagh council did not join their colleagues in expressing condolences (Impartial Reporter).