Undefeated

“We have given much, we have much to give”. Earlier murals on this wall in the Caw (2015 | 2011) were similarly divided into Ulster Volunteers/Ulster Division on the left and the modern UVF on the right. But this version shows a UVF “hooded gunman” whereas before on both sides there were graveside mourners. There is also a very rare (and possibly unique) reference to the H-Blocks, rather than the Long Kesh cages – a watchtower and walls are included above Carson’s portrait.

On the left are the Union Flag, Covenant, the Clyde Valley, graveside mourner in WWI, and Carson. On the right a UVF hooded gunman, the PUP emblem and slogan “Country Before Party”, and the flag of the UVF (Londonderry company).

The plaque, which has been retained from previously, reads “In proud memory of our fallen comrades from the Nelson Drive flute band. Glorious on the graves of heroes, kindly on all those who have suffered for the cause. Thus will shine the dawn. They gave their tomorrow for our today.”

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Welcome To Antiville

“Antiville” is perhaps derived from the Irish “an tigh bhile, “the house of/by the sacred tree” (rather than just “the house of the old tree”, as on the board below). The two boards shown here are at the Linn Road entrance to the estate: above is the UDA’s welcome, below is the welcome from the Bonfire committee and Antiville Partnership (Fb), showing a tree. The 2022 Antiville bonfire was torn down after the death of one of its builders, John Steele – see With Heart And Hand.

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North Down First Flute

“Those we love don’t go away/They walk beside us every day”. The images in this post show Upper Greenwell Street in the Movilla of Newtownards, in the summer of 2022. The small boards are not new (see North Down West Belfast and North Down Ulster Young Militants) but the NHS/keyworkers and the North Down First Flute (Fb) murals have not been seen before.

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Gertrude Star

Gertrude Star flute band (Fb) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021 and to mark the occasion this (2022) May, the two side-walls were painted with the emblems above and immediately below. For the mural, which was painted for the 50th anniversary in 2011, M08166.

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While I Live I’ll Crow

Lambeg drums can be as loud as 120 decibels – as loud as small aircraft. The skin is goat and the wood is typically oak, the middle part – or “shell” can be painted, with biblical, Orange, or loyal iconography: in the three close-ups presented here we see HMS Thrasher (which was docked for a time in Larne (Fb)), King Billy and the cock of the north, “the late Sir H[enry] Wilson” a high-ranking British Army soldier who was a supporter of the Ulster Volunteers and proponent of the Curragh “mutiny” (WP). The drums were played as part of the Eleventh celebrations in Glynn.

Here are 20 clips from the BBC programme Come Listen To Me Boys.

For another drum shell, see 100 Years Of Service.

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Pledged To Your Service

“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine.” Boyne Square (Larne) celebrates “70 glorious years” (the platinum jubilee) of Elizabeth. The quotation comes from Elizabeth’s coronation speech (Royal UK); the image of Elizabeth appears to be from 1952, in Nottingham Council House.

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NI Beyond 100

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.

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The Loyalist Executioner

Here are dozen South East Antrim UDA boards along Shanlea Drive in Ballycraigy (Larne). The first four commemorate the massive bonfire built each year (see Commonwealth Handling Equipment) – “We lead, others follow”.

The middle are the most violent, showing volunteers wearing balaclavas and carrying assault rifles, with a poem about killing “Provos” which here seems to mean simply Catholics, as no IRA members were killed in either Ormeau or Greysteel. “The Provo’s fear the reaper/From the UFF he comes/The loyalist executioner/He brings judgment with his gun//He strikes when no one expects him too/From behind his hood cold eyes/The reaper brings stiff justice/As another Provo dies//He brought revenge for the Bann/ In Ormeau bookies five/And for the Shankill bombing/Greysteel was his reply//Sometimes his lust is chilling/As he goes about his task/The Provo’s fear the reaper/There’s death behind his mask.” There was a poem with the same sentiment in south Belfast (see The Reaper Come To Call) next to a mural of Eddie The Trooper.

Of the final four (the right-hand side) the historical photograph was the basis for a mural in south Belfast.

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The People’s Monarch

The long-standing display for Queen Elizabeth II’s sixtieth (diamond) jubilee has been replaced with a new set of images for her platinum jubilee, including a series of panels of colourings by local school-children: “The Platinum Jubilee mural has been created by P7 primary school pupils in the Greater Shankill area to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee in June 2022. The pupils involved from Edenbrooke, Glenwood, Blackmountain, Springhill, Springfield, Harmony, Forthriver and Malvern enjoyed creating the collage for a once in a lifetime art mural.”

The mural was launched on June 4th (Belfast Live).

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X10456 X10457 X10458 X10461 X10455 Crimea St “The people’s monarch, her sovereign majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.” “Dirige Deus gressus meos – May God grant my steps”. “Princess, queen, mother.” “As this day draws to its close, I know that my abiding memory of it will be, not only the solemnity and beauty of the ceremony, but the inspiration of your loyalty and affection. I thank you all from a full heart. God bless you all. – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2nd June, 1952.”

The Famous

Sons Of KAI flute band (ig) re-formed in 2006 (youtube | Coin Talk) but here claims as its origin date “1972” which is when the “tartan” gang (History Ireland) ‘Rathcoole KAI’ was formed.

One of the founders claims that the gang was named after a (not-famous) Danish soccer player Kai Johansen (WP), who played for Rangers from 1965-1970 (IWM) but then (BelTel) and now (Irish News | Slugger) “KAI” is understood to stand for “Kill All Irish”.

A 1982 image of the Rathcoole KAI “red devils” mural can be seen in the Ciaran McGowan collection at IWM.

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