Here is a gallery of images from the junction of Upper Movilla Street and Georges Street in Newtownards. In the image above, a handdrawn UDA emblem can be faintly seen, behind the modern board that has fallen down (possibly off a house in Wallaces Street). In a separate post, see IRA Council Demands.
The “now” in “now is the time to kneel” would seem to suggest that there is some inappropriate kneeling going on at some other time, besides as a mark of respect to the patriotic dead (in this case, Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8th) – perhaps the kneeling prior to Premier League soccer matches as a protest against racism (World Soccer Talk).
No Amnesty For British State Forces: “Democide is the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder. Democide is not necessarily the elimination of entire cultural groups but rather groups within the country that the government feels needs to be eradicated for political reasons and due to claimed future threats. – No amnestry for British state forces”
Bobby Sands/IRPWA: “I’ll wear no convict’s uniform/Nor meekly serve my time/That Britain might brand Ireland’s fight/800 years of crime” [Francie Brolly song] (IRPWA (web))
Free All Political Prisoners! (IRPWA)
1981: 1981: “I am a political prisoner. I am a political prisoner because I am a casualty of a perennial war that is being fought between the oppressed Irish people and an alien, oppressive, unwanted regime that refuses to withdraw from our land.” [Bobby Sands’s diary, day 1] (IRPWA)
Unity Referendum Now!: “British occupation has been a disaster for the people of Ireland. A united Ireland is the way forward for all the people of Ireland.” (IRSP.ie)
A rally against the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy And Reconciliation) Bill takes place later today, congregating at City Hall after marching from three locations around the city (the McGurks Bar memorial in north Belfast), Divis tower in west Belfast, and Cromac Square near the Markets. The Bill passed the House Of Commons in July despite criticism from all sides, including the DUP, Alliance, and the SDLP – Colm Eastwood called it “shameful” and a “whitewash” (Breaking News). One criticism of the bill is that the body it would establish (the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery) must not place at risk the national security of the UK, which is taken to mean protection for UK government officials (Irish Central). It is also thought not to be compliant with the Human Rights Act (ITV | BelTel).
The rally is organised by the Time For Truth campaign (web).
“The Parachute Regiment betrayed by the government to satisfy IRA Army Council demands.” The charges of murder and attempted murder against Soldier F were originally lodged (CNN) and pursued in 2019 (Guardian) but in 2021 the PPS decided to drop the charges . Five months ago that decision was quashed (BelTel | Guardian). The charges against Soldier F concerned two specific victims, William McKinney and James Wray, though witness testimony involves F in at least four of the deaths (Irish Central | Village). In response to the original charges, the Movilla UDA added the framed tarp shown here to their ‘hooded gunmen’ board in Georges Street, Newtownards.
Here is a 12-part history of Northern Ireland (and specifically Londonderry) along the length of Sperrin Park in the Caw. After the title panel, the topics are: King George V opens Norther Ireland Parliament, 22nd June, 1921; Amelia Earhart crosses the Atlantic & lands in Londonderry 21st May, 1932; Operation Deadlight: surrender of German U-boats at Lisahally 14th May, 1945; Queen Elizabeth II visits Guildhall Sq. Londonderry 3rd July, 1951; opening of Altnagelvin hospital 1st February, 1960; the exodus of people from Londonderry’s Cityside 1970s; Northern Ireland reach the World Cup finals in Spain 1982; first Maiden City Festival takes place August, 1998; end of ‘Operation Banner’ 31st July, 2007; Londonderry named first UK City Of Culture 2013; Prince Philip the Duke Of Edinburgh 1921-2021.
New panels – dubbed the ‘Wall History Project’ – have been added to the previous row of vintage images of the area (the “Peace” Wall Reimaging Project), telling personal stories of life during the Troubles including positive interactions with British soldiers and RUC officers. The “peace” wall in question runs along the top of the Fountain in Londonderry along Bishop Street WIthout. (The street was also “settled’ by the construction of senior citizens’ home, Alexander House.)
“The spoken words scattered across this peace wall are those of local women who have endured the Troubles in the City and continue to live in the shadow of its legacy. It gives a platform to all too long silenced voices, to share real real life experiences, memories and hopes for the future in a divided society. During lockdown, a group of women who have transcended division for years through the Bogside & Brandywell Initiative’s Peace Barriers Programme continued to connect on Thursday evenings via Zoom. The craic was 90, there was laughter, tears, words of encouragement, banter and good old Derry/Londonderry slagging.”
A march took place this past Saturday (July 9th, 2022) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Springhill-Westrock massacre, in which five people were killed by the British Army. A new inquest was directed by the AG in 2014 but has been repeatedly delayed; it is scheduled to begin next year (Belfast Live).
Orange Order Victims day is an annual commemoration (on September 1st) of the 339 members who were killed during the Troubles. The stained glass window reproduced in a board on the Newbuildings memorial garden is in the Museum of Orange Heritage in Schomberg House, south Belfast.
Compared with the garden in 2020 (see Newbuildings Victoria), there is a new NI Centenary board, and on the outside (replacing the tarps giving thanks for the NHS and commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE day) there is a celebration of the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. On the electrical box, there is a stencil in support of Bloody Sunday’s “Soldier F”, who continues to face murder charges (for the killings of William McKinney and James Wray) and five attempted murder charges after the PPS’s decision to discontinue prosecution was quashed in March (Guardian); the PPS has appealed (News Letter).
An Orange parade to celebrate the centennial of Northern Ireland – postponed last year on account of the pandemic – will take place today, with roughly 130 bands marching from Stormont to Belfast city centre (Belfast Live). There is not much indication of the parade in posters or murals, perhaps because the anniversary itself has passed. If we read the community’s concerns from the displays in the window of this Shankill Road shop (just above the old Beresford St and the Mussen Cortège mural), they include the NI centenary and the murder of Lee Rigby (WP) (image above), PTSD (second image), the upcoming platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth (third) – we will have more jubilee photos over the coming week, and the centenary of the Ulster Tower WWI memorial (see e.g. Our Heritage In Your Hands).