Larne Sports

Toals bookmakers are offering odds and taking bets on racing, soccer, and … shooting? The PSNI are in the crosshairs. In the background are the Black Arch on the Coast Road and Chaine Memorial tower.

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Defund The Police

These are new IRSP (web) boards along the Falls Road, opposite the leisure centre and below the IRA memorial garden, highlighting two of the organisation’s most pressing concerns: the PSNI and housing.

“The deadly web of corruption: Funding Scams, Sectarianism, MI5 Special Branch, Internment by Remand, Diplock Non-Jury Courts, Political Policing, Public Interest Immunity Certificates, Collusion/Coverups”,” “Defund – disarm – disband”

“Drop the rents – west Belfast demands affordable housing and an end to landlord exploitation.”

“96% of Divis residents do no support the PSNI” was seen previously – see For A Socialist Republic – and “Divis ’81” replaces the 40th anniversary hunger strike board.

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Incendiary Device

Irish-language rap group Kneecap (web) played in Falls Park on Friday night, sharing the stage with Imelda May and Damien Dempsey in a concert that Féile entitled “Irish Voices“, but before that they revealed a mural in Hawthorn Street showing a PSNI land-rover on fire next to the phrase “Níl fáilte roimh an RUC [The RUC is not welcome]”. Outraged responses to the mural have come from all quarters. The line comes from their song C.E.A.R.T.A. (youtube), about making sure the police don’t find the satirically enormous array of drugs – “cóc, speed, Es, agus moll marijuana” to name only a few – they hope to take at a party: “Seans ar bith go bhfaighidh siad mo mhála MD/Mar tá cóisir ann anocht ‘s níl fáilte roimh an RUC”. The Kneecap party and the middle Falls are the latest in a long line of places where the PSNI is not welcome, not just Ardoyne, Divis, and the Bogside (Derry) but also the Village, the Shankill, Carrickfergus, Millbrook (Larne), the Caw (Londonderry), and Tullyally (Londonderry).

The sticker shows a vintage republican image: see e.g. England Get Out Of Ireland and Stad Maggie Anois.

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Irish-language rap group Kneecap played in Falls Park on Friday night but before that they revealed a mural in Hawthorn Street, Belfast.

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Serious Trouble

These INLA pieces – including armed volunteers among a graveyard of Celtic crosses – are in Meenan Square/Durrow Park in Derry’s Bogside, next to the bonfire site. The “serious trouble” board on the electrical pole (“RUC, Council, Sinn Féin – if this wood is removed there will be serious trouble”) is not from this year and there was not much happening yet in terms of collection for this year’s so-called “Assumption” bonfire when these images were taken last week. For more information, and images of last year’s controversial bonfire, see Fire In The Sky.

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Time To Decide!

Here is a selection of anti-Protocol placards from the Caw, Londonderry and Newbuildings. Above: a PSNI officer with a Sinn Féin badge – “PSNI – destroying the loyalist community since 4th Nov. 2001. In the pocket of Sinn Féin.” (November 4th, 2001 is the date the PSNI was created.) For the farmer’s wife protecting the farm, see Deserted, well I can stand alone. Below: “Newbuildings says No to Irish Sea border”, “Loyalist Newbuildings will never accept a border in the Irish Sea”, “The Belfast Agreement has been broken – the deal’s off”, and “Our forefathers fought for our freedom and rights/No border in the sea or we continue the fight”.

For similar placards in Moygashel, see Belfast Agreement Null And Void.

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Just Don’t

“Do not vax” and “Don’t join the PSNI”. “Do not vax” is a coronavirus conspiracy theory, related to What We Want You To Think, We Want A Free Future and also 5G Kills You and A Tale Of Two Protests.

The Lasair Dhearg board takes the “poster officer” from the 2021 recruitment campaign and puts them against a backdrop of riot officers firing plastic bullets. “17 people have been killed by plastic bullets, including 8 children.” “It is believed that the PSNI retain a stockpile of over 50,000 deadly plastic bullets.” The British state does not use plastic bullets anywhere but occupied Ireland.” “The PSNI is not a normal police force.” Here is the 2021 Amnesty report on the use of water cannon and “Attenuating Energy Projectiles” in the north. In November, relatives of Carol Ann Kelly went to Stormont to call for an end to the use of plastic bullets (BelTel).

The Sinn Féin board appears to involve stock photography, as we have noted before in Will This Work For You?

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Belfast Butchery

“Belfast Pogroms 1920-1922.” Against the backdrop of the first Dáil, the War Of Independence, and the debate in Westminster over the fourth Home Rule bill (it would be passed in November 1920), northern Protestants began to assert their de facto independence from the rest of Ireland – both in economic and in military terms.

On July 12th, 1920, Edward Carson spoke to a crowd in Derry and, addressing the government in Westminster, said “if you are yourself unable to protect us from the machinations of Sinn Féin, and you won’t take our help; well, then, we tell you we will take the matter into our own hands.” (Treason Felony). Nine days later, the “clearings” of Catholics from Belfast shipyards and mills began, with about 5,700 Catholics and 1,850 socialists (“rotten Prods“) being expelled from Workman Clark and Harland & Wolff yards, and in total 10,000 workers from yards and mills over the next two weeks (History Ireland). In combination with the straitened economic circumstances of the time (post WWI) thousands (23,140 according to this mural, which reproduces a flyer derived from the Irish News of October 6th, 1920 – via The Irish Story’s account of the start of the “Belfast Pogrom”) were on relief.

Militarily, in October, 1920, the Ulster Special Constabulary was established (drawing on members of the Ulster Volunteers, which had been reconstituted in June 1920, and the 21,000 members of the Ulster Imperial Guards (WP)) as an alternative to the Royal Irish Constabulary in fighting actions by the IRA in Belfast, Derry, and elsewhere in the north. On March 23rd, 1922, two officers of the Specials were killed in Belfast city centre by the IRA. In reprisal, two Catholic civilians were killed in the Short Strand, and in the early hours of March 24th, a party of five men, four dressed in RIC uniforms, burst into the home of Catholic businessman Owen McMahon and shot McMahon, his six sons, and one of his employees – only two of the sons survived. District Inspector John Nixon of the RIC was suspected of leading the attack on the McMahon household – see The RIC Murder Gang and Pat And Dan Duffin. (The headlines are from the Freeman’s Journal of March 25th, 1922 – see Joe Baker’s 80-page account of the murders of summer 1922; the photograph of the McMahon corpses that is reproduced in the mural can be seen at Slugger.)

This is the first half a new mural in Ascaill Ard Na bhFeá; the “1922” part will be presented tomorrow.

“Belfast Expelled Workers – How Carsonism has disgraced Belfast – Help from all quarters of the globe for victims of sh[a]meful pogrom – Drain on Ex[p]elled Workers[‘] Relief Fund. Total number of expelled workers registered – 8,104; Applications for registrations yesterday – 500; Average number of persons receiving relief daily – 23,140.”

“Belfast Butchery – Horrif[y]ing story of massacre of McMahon family – Dying man[‘]s declaration – Murderers dressed in police uniform and spoke with Belfast accents.”

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Norman Anderson

RUC Constable Norman Anderson was set upon and executed in 1961 by the IRA on the Fermanagh border as he returned from visiting his Co Monaghan girlfriend (SEFF) but he and his family hailed from Larne and he is remembered by the Constable Anderson Memorial flute band (emblem below), which was formed in the same year (Fb), and the Auld Boys (emblem above). These are two of three flute bands in the Factory area of Larne, along with the Clyde Valley flute band – see The Gunrunners.

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The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken

Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor (near Honolulu, Hawaii) on December 7th, 1941. Even before the USA announced its consequent entry into WWII, Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto wondered if the effect of the attack would be “to awaken the sleeping giant and to fill him with terrible resolve”. In the case of today’s images, the sleeping giant is a lion, and the lion is the UVF 1st East Antrim, with units not just in Larne, Ballyduff, Ballyclare, Greenisland, Glengormley, Monkstown, Rathcoole, Carrickfergus, and Whitehead, but in Drumchapel (Glasgow, Scotland), Springburn (Glasgow, Scotland), Possilpark (Glasgow, Scotland), Paisley (Scotland), Falkirk (Scotland), Liverpool (England), Blackpool (England), Corby (England), and Blairgowrie (Scotland). Balaclava’d men with ArmaLites stand ready: “Our forefathers fought for our freedom & rights/No border in the sea or we continue the fight.”

The combination of a free-floating Northern Ireland with Britain (in the first image, above) is rare in muraling, but necessitated by Brexit and the Protocol.

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Justice For Eddie Meenan

The trial has begun, before Londonderry Crown Court, of three men accused of the murder of Eddie Lynch, who was stabbed 40-50 times in November, 2018 (Derry Journal | BBC). The graffiti above is on the electrical box at the bottom of Fahan Street, next to a Lasair Dhearg (web) ‘Don’t join the PSNI’ poster (shown below), with the Che Guevara Lynch mural visible on the left.

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