The hooded UDA gunmen stare down at you in the green in the middle of Bloomfield (Bangor) estate. The new printed board replaces the similar North Down battalion mural seen in Always Remembered. (The plaque to Andrew McIlvenny and Roy Officer has been moved to the right-hand side.) There are smaller UDA boards – one on top of some old“UVF” graffiti (third image) – and one RHC board on the other gables around the green; not included here is the somewhat odd history of Bloomfield that only shows images from the Shankill in Belfast – see A Journey Through Time And Space.
“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.
There are nine gable walls along Clanmorris Avenue, Whitehill (Bangor) which – more importantly – can be seen from the South Circular Road approaching the Bloomfield shopping centre. On many of these walls “UVF reserved” has now appeared, even on the one that recently acquired a UDA board (see third image, below). Above: a small “UVF pilgrims” board; bottom: “RIP GFA“; in between: “The media is the virus”.
In Eddie The Trooper murals, the reaper typically follows behind to collect the bodies. But lately he has been stepping into the limelight by himself, accompanied by a poem of terror (similar to the poem in The Reaper Come To Call): “The Provo’s fear the reaper/From the UFF he comes/The loyalist executioner/He brings death with his gun/He strikes when no one expects him to/From behind his hood cold eyes/The reaper brings stiff justice/As another Provo dies/He brought revenge for Teebane/In the 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 the mask”
The mural above commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of Gary ‘Lofty’ Lynch on August 9th, 1991. Lynch was an election worker for the Ulster Democratic Party, whose Ken Kerr held a seat on Derry City Council from 1989 to 1993, representing the Waterside (WP). Lynch was shot and killed by the IRA outside Foyle Meats where he worked, only a few months after UDA commander and UDP party leader Cecil McKnight was killed (UPI).
The UDP was founded as the UDLP (“L” for “loyalist’) in 1981 and was dissolved in 2001 when the UDA rejected the Belfast Agreement (Guardian | Irish Times). It proposed an independent Northern Ireland within the Commonwealth and Europe.
“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 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.
Robert Dougan was commander of the UDA South Belfast Brigade and lived the Oranmore Drive (BelTel). He was killed by the IRA on February 10th, 1998 while sitting in a car outside Balmoral Textiles in Dunmurry, which led to a month-long expulsion of Sinn Féin from the talks (L.A. Times); two months later the Good Friday Agreement was signed. There had been attempts on his life in 1993 and 1994 (Irish Times).
The plaques, from left to right, are to Rodney McBride (1996), Alec Legge (2007), Jim Bradshaw (2008), Robert Dougan (1998), Greg Bradshaw (2014), David Pollock (2015). Harry Haggan (2010), William Stevenson (2008).
Perhaps because of the Covid pandemic, this mural of UDA volunteers on parade reflected in the sunglasses of one of their comrades took months to complete (it was started in late 2020 and was still unfinished last summer). It replaces the previous “UFF Formed 1973” mural – see Northern Island.
Avoniel Road, Belfast. The photograph reproduced – from the 1974 Ulster Workers’ Strike – is included below.