Various changes and additions have been made to the Ulster Volunteers/UVF mural in London Road, east Belfast, compared to the version that replaced a religious mural (Jesus Strong Man) in 2017. The ‘hooded gunman’ board seen in the image above previously replaced a Union Flag in London Road (see East Belfast Ulster Volunteers) but has now been moved to the main Our Lady’s Road: “Our British identity cannot & will not be sacrificed to appease the Irish Republic – East Belfast Battalion [UVF]”.
The side-wall has been modified, to include a UVF emblem and larger lettering for “East Belfast Ulster Volunteer Force”.
For close-ups of the WWI portion, painted by Mark Ervine, see Between The Crosses; for a close-up of the four portraits of volunteers Seymour, Long, Cordner, and Bennett, see Ulster’s Brave.
Here is a second set of images showing the “peace or protocol” poster that has appeared in PUL areas in the city, three in east Belfast – along the Newtownards Road – and two from north Belfast – Oakmount Drive and Ballysillan Road. Two others in norther Belfast were seen previously in A Return To Violence, which also explains the poster.
Joe Coggle and Paul McClelland were arrested as they sat with weapons in a car on the Falls Road in 1991; they were jailed for 18 years (Independent) but released under the Agreement. The Sunday World also report that the pair were involved in the killing of David Braniff in 1989. Both UVF men are said to be deceased; Coggle died in September.
Coggle had previously served 18 months for running over and killing Elizabeth Masterson in Beechmount in 1986 and her descendants objected to the mural (Irish News | BBC).
S Company was a predecessor to C Company, existing from 1969 to 1974, when C Company was formed (see M08105 for an older S Coy – C Coy mural in Ballygomartin). A previous UVF uzi can be seen in M01186.
The North Down and East Belfast branches of the UVF come within a stone’s throw at the top end of the Bowtown (Newtownards) estate. Above and immediately below, North Down signage; below that, three of the East Belfast installation on the fence across the Movilla Road.
Both portraits on the fence are of Dennis Hutchings, the former British Army soldier who died this year while on trial for the killing of John Pat Cunningham in 1974 (BBC).
The tarp is against the ‘Irish Sea border’, in the style seen in the image at the top of this Irish Times article about checks at ports.
The “erosion of our identity” board on the right can also be seen in east Belfast.
More “turf” markings, at the entrance to the Glen estate, Newtownards; above and directly below, a North Down UVF and graffiti, while directly above it (final image) two UDA hooded gunmen take aim at the viewer on the pavement.
Hooded gunmen from the UYM (North Down battalion) look down over the Glen estate over a variety of other organisations’ boards: Lifeline, Samaritans, Glen Community Church, suicide awareness group, ‘Beyond The Battlefield‘ – a programme from the Veterans Foundation – and an inspirational quote: “At the end of the day, all you need is hope and strength … hope that it will get better and strength to hold on until it does.”
What’s most unusual here is the tree cross-section (or “tree disk”) (on the left) that has been decorated with a hooded gunman and the insignia of the (east Belfast) UVF and YCV – the final image shows a close-up.
“The uniform may have changed but the cause remains the same. Ulster Volunteer Force. Fallen, not forgotten.” There is a very close variant of this wording on a mural in Bowtown (Newtownards).
Here is a selection of UVF boards on the fronts of houses in Whitehill (Bangor). Two flute bands are mentioned: Pride Of Whitehill (Fb) and Bangor Protestant Boys (Fb). In the final image, the date of the formation of the Ulster Volunteers is given in Roman numerals: MCMXII.