The UVF mural in Carrington Street has been paint-bombed. Given the location and the extent of the paint, it’s likely that this was the result of some local (PUL) grievance. It will be interesting to see if it is restored, or replaced or painted out.
The “cowards” in this case are the members of the UDA who killed Rockett in front of his girlfriend and 18 month old child in an attack on her house in the lower Oldpark, during the feud between the UVF and UDA, sparked by Johnny Adair’s “loyalist day of culture” and removal of the UVF from the lower Shankill. In response to the purge (and attacks on the Rex bar), the UVF killed Bobby Mahood and Mr Jackie Coulter. Rockett was killed by the UDA in retaliation for their deaths; 1,000 people attended Rockett’s funeral (Irish Times). After Rockett died, the UVF killed David Greer, and the UDA then killed PUP member Bertie Rice in Tiger’s Bay on October 31st.
“In proud and loving memory of Vol. Samuel Rockett, ‘B’ Coy. 1st Belfast battalion, Young Citizens Volunteers. Murdered by cowards 23rd August 2000. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him.””
This is a new INLA board to deceased volunteers Danny Loughran and Matt McLarnan, Paul (“Bonanza”) McCann, Martin McElkerney, and Gino Gallagher. The new addition here is Martin McElkerney, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March last year (2019) (Guardian). Shots were fired over McElkerney’s coffin (tw). He was released under the terms of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement after 12 years for his part in a booby-trap bombing of two British soldiers, one of whom died, in which two children also died.
UDA volunteers in balaclavas stand ready to defend Erskine Park (Ballyclare) against forces from the south. “South East Antrim Brigade – “Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees in an Irish republic.” (A slogan from Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.)
“[Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous.] In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. [ – Winston Churchill, 1903] Our British identity is non-negotiable! UVF East Belfast Battalion.” Hooded UVF volunteers are shown in active poses (as compared to the cradled rifles in The Erosion Of Our Identity) ready to resist any compromise in the still-unresolved tension between Brexit and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998.
The current Brexit deal would unite Ireland, north and south, in various economic ways, while keeping Northern Ireland inside the UK politically. This east Belfast banner suggests that the UVF will take up guns to prevent this. Perhaps by attacking Boris Johnson and the Conservatives? Or perhaps customs officials checking goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain? It is not clear. “The prevention of the erosion of our identity is now our priority – East Belfast Battalion PAF – UVF – YCV.”
Camera Settings: f4.4, 1/125 ISO 80, full size 4488 x 2901
X06878 [X06879] [X06880] [X06881] X06882 Other boards read “Our British identity cannot and will not be sacrificed to appease the Irish Republic” “In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. Our British identity is non-negotiable.”
Ten years after ending its armed campaign, the Red Hand Commando in 2017 applied to be de-proscribed, on the basis that it had given up its arms in 2009 and transformed itself into an ‘old comrades association’ (see the emblem in the bottom left of the wide shot) (BBC | NewsLetter). According to this mural, however, B company is ready to reform in response to those who “play with peace”, fifty years later (or so – the mural claims the group was founded in 1970; other sources give 1972 (WP cites Peter Taylor).
“50 years has passed/We were forced to don our masks/Don’t play with peace/Or attack our land/We await in the shadows/B Coy Red Hand”
The North Antrim/Londonderry UDA has existed in the “Past, present, for all time”, or at least from 1972 to 2016 (and into 2019). “The blood our comrades shed shall not have been in vain. We honour Ulster’s dead and staunch we will remain.” The same quotation was used in Cloughfern. Carnany estate, Ballymoney.
This is the matching pair to Ulster’s Past Defenders from last week, which featured the B Specials and UDR. Ulster’s Present Defenders are the “undefeated” (“invicta”) UFF, who are shown here taking a sledgehammer to someone’s front door. The quotation on the rights is a modified version of the Declaration of Arbroath: “For as long as one hundred of us remain alive we shall never in anyway consent to submit to the Irish. For it’s not for glory, honour or riches we fight but for freedom alone which no man loses but with his life.” The gunman in the lower right is famous from a mural (M02474) – now gone – in the lower Shankill. Carnany estate, Ballymoney.