This Village board celebrates the Covenant, Ulster Volunteers, and the 36th (Ulster) Division, with photographs both vintage and contemporary.
For the photograph of Carson signing the Covenant, and an earlier mural, see Betting Office. For the photograph of the car-mounted gun, and an earlier mural recreating the photo, see UVF 75th Anniversary. For images akin to the contemporary photos, see these BelTel galleries one | two of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Ulster Volunteers.
“This site housed the former Mid Donegall Road Bonfire for over two decades, until the expansion and development of the surrounding area including the City Hospital meant that it was no longer viable for a bonfire to remain on this site. Greater Village Regeneration Trust, through its work with The Health Trust, who own the site, and the local community, including the local bonfire builders wanted to have something on the site that could benefit the whole community and agreement was given for it to be transformed into the garden that is here today. Local Artist Johnny [sic] McKerr worked alongside Greater Village Regeneration Trust and the local community and this artwork was designed to depict and celebrate the heritage, history and culture which the people of this area are extremely proud of.”
The info board includes a photograph of the bonfire spilling out towards the car-park for the City. The other image is a photograph from the Peter Moloney Collection, used without permission, and photoshopped to add “DRL” – Donegall Road Loyalists.
According to Eddie Kelly of the GVRT, Carrickfergus castle is included because “This is where King William landed, and the annual bonfire is a symbol of a beacon lit across the coast to guide him” (Belfast Live).
Painted by JMK/Jonny McKerr (tw) at Coolfin St on Donegall Rd.
In April, UK Defence minister Johnny Mercer resigned/was sacked due to his protestations over the Overseas Operations bill (which passed on April 29th but does not apply to service in NI (BBC)) and the prosecution of two soldiers for a 1972 killing of Joe McCann – they were acquitted (BelTel). Cases against British Army soldier will continue to be investigated, however, unless there is legislation introduced by the British government to deal with “legacy” issues in Northern Ireland. This VASU tarp is next to the Boundary Way waste ground, site of the lower Shankill bonfire. “Support the men who supported & protected us against Sinn Fein IRA – Soldier A-Z.”
After a break for the funeral of the Duke Of Edinburgh, the Loyalist Communities Council has resumed its protest of Brexit with a banner campaign (Irish News). The banner seems to be offering viewers the choice of one of four affiliations (“Europe – UK – USA – Ireland – choose one or the other! It’s your decision!) but the “correct” answer is at the bottom (and in the faded background of the Covenant): “Ulster is British and this we will always maintain!” even though “Political leaders are not listening!” (including, perhaps, Arlene Foster and the DUP.) The Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement) allows people in Northern Ireland to identify themselves as Irish, British, or both.
Banners have been placed in various PUL areas; this one is along the York Road. The launch of the campaign outside the Irish Secretariat Office in Linenhall St, which the Belfast Telegraph called “tiny” as it involved only the LCC’s David Campbell and David McNary, was interrupted by Gareth McCord (BelTel video) whose brother Raymond was beaten to death by the UVF in 1997, allegedly to cover up drug dealing by the Mount Vernon UVF (Magill).
“Loyalist Ballysillan says NO! to Irish Sea border.” The Ulster Banner merges with the Union Flag, and a Northern Ireland floating free of the south is cradled by Britain. (Compare with Give And Take from last week.)
Although not completely visible in the image below, the ‘Britain remembers’ Remembrance Day flag includes the Ulster Banner, the flag of NI parliament until 1972, rather than the St Patrick’s Saltire. This is also the flag used by the Irish Football Association, the governing body of soccer in NI, to represent its teams, as is shown by the personalised supporter’s plaque in Cosgrave Heights. The organisation’s name derives from the fact that the body pre-dates partition and used to govern the whole island and not just “our wee country”.
The Irish Football Association (web | tw) is the governing body for Northern Irish soccer, overseeing both domestic and international events. The original Our Wee Country (fan organisation Web | tw) mural was in Carnforth Street, east Belfast. For another and one of the emblem with Ulster banner and Union flags, see Irish Football Association and Our Wee Country.