Those Old Grey Walls Still Firmly Standing

The sights and sounds of Irish Street and Londonderry: (clockwise from right) a verse from Londonderry On The Foyle (youtube) in a frame of the walls of the city of Derry – “But once more I’m coming home aboard a steamship/On Lough Foyle once more I’m passing by Culmore/And I see those old grey walls still firmly standing/There ’round my city Londonderry on the Foyle”; East Bank (Irish Street) Protestant Boys (Fb) on parade; Carson and the signing of the 1912 Covenant; St Columb’s Cathedral; Irish Street FC (Fb).

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The Loyalist Executioner

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.

Of the final four (the right-hand side) the historical photograph was the basis for a mural in south Belfast.

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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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The Flax And The Lily

The orange lily and the (pale blue) flax flower take their place around the Ulster Banner alongside the English rose and Scottish thistle, and the Irish shamrock is retained even in the presence of the lily. The flax is perhaps included because we are in the Factory area of Larne, near the site of a (former) linen mill. The Welsh daffodil is excluded. The detail above is part of a wider board “Boyne Square celebrates 100 years of Northern Ireland”; the flanking emblems of the Boyne Defenders (LOL 1297), Rangers Supporters club (Larne Branch) – which also uses the shamrock – Boyne Square Bonfire Forum, and Larne & District Great War Society and included below; the emblems of three flute bands can be seen in Norman Anderson and 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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The Orange State

The orange lily began appearing in murals with some frequency in the mid-2000s (with one earlier appearance in Londonderry; compare this to posts with orange lilies at Peter Moloney – Murals and at Extramural Activity). It became part of the logo of the Orange Order in 2007 – see Design Research Group – and there was an attempt to re-brand the Twelfth as “Orangefest” (Irish Times). It is used in this centenary celebration board to make it clear that Northern Ireland was created as a Protestant and unionist state.

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What We Have We Hold

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.

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Loyalist Monarch Celebrates 100 Years Of Northern Ireland

The Village (specifically the Monarch Street/Parade area, above Donegall Road) “celebrates 100 years of Northern Ireland, 1921-2021”.

The Village Team (“VT”) is still on tour (“OT”), trying to kill all Taigs (“KAT”) – all Taigs are targets (“ATAT”). See previously: Taigs Will Be Dealt With | Concerned Loyalists | Loyalist Monarch

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Guiding Light

“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.

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Come For One, Come For All

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.”

See previously: Soldier A-Z.

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