This tarp, above the office of Sinn Féin Poblachtach and the Happy House on the Falls Road, celebrates two previous generations of IRA leadership. Joe McKelvey was commander of the Belfast Brigade of the IRA in the War Of Independence but against the Treaty; he was executed in December, 1922, for occupying the Four Courts in June (WP). Jimmy Steele was a leader in the Belfast IRA from the 1920s to 1960s and the first editor of Republican News; he died shortly after the split (WP).
Eimear’s Wish (web | tw) last night launched a fundraising and blood cancer awareness campaign selling gin with a bottle raffled to supporters attending the first Irish League match of the new seasons between Glenavon and Portadown; it has the support of many soccer, rugby, GAA, and bowling clubs – this is the tarp outside Seaview on the Shore Road, Belfast. “Crusaders FC & Eimear’s Wish working together to raise stem cell donor awareness in Northern Ireland and create hope for people with life threatening illness.”
Another tribute to Scottish friends: “Millsy our brother, always be in our hearts. Springburn Derry (Fb)”. Please get in touch if you have any information about “Millsy”, from Springburn in Glasgow, Scotland and supporter of Rangers (the north stand at Ibrox is named after Sandy Jardine, star player for Rangers (and Scotland) in the 1970s (WP)).
The Castlereagh (4th battalion) UDA memorial garden behind the Bunch Of Grapes has changed over the years from painted murals (M | X) to spray-painted boards (We Forget Them Not) and now again to tarps within red frames. As far as content is concerned, the UFF, LPA (“We forget them not – past and present”) and UYM (“They shall not grow old etc”) remain but Tim Collins – a product of re-imaging – is out (see On That Journey) and Eddie The Trooper is in. The side wall of the pub has also been employed for the first time, with more hooded gunmen (see the third image, below). Two small plaques have been added to the outsides of the memorial wall.
Local club Linfield are premier league champions for the 55th time, matching Glasgow Rangers in Scotland for the most league championships in the world. The celebratory tarp is at the Rangers Club on the Shankill Road.
There is pressure to remove the Tigers Bay bonfire in Adam Street because it is built on Department Of Infrastructure land next to the Duncairn Gardens “peace” line and has been the site of anti-social behaviour such as golf balls being hit into the New Lodge (Irish News | BelTel). In response comes the message: “Move at your own risk – FTPSNI”.
On June 22nd, 1921, the parliament of Northern Ireland was opened by George V at Belfast’s City Hall. In his address to the assembled dignitaries, he said “I have … come in person, as the head of the Empire, to inaugurate this parliament on Irish soil. I inaugurate it with deep felt hope and I feel assured that you will do your utmost to make it an instrument of happiness and good government for all parts of the community which you represent. This is a great and critical occasion in the history of the Six Counties … I pray that My coming to Ireland to-day may prove to be the first step towards an end of strife amongst [Ireland’s] people, whatever their race or creed.” “Partition has failed” to answer his prayer. Above: the latest message on Sliabh Dubh; below: the mountain from the bonfire pallets collected on the Highfield estate.
Members of Cuba Solidarity Forum Ireland (tw) took to Sliabh Dubh on Friday (along with Gael Force Art) to unfurl what they claim is the largest ever Cuban flag below the hashtag “Unblock Cuba”, which is the name of their current campaign. The event was chosen to coincide with US president Joe Biden’s 8-day trip to the UK and Europe, pressuring him to abstain in the UN motion to end the blockade which will be debated on June 23rd (CodePink).
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.”