Faustina Kowalska was a Polish nun who claimed to have visions of a suffering Jesus from age 19 onwards, including one at age 26, of Jesus with red and white rays emanating from his heart and issuing instructions to have the vision painted – it appears here on the right. Kowalska died at age 33 in 1938, of tuberculosis, and was canonized in 2000 (WP). The “H Block Martyrs” pursued a vision of a United Ireland, and likewise died young, of starvation; this is the 40th anniversary of their deaths.
Both Kowalska placards are marked “This image is blessed. Please do not remove.” It is not clear if the hunger striker tarp on the left has also been anointed.
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.)
“This park is dedicated to three brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice defending their family, town and country in the Great War: Private Alexander Hayes, Private John Hayes, Private William Hayes.” Lurgan Ancestry would appear to give the third brother as Wesley, rather than Alexander. He and John died on the first day of the Somme.
The Shankill Road pays to tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised more than 30 million pounds for the NHS, after his death on February 2nd, with a tarpaulin on the fence of the community garden. The flowers are from current Belfast mayor, Frank McCoubrey of the DUP. Elsewhere, Sinn Féin members of Fermanagh & Omagh council did not join their colleagues in expressing condolences (Impartial Reporter).
Two more images connected to the ongoing search for answers in the death of Noah Donohoe. Above, a large tarp in Corporation Street; below, an additional banner in Carrick Hill, alongside Carrick Hill Supports Fiona.
“Stop prosecuting Northern Ireland’s veterans to appease terrorists.” Danny Kinahan, former UUP politician and captain in the Blues & Royals, was appointed Veterans’ Commissioner For Northern Ireland by the SoS in August last year (2020). He described his first task as building a database of veterans and alerting each one to the services available (News Letter | BBC | Irish Times) but the position immediately puts him at the centre of the debate over “legacy” issues and a focal point of interest groups such as Veterans & Supporters United (Fb | tw) who are responsible for the banner above. In October Kinahan was quoted as saying that the system is “very lopsided” against veterans (BelTel).
August 15th, 1945, saw the end of the second World War in the Pacific theatre, effectively ending the war as a whole. The 75th anniversary of the event was celebrated on the Shankill by and Up! Culture + Arts. Belfast Councillor (and 2020 High Sheriff) Nicola Verner has video (tw) of the tarp on the float that paraded along the Shankill on the day itself. With sponsorship from the Executive and the Greater Shankill Partnership (tw).