Loyalist Ballymacash

Ballymacash estate, now part of Lisburn, was once a village around the location of Drayne’s Farm, with a school at the junction of Glenavy, Brokerstown, Ballymacash, and Nettlehill roads. Lisburn.com has a history of the area. Today it is famous for its enormous 11th night bonfire (see Ballymacash Bonfire (also Skull & Crossbones | Death & Life).
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Bad Road Transport

“Sub-standard BRT discriminates against residents, traders, the disabled and their carers.” The new Belfast Rapid Transport has begun testing (BelfastLiveBelTel) in preparation for the official launch on September 3rd, with routes from the city centre to east and west Belfast and a “Citi” loop. To facilitate the new “Gliders”, a lane of traffic is being dedicated to the service from 7 am to 7 pm (also open to other public transport, cyclists, and taxis). Some are worried about traffic congestion (Talking Retail) and one business in west Belfast has closed because of the loss of street parking (Irish News). Another concern is that the new transport hub is not integrated with BRT – its stops for the West and East routes will be 380 and 500 meters away (BelTel).
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text: X06020 Falls Road

We Will Remember Them

Dozens of boards to local soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division (by the 2016 Committee) have been added to the Mount Vernon memorial garden to the soldiers of the Great War (the mural) and contemporary UVF volunteers (the garden). For the mural, memorial stones, and outside plaque, see At Home And On The Mainland.
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Pride Of Ballymacash

The Pride Of Ballymacash flute band, formed in 2011 from the Pride Of Prince William (bottom left) and Ballymacash Young Conquerors (bottom right), uses the emblem of the 36th (Ulster) Division, in the centre of the mural. In the background on the left is the Thiepval Memorial and, on the right, the UDR memorial statue in Market Square, Lisburn. To the left (in the second image) is a UDA plaque “In memory of fallen comrades Ballymacash B coy D battaltion, South Belfast Brigade. Quis separabit.” For a close-up of the memorial on the ground, see Death & Life.
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Briogáid Dhoire

The Linsfort Drive (Creggan) memorial garden (see M02663 and M02775) is featured in the centre of this board of IRA volunteers from the 2nd battalion of the Derry Brigade. There are two similarly designed boards to the 1st battalion in Westland Street and in Lecky Road.
Below is a fresh “IRA” nail-up in Central Drive.
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Death & Life

The skull-and-crossbones is the emblem of the Ballymacash Young Conquerors, which merged with the Pride Of Prince William in 2011 to form the Pride Of Ballymacash. (Fb)  The symbol is a potent one, however, and still used by the new band in addition to its own. In the mural in its memorial garden, it is surrounded by poppies, thistles, and orange lilies. If you know the name of the young man in the memorial display (second image), please comment/get in touch.
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Killed In Action

“Killed in action” (on the mural) or “active service” (on the plaque) often means killed by a bomb exploding prematurely, as in the case of Finbarr McKenna, who died in Crocus Street intending to attack the RUC station on the Springfield Road at Violet Street. Here is an account of McKenna’s death from a British soldier. Lost Lives estimates that as many as 163 volunteers (9% of the total killed by the IRA) died from premature explosions. Footage of McKenna’s funeral appears in the (Sinn Féin-produced) account of Larry Marley’s funeral.
The plaque dates back to at least 2004.
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text: X04992 In memory of IRA Volunteer Finbarr McKenna who died on active service in Crocus St. 2nd May 1987. Erected by the Greater Clonard Ex-Prisoners Association.

Be There All The Way

The draw for the 4th round matches in the men’s All-Ireland Football Senior Championship takes place this morning at 8:30. Antrim have already been eliminated (in both football and hurling) but four other Ulster counties await their fates: Armagh, Fermanagh, Monaghan, and Tyrone. The new mural shown above celebrates (men’s) Gaelic games in County Antrim (tw) and at two local clubs: Naomh Gall (tw | web), founded in Clonard Street in 1910, and Naomh Pól (tw | Fb) in Hawthorn Street – the site of the mural – in 1941.

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text: X04993 Sam Maguire cup, Liam MacCarthy cup established 1884 hayes hotel thurles bunaithe 1884 ostán uí haodha durlas éile

Hard Brexit

A “hard Brexit” would involve the UK leaving the European Union and the European Economic Area. For Northern Ireland, that would mean (at least) customs checks at the border with the Republic. Politicians on all sides are concerned about what that might mean for the peace, but the split is encouraged by the board above on the “sports zone” next to the Mount Inn on North Queen Street, Belfast. The Navy and RAF ensigns perhaps suggest how the UK’s borders are to be secured.
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Beir Bua

This mural has been added to the “D company” corner at Northumberland and Divis streets (see Our Struggle Continues), with traditional words (“saoirse/freedom”, “beir bua/seize victory”) and imagery of the four provinces and a lark in barbed wire.
In the background can be seen the old Divis flats. The flats were built to replace the tightly-packed streets of the lower Falls (see the first image below). After the first three blocks were completed in 1969, there was a plan to have a mixture of flats all the way up to Dunville Park (“Phase 2” in this 30-minute BBC video on the flats, which also includes the story of its eventual demise.
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text: X04981