A True Soldier Of Ulster

“On a cold Friday afternoon in February 1989, a young Red Hand Commando volunteer, Stevie McCrea, gave up his life to save others during an attack by the IPLO – a republican drug gang – at the Orange Cross Club just off the Shankill Road. Stevie, who was celebrating his last day on a work-out scheme with friends, went to the club for a farewell drink. A short time later, after gaining access through the outer door of the club, three IPLO gunmen burst into the main bar and started shooting indiscriminately. Stevie reacted immediately, placing himself between the gunmen and his friends. He was shot a number of times. Sadly he died from his injuries two days later. Stevie, even as a young man was a willing and active volunteer for the RHC, which culminated with him being arrested in October 1972 and being sentenced to life imprisonment early in 1973. Stevie served 16 years as a political prisoner in Long Kesh. He thoughtlessly gave up his life for others. A true soldier of Ulster. Forever remembered by friends and comrades. Lamh death abu.”
The obituary in the March 1998 issue of Combat states that McCrea was no longer in the RHC after his release from prison.
This new photographic mural, with “Loyalist Compound 21, Long Kesh prison camp” as a background, replaces a painted one to McCrea that had stood since 2000.
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text: X06447 X06448 X06449

North Down West Belfast

Here are two UDA/UFF “North Down – West Belfast” boards, one in Clandeboye Road, Bangor (above) and the other in Lenamore Park, Newtownards (below). The UDA in North Down is split into two factions, one associated with the Shankill (west Belfast) UDA and the other with the East Belfast UDA. The former is based primarily in Newtownards, but not exclusively, as the board above shows. It is also remarkable for its use of hooded gunmen in “active” poses.
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Camera Settings: f5.1, 1/80, ISO 100, full size 3699 x 3699
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text: X06089 [X06090] X06060 

Britain Remembers

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”.
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Camera Settings: f5.8, 1/160, ISO 80, full size 3612 x 3612
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Camera Settings: f4.2, 1/80, ISO 160, full size 4896 x 3672
text: X06351 X06352

Welfare Reform Destroys Communities

“Scrap Universal Credit, PIP [Personal Independence Payment] & Bedroom Tax.” The Universal Credit scheme is designed to replace a variety of benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit began in 2013 and will take a decade to roll out (WP). (The plan in the North is detailed at NIDirect.) People Before Profit (web | tw | Fb) oppose the programme (and related ones, such as PIP which replaces the Disability Living Allowance, and the Social Sector Size Criteria, a.k.a. Bedroom Tax), as described in this article on their web site.
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text: X06367

The Rising Of The Moon

“End British internment: Strip searching, controlled movement, isolation.” This Saoradh/éistigí/IRPWA board in Central Drive, Creggan, Derry, uses the words of Bobby Sands to put current political prisoners in parallel with the blanket protest and hunger strikes. The quote is an English translation from the final day of Sands’s hunger strike diary, March 17thMura bhfuil siad in inmhe an fonn saoirse a scriosadh, ní bheadh siad in inmhe tú féin a bhriseadh. Ní bhrisfidh siad mé mar tá an fonn saoirse, agus saoirse mhuintir na hEireann, i mo chroí. Tiocfaidh lá éigin nuair a bheidh an fonn saoirse seo le taispeáint ag daoine go léir na hEireann. Ansin chífidh muid éirí na gealaí.” = “If they aren’t able to destroy to the desire for freedom, they won’t break you. They won’t break me because the desire for freedom, and the freedom of the Irish people, is is my heart. The day will dawn when all the people of Ireland will have the desire for freedom to show. It is then we’ll see the rising of the moon.” 
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Camera Settings: f4.3, 1/200, ISO 80, full size 4618 x 3262
text: X06383

East Belfast Ulster Volunteers

The Union Flag/UVF side-wall is a new addition to the Ulster Volunteers/UVF memorial in London Road, east Belfast. The main panel shows WWI soldiers going over the top (see Between The Crosses) while the four portraits to its right are of deceased UVF volunteers of the 70s and 80s – Seymour, Long, Cordner, and Bennett – (see Ulster’s Brave).
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Disband The Rebranded RUC

A vintage image – of the 3-in-1 policeman, Orange Order member, and loyalist paramilitary – is used in the centre of a new Soaradh (web | tw) board at the corner of Central and Fanad drives in Creggan, Derry. For some earlier uses, see Disband The RUC (Derry, dating back to 1995) Keep The Orange Order Out (Markets, south Belfast) | No Entry PSNI (New Lodge, north Belfast) |  Disband The RUC (Newry). “Corrupt, sectarian – disband the rebranded RUC” (and also, “Smash Stormont”).
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His Young Life

“In memory of Vol Colm McNutt Derry Brigade INLA. On 12th December 1977 18 years old Colm McNutt was killed by an undercover British Army unit in William Street. In lived in Balbane Pass and was a popular young lad around the Creggan estate. He witnessed occupation and injustice and as a result joined the resistance movement, paying ultimately with his young life.” This large board was launched in December 2017 on the fortieth anniversary of McNutt’s death.
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text: X06384 linsfort dr

Shutting Of The Gates

The Apprentice Boys mural in Emerson Street, Londonderry, which was at least fifteen years old, was replaced in 2018 with a version of boards (shown above). The shutting of the city gates in December 1688 began the Siege Of Derry.
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Guns For Ulster

Carson, Crawford, and Craig are lionised as restisters of devolvement of Ireland to Dublin in the early twentieth century. Despite calling Home Rule “the most nefarious conspiracy that has ever been hatched against a free people” and vowing to fight it by “all means necessary”, including the Ulster Volunteers armed by Crawford’s “guns for Ulster”, Edward Carson “warned Ulster Unionist leaders not to alienate norther Catholics, as he foresaw this would make Northern Ireland unstable.”
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text: X06354 Isthmus Street