Murdered By Cowards

The “cowards” in this case are the members of the UDA who killed Rockett in front of his girlfriend and 18 month old child in an attack on her house in the lower Oldpark, during the feud between the UVF and UDA, sparked by Johnny Adair’s “loyalist day of culture” and removal of the UVF from the lower Shankill. In response to the purge (and attacks on the Rex bar), the UVF killed Bobby Mahood and Mr Jackie Coulter. Rockett was killed by the UDA in retaliation for their deaths; 1,000 people attended Rockett’s funeral (Irish Times). After Rockett died, the UVF killed David Greer, and the UDA then killed PUP member Bertie Rice in Tiger’s Bay on October 31st.

“In proud and loving memory of Vol. Samuel Rockett, ‘B’ Coy. 1st Belfast battalion, Young Citizens Volunteers. Murdered by cowards 23rd August 2000. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him.””

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Highfield Festival

Plans for the Highfield estate were drawn up and approved in 1945, converting a green-field site in the foothills of Black Mountain between the Ballygomartin, West Circular and Springfield roads. The first houses were completed in 1948 (Belfast Forum.) The community hall sits at the centre of the estate. UDA bomb-maker Michael Wright died there in a premature explosion in 1980 (Sutton) and there used to be a UFF mural on the side. This was replaced in 2000 (C01505) and again in 2006(?) (M04512) with the current mural (entitled “Whiterock Festival” after the cross-community event sponsored by the City Council’s ‘Good Relations’ fund (one | two) showing Highfield kids having fun with music provided by a DJ, band, and the Whiterock Flute Band (Fb) drum.

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Áras Uí Chonghaile

James Connolly worked in Belfast from 1910 or 1911 to 1916 as a labour organizer, before being executed on May 12th, 1916, for his part in the Easter Rising. He lived in Glenalina Terrace on the Falls Road (An Phoblacht | the plaque over the door) a few blocks above the visitor centre in his honour which opened in spring 2019. (There is video from each of the Official Opening and the Grand Opening, which NVTv also covered extensively.)

The new mural shown here is on the so-called “International Wall” on Divis Street, next to Welcome To West Belfast and Merdeka.

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Welcome To West Belfast

Tourists to West Belfast/Feirste Thiar are given a tour of the sights on a black taxi tour: (clockwise from left) the entrance to Milltown Cemetery at the edge of Andersonstown, a trio of murals (the Bobby Sands mural on the side of the Sinn Féin offices; the Easter Rising mural in Beechmount Ave; the Acht Anois fáinne on Divis Street (also in Ardoyne)) with a march taking place, Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiaich, gaelic football and hurling, Divis tower, Conway mill, and the Falls library. This is the third such tourist mural in the area, after one at Divis tower (Gateway To West Belfast) and one on the offices of Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Go West! | Fáilte Feirste Thiar | The Conlan Revolution).

Replaces Willowbank Huts from the centenary mural.

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A Living Hell For Children

Civil war continues in Yemen with 111 soldiers killed, allegedly by Houthi rebels, in a missile attack on a military mosque on January 18th (BBC). The country remains the country with the most humanitarian need: according to the UN, 24 million people, 80% of the population, are in need. The mural on west Belfast’s International Wall from April 2019 has been completed with the flags of Spain, Canada, and China being added to those of the US, UK, and France on the missiles raining down (now in two ranks) on civilians, blood dripping from cash-filled Saudi hands, and a UNICEF statistic included in our original post: “1 child dies every 10 minutes as a result of the war in Yemen”

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The Price Of Art

Rob Hilken’s (web | ig) ‘Spicy Hot Cash’ (next to Verz’s big fishie web | Fb) might have had the imprimatur of Belfast crew TMN when it was painted in May last year for HTN 2019, but ROMPS thinks the money has run out.

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Ulster Tourist

In 1777 Viscount Enniskillen built Bundoran Lodge as a summer home (now called Homefield House) and set a trend that made Bundoran town one of Ireland’s top resorts. To accommodate the increase in tourism, hotels sprung up, including the 1830 Ulster Tourist House. The building still stands, but has long since ceased to function as a hotel.

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Joint Forces

At the end of September, York Road Historical Society (which does not appear to have an on-line presence) launched a new garden of remembrance to British WWI service-members in the “Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force”, symbolised by the crest of Strategic Command (formerly the Joint Forces Command).

The garden is next to the Times Bar (one | two | three | four | five) and opposite Arts For All/John Luke Gallery (one | two | three).

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X06950 X06949 “”I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday 1st July as I followed their amazing attack I felt I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world” – Captain Wilfred [Wilfrid] Spender, the Somme 1916.” at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them lest we forget

Better To Die On Your Feet

UDA volunteers in balaclavas stand ready to defend Erskine Park (Ballyclare) against forces from the south. “South East Antrim Brigade – “Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees in an Irish republic.” (A slogan from Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.)

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Turning Towards The Sun

Sunflowers fare better than stoney-faced humans in the glare of the sun. Street art (perhaps by Niko the TMN member and one-time graffitist) on the outside wall of the Red Barn Gallery, off Rosemary Street.

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