The Volunteers Who Bravely Fought For Our Freedom

The emblem at the centre of this latest version of the 36th (Ulster) Division mural in Glynn seems to be a novel creation, putting together a crown sitting on a blue ribbon draped over a shield showing a (right-handed) red hand, with a garland of shamrock, thistle, and rose.

This is the fifth mural (at least) on this wall since 2008. The only images we have of the previous one shows it in a vandalised state (see the images from 2020 below); for earlier, see 2015, 2011 (Street View), and 2008.

The plaque on the stone to the right reads, “When you go home, tell them of us and say for their tomorrow we gave our today”

The new mural has the following to its left: “This mural was erected by the Friends of the Somme Co. Antrim in remembrance of the volunteers of the 36th (Ulster) Division who bravely fought for our freedom. ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”

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Undefeated

“We have given much, we have much to give”. Earlier murals on this wall in the Caw (2015 | 2011) were similarly divided into Ulster Volunteers/Ulster Division on the left and the modern UVF on the right. But this version shows a UVF “hooded gunman” whereas before on both sides there were graveside mourners. There is also a very rare (and possibly unique) reference to the H-Blocks, rather than the Long Kesh cages – a watchtower and walls are included above Carson’s portrait.

On the left are the Union Flag, Covenant, the Clyde Valley, graveside mourner in WWI, and Carson. On the right a UVF hooded gunman, the PUP emblem and slogan “Country Before Party”, and the flag of the UVF (Londonderry company).

The plaque, which has been retained from previously, reads “In proud memory of our fallen comrades from the Nelson Drive flute band. Glorious on the graves of heroes, kindly on all those who have suffered for the cause. Thus will shine the dawn. They gave their tomorrow for our today.”

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At The Heart Of Bloomfield

The hooded UDA gunmen stare down at you in the green in the middle of Bloomfield (Bangor) estate. The new printed board replaces the similar North Down battalion mural seen in Always Remembered. (The plaque to Andrew McIlvenny and Roy Officer has been moved to the right-hand side.) There are smaller UDA boards – one on top of some old “UVF” graffiti (third image) – and one RHC board on the other gables around the green; not included here is the somewhat odd history of Bloomfield that only shows images from the Shankill in Belfast – see A Journey Through Time And Space.

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For The Fallen

“They fought together as brothers in arms, they died together and now sleep side by side. To them we owe a solemn obligation. They died that we might live. The Great Wars 1914-1918, 1939-1945 – Admiral Chester W Nimitz”. The central image of this Newtownards homage to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division and the Australian ‘Rats Of Tobruk’ who held that city against Rommel’s forces in north Africa during WWII is the Tyne-Cot cemetery near Passchendaele, Belgium, the biggest Commonwealth cemetery in the world but named ofter the “Tynside cottages” that the German pill-boxes in the area resembled (WP).

New for the NI centenary are three emblems on the side wall, with (on the left) the Red Hand Comrades Association and (on the right) the Strain-Lightbody Memorial flute band (Fb).

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On The Streets Of Derry

“This mural is dedicated to all those who tragically died on the streets of Derry during the hunger strike era. Suaimhneas Dé da nanamacha. 3rd October 2006.” The mural referred to is in fact the ‘crumbling cell’ mural (see M03350); the ‘Spirit Of Freedom’ mural was first painted in 2011 for the 30th anniversary (see X00999) – the 30th anniversary plaque remains, on the right of the mural. For the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike “40” has replaced the “30” in the bottom border – see the final image.

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Cuimhníonn Doire

For many years there were portraits of the hunger strikers (either the 10 deceased from 1981 or the 12 from the 70s and 80s) along the long wall in Bishop St Without – see 2009, 2004, and 1998 (before that time the wall was divided into a number of panels for a variety of republican imagery – see 1984 and 1982) but in the portraits – which were on boards – soon started coming off and over the next decade the wall began to fade and become covered in graffiti (as can be seen in Street View). For the 40th anniversary, the deceased hunger strikers were restored to the wall, as shown in today’s post: “40th anniversary of the 1980-1981 hunger strikes. Rededication of mural, by the Bogside and Brandywell Monument Committee.”

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Na Fianna Éireann Leanúnachas

“The Continuity Fianna”. The Irish National Boy Scouts or “junior IRA” were founded in 1909 by Bulmer Hobson and Countess Markievicz, who is at the centre of this photograph. The Fianna followed the Provisionals in 1969 and Republican Sinn Féin (and the Continuity IRA) in 1986 (Fianna History blog | Irish Examiner), while Provisional Fianna became Ógra Shinn Féin and then Sinn Féin Republican Youth (An Sionnach Fionn).

For the previous stencilling in this spot, see In The Cause Of Irish Freedom. For the plaque and old (single bugler) tarp (to Josh Campbell, Davy McAuley, Bernard Fox, and Joseph McComiskey), see Purity In Our Hearts.

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Cearta Teanga

The Identity And Language bill is making its way through the House Of Lords. Here is the web page for the stages of the processes. The “report” stage – when it is open to the whole body for amendment – begins on July 6th; the bill drew criticism from DUP peers during the second reading (BelTel). The graffiti and stencil shown above in support of an Act is on the Falls Road.

The second image is from Divis Street. For Carl Hardebeck, see Music – Light In Darkness.

The third image is from the RVH wall, next to Victory To The NHS.

Previously from this year: A Tale Of Two Protests | Multicultural East Belfast; from earlier: Acht Anois | #AchtAnois.

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An Attitude Of Revolt

The Tommy Roberts mural at the top of Westland Street, Derry, has been expanded, with a new central image – which now includes a portrait of Stevie Mallon alongside Roberts, against a background of Free Derry Corner – and three additional plaques.

Both quotes (“Life springs from death, and from the graves of dead patriot men and women spring living nations.” and “As long as Ireland is unfree the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt.” are from Patrick Pearse. The first quote was also used on a Gibraltar 3 mural in Belfast and an INLA mural in Strabane in 1990; the latter was used in a Belfast in the 1980s.

“In proud and loving memory of Tommy Roberts, former IRA volunteer, former POW blanketman, died 8th June 2017 aged 78. His courage and dedication will never be forgotten. As long as Ireland is unfree the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt.”

“In proud and loving memory of Stevie Mellon, former IRA volunteer, former internee, former GAA referee, died 1st August 2018, aged 65 years. His courage and dedication will never be forgotten. Lay him away on the hillside with the brave and the bold.”

“In proud and loving memory of Veronica Taylor, a proud socialist republican. Born11th June 1943, died 16th December 2019, aged 76 years. Her tireless dedication to the republican struggle will never be forgotten. “The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day and die if necessary.””

“In proud and loving memory of Ruairí (Roddy) Carlin, former IRA volunteer, former POW, died 23rd March 2021. A brave son of Ireland who fought for his country against continued British oppression and injustice, an uncompromised republican committed to the reunification of Ireland.”

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The Central Antrim Regiment

As this plaque in the Factory area of Larne indicates, the 2nd battalion of the Central Antrim regiment (of the Antrim division) of the Ulster Volunteers was drawn from Larne. Edward Carson reviewed the entire regiment at Drumalis in Larne on July 11th, 1914, (here is a postcard depicting the review) where he was presented with the colours of the 2nd from a Lady Smiley of First Larne Presbyterian. (The colours of the 1st and 2nd battalions are included below; the colours of the 3rd (Carrickfergus) Battalion can be seen at Sam’s Flags.) In the Royal Irish Rifles of WWI, Central Antrim became the 12th battalion (War Time Memories Project); its members included Larne man Rifleman Robert King.

“The Clydevalley flute band [Fb] proudly remembers all who served in the [Antrim Division,] Central Antrim Regt, 2nd Larne Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force. Lest we forget.”

The plaque is on the gun-running mural and next to a King Billy mural in Greenland Drive. Both murals were seen previously in 2016; see Amazing Night At Larne and Civil & Religious Liberty.

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