Our British Identity

“[Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous.] In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. [ – Winston Churchill, 1903] Our British identity is non-negotiable! UVF East Belfast Battalion.” Hooded UVF volunteers are shown in active poses (as compared to the cradled rifles in The Erosion Of Our Identity) ready to resist any compromise in the still-unresolved tension between Brexit and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998.
For the piece on the right, see Clonduff Youth.
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The Anti-Brexit Candidate

“The only anti-Brexit candidate who can win!” After the withdrawal of the UUP and SDLP candidates, the contest in Belfast North is essentially between Sinn Féin’s John Finucane and the DUP’s Nigel Dodds. In an attempt to attract voters from the absent parties, Finucane’s campaign hoardings have eschewed the traditional green of Sinn Féin in favour of blue, a colour normally associated with unionism (and conservativism in Britain). 
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X06901 X06900 Clifton Street/Carrick Hill. 

When Needed We Shall Rise Again

“Present peace now stills our hand/Death no longer stalks our land/Our guns are silent and shall remain/But when needed we shall rise again.” The boards that made up the Thiepval Street mural have fallen down and the mural that now replaces it is once again dedicated to the UVF 1st (= West) Belfast battalion, A company, 5th platoon. (The side walls and stone remain as before.)

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X06891 X06889 [X06890] [X06892] [X06893] northland st this stone is dedicated to the memory of the fallen volunteers of no. 5 platoon, a company 1st belfast battalion, ulster volunteer force, as poppy petals gently fall remember us who gave our all not in the mud of foreign lands nor buried in the desert sands, in ulster field and farm and town fermanagh’s lanes and drumlin’d down we died that violent death should cease and ulstermen might live in peace lest we forget in memory of our fallen comrades

McVerry & McElvanna

IRA volunteer Mickey McVerry was killed by the British Army during a bomb attack on Keady RUC station in 1973. Peadar McElvanna was killed by the British Army on June 9, 1979, outside Keady, south Armagh. The 40th anniversary commemoration this year drew criticism from the DUP as it was on the same weekend as a ‘time for truth’ rally in Belfast (BelTel). The memorial shown here is in Victoria

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Armchair Generals

“UDA Out – ONH”. Óglaigh na hÉireann called a ceasefire in January, 2018 (BBC-NI) and largely disappeared from public consciousness. This recent graffiti, which is perhaps related to drug dealing (BelTel | BLiveBBC-NI | see previously Little Monsters), is at the top of Broadway.

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They Were Faithful And They Fought

The D Company board that was placed over the Brendan Hughes painting earlier in the year (see: Nailed To The Mast) was prelude to this new mural. Brendan Hughes has been included since the 2008 version (compare 2005 with 2008) but Crumlin Road hungerstriker Billy McKee is included for the first time. McKee was the first OC of the PIRA’s Belfast Brigade and arrested for possession of a handgun. The hunger strike was to secure political status for prisoners who had been convicted of crimes (WP).

“This mural is dedicated to the lives of: Billy McKee, Hungerstriker, Crumlin Road Gaol, achieved political status, 1972; Kieran Nugent, Blanketman, H-Blocks Long Kesh, fought the loss of political status, 1976; Brendan Hughes, Blanketman, Hungerstriker, H-Blocks Long Kesh, 1980.”

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The Erosion Of Our Identity

The current Brexit deal would unite Ireland, north and south, in various economic ways, while keeping Northern Ireland inside the UK politically. This east Belfast banner suggests that the UVF will take up guns to prevent this. Perhaps by attacking Boris Johnson and the Conservatives? Or perhaps customs officials checking goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain? It is not clear. “The prevention of the erosion of our identity is now our priority – East Belfast Battalion PAF – UVF – YCV.”

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X06878 [X06879] [X06880] [X06881] X06882 Other boards read “Our British identity cannot and will not be sacrificed to appease the Irish Republic” “In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. Our British identity is non-negotiable.”

Stephen Desmond McCrea

RHC volunteer Stevie McCrea (born 31.5.52, killed 18.2.89) was imprisoned for his role in the killing of 17 year-old Catholic James Kerr in a Lisburn Road garage, on the same day as the RHC bombed Benny’s Bar in Sailortown. He was killed in an IPLO attack on the Orange Cross (the Shankill Social Club). This Village mural is the second tribute to McCrea this year – see also A True Soldier Of Ulster in the lower Shankill, near the former location of the Orange Cross in Craven Street.

“Stevie was raised in The Village Area of South Belfast. He was just a young man when The Troubles started but without hesitation answered the call by joi[ni]ng the Village RHC. He soon started making a name for himself by putting himself on the front line with his brothers in arms in the RHC. These men where [sic] one of the most active units in Ulster by taking the fight the republicans. In 1972 at the height of The Troubles Stevie was sentenced to life for his part in a retaliation shooting and was imprisoned in Long Kesh. After serving 15 years with dignity and courage he was released. On the 16th February 1989 just after receiving his last pay cheque [from a transitional work scheme] he decided to join a few friends in The Orange Cross Club in the Shankill area. This would be his last drink as republican scum decided to target the Loyalist club. Stevie sacrificed himself to protect his friend by throwing himself in front of a hail of bullets. Stevie died 2 days later from his injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital.”

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X06870 [X06871] Kilburn St lamh dearg abu lest we forget here lies a soldier

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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EU/PIRA

“Dublin hands off Ulster – EU/PIRA” For this Agnes Street muralist, the EU’s refusal to accept a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic make it bedfellows with the IRA.

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