The sixteen-year old Sinn Féin Trade Union Dept mural has been replaced (though the plaque remains in the top right-hand corner) with another mural featuring James Connolly but with a new quote, from his 1907 poem: “Our demands most moderate are/We only want the earth.” The Irish Worker headline reads “Belfast ITGWU organiser Connolly gets 905 votes municipal elections”, referring to the municipal elections of 1913 – Connolly stood in the Dock Ward (SIPTU).
“Take pride in your history and culture”, namely: the Siege Of Derry and the Battle Of The Boyne (from the Jackson Mural in the Fountain); flute bands (Shankill Protestant Boys, Shankill Star, Pride Of The Shankill, Ulster Girls, Young Conway Volunteers, Pride Of Ardoyne, Warkworth Purple Star, Hillview, Shankill Road Defenders, Pride Of The West, West Belfast Volunteers, Sons Of Ulster, Pink Ladies (Ulster), Whiterock, Shankill Fusiliers, Britannia); Royal Black and Orange Order parades (marching past the Guildhall in Londonderry and the Clifton Street lodge in Belfast), 11th night bonfires, supporting the Northern Ireland soccer team, lambeg drumming, playing the pipes, accordion playing – with Union flags and bunting throughout.
“In proud and loving memory of Vol. Samuel Rockett, ‘B’ Coy 1st Belfast battalion, Young Citizen Volunteers. Murdered by cowards 23rd August 2000. ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.’ ‘Here lies a soldier'”
The “cowards” in this case are the members of the UDA who killed Rockett (born June 21st, 1979) 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 loving memory of [Royal Irish Regiment] L/Cpl. Mervyn Johnson murdered by the enemies of Ulster [the IRA] at this spot [outside his home in Highfern Gardens] 15th February 1993. Always missed and remembered by both family and friends. Faugh-a-ballagh.”
Lamentations for the “killed, wounded, missing” among “the west Belfast volunteers who formed in this area”, verse 1:16 in English on the right pillar commemorating the 36th (Ulster) Division – “For these things do I weep/My eyes flow with tears” – and in Irish on the damaged left pillar commemorating the 10th & 16th Irish Divisions – “Seo iad cúis mo chaointe/No [Na?] deora le mo shuile” (the 1981 Bíobla Naofa translation is “Sin an fáth a mbím ag caoi/Agus ag sileadh na súl go fuíoch”).
“‘Remember us who gave our silent dreams within the noise of battle’s thunder/Remember us who have our hopes on golden fields once truly filled with wonder/Remember us who near Thiepval Wood because we could gave our lives own future/Remember us who at eternity’s edge are new born this day between thoughts of sacrifice and loss/Remember us, remember us’ – James Logan, Somme, July 1916”
A tribute to the 4th and 9th battalions of the Royal Irish Rifles “1912-2002 – 90th anniversary” (with the 36th Division emblem in the middle) and (on the right) “S company 1969-1974”. 1974 is the year C company, 1st battalion (west Belfast) UVF was formed.
“Five Cuban patriots unjustly imprisoned in political show trials in Miami in 2001. Join the campaign to release them.” The five were Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González, intelligence agents arrested in 1998 and accused of spying on the US; the Cuban government said they were in the US to infiltrate the Cuban exile community. Their convictions were overturned by a Circuit panel but upheld by the full court (WP).