Vita, Veritas, Victa

South Belfast MP Robert Bradford was assassinated by the Provisional IRA in Finaghy at a meeting with constituents; the caretaker of the community centre, Ken Campbell, was also killed by the fleeing attackers. In late 1981, with the hunger strikes having ended only a month before, the killing was noted around the world and raised fears of broad civil unrest (BBC | NYTimes).

“Vita, veritas, Victoria” [life, truth, victory] is the motto of Londonderry. Here we have “vita, veritas, victa” [life, truth, conquered; perhaps the intended meaning was “conquering” rather than the passive]. The crest is also not quite the crest of the Apprentice Boys, with a ship in the bottom right rather than a skeleton. Get in touch if you can resolve either discrepancy.

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

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The Dark Days

Paint-bombed mural to members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, Belfast Brigade, in the 36th (Ulster) Division, with (anachronistic) Ulster Banner and Union Flag: “they arose in the dark days to defend our native land for God and Ulster”, “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, though shalt smite them and utterly destroy them, thou shalt make no covenant with them nor show marcy unto them – Deuteronomy 7 verse 2”. Blythe Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2001 Peter Moloney

Free Our Prisoners

“In memory of our freedom fighters who fought and died for Ulster. It was not for glory they fought nor honour or riches but freedom alone which no good man should lose but with his life.” A three-panel UFF mural in Linfield Road. A scroll with four emblems (UDA, UYM, UFF and Ulster banner); flags of the UDA and Scotland with manacled red fists and an outline of Northern Ireland superimposed with the Ulster banner, between emblems of the LPA and another prisoners’ organisation; a kneeling volunteer from A battalion, south Belfast’s Sandy Row.

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Copyright © 1997 Peter Moloney

The Brave Thirteen

A small board and two murals in the Fountain, London-Derry. The board has the city of Derry crest on it surrounded by Ulster banner, Union jack, St Andrew’s Saltire, and Apprentice Boys flag; the first mural lists the names of the thirteen apprentice boys; the second is a William King Memorial flute band “founded 1973”, again with the crest of the city.

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Copyright © 1996 Peter Moloney