Belfast Telegraph

Return of terror murals to Belfast streets angers residents

By Ivan Little

The UVF has raised tensions and angered community workers and residents in east Belfast by starting to paint another controversial mural of masked paramilitaries wielding guns.

Work is currently underway on the massive mural on a gable wall on the Ballymacarrett Road at its junction with Frazer Pass.

It’s the third militaristic mural to go up in the area in recent months amid claims that the local UVF — headed by a man nicknamed the Beast in the East — is out of control and at odds with the organisation’s overall leadership. The East Belfast UVF ordered hundreds of men onto the streets in July sparking vicious clashes between loyalists and republicans armed with guns and bombs.

The new mural replaces a memorial to four of the UVF’s old and more recent leaders including Robert ‘Squeaky’ Seymour who was murdered by the IRA at his shop in June 1988.

But that mural didn’t have any guns.

The new one certainly does. It shows two balaclava-clad terrorists armed with rifles.

In the background is a UVF funeral. Six of the ten members of a paramilitary colour party are visible. They are all masked and wearing berets and gloves as they walk with a coffin draped in a UVF flag.

The mural is the latest snub from the UVF in east Belfast to the Shankill Road leadership and to the ongoing moves to re-brand murals in the area to reflect its cultural and sporting icons.

Only a short distance away from the new mural is one in tribute to Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis who was from East Belfast.

A loyalist source claimed the new UVF mural was a direct response to one which was unveiled in the Whiterock area of west Belfast in May depicting an IRA firing party at the 1981 funeral of hunger striker Bobby Sands.

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