Belfast paramilitary mural condemned

Published Thursday, 03 July 2014
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A paramilitary mural which has appeared in west Belfast has been condemned.

Belfast paramilitary mural condemned
The mural has prompted calls for the city to adopt a more positive image. (© Pacemaker)

The image was painted at Slemish Way off the Andersonstown Road and features hooded gunmen firing shots over a coffin draped in an Irish tricolour.

Councillor Tim Attwood of the SDLP said murals depicting Northern Ireland's violent past should be removed and replaced with more "positive messages".

He added: "The SDLP believes it is now time we all advanced healing and national reconciliation by moving away from promoting violent images of the past.

"There are too many murals in west Belfast which highlight armed men and violence. It is time we re-imaged west Belfast by promoting colourful positive sporting, cultural and community images.

"It is important there is a consistent message from all parties condemning murals which promote armed men, or paramilitary organisations, whether it is in east Belfast or west Belfast."

Gregory Campbell of the DUP said: "This mural is a glorification of terrorism and an attempt to drag Northern Ireland backwards. There is no place for such glorification, whether in a mural such as this or in a speech delivered by republican elected representatives.

"This mural must be condemned by representatives from all sides, and agreement that terrorism has never been justified. It is important that no distinction is drawn between those who engage in violence and terror today and those who may have used such tactics in the past."

Alliance Belfast councillor Nuala McAllister said: "There can be no place for images of paramilitary gunmen in our society. I am opposed to any mural or image which would seek to glorify terrorism.

"This mural must be replaced. This is not the sort of image that Northern Ireland should be portraying and is counter-productive as we seek to promote a shared future."

The PUP leader, councillor Billy Hutchinson, said: "Every time a flag is raised in a Loyalist area or a mural goes up on a wall, Republicans lead the procession of criticism.

"We are not against Republicans commemorating their history as they see fit, but they should allow Loyalists to do the same."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
34 Comments
lucylou in belfast wrote (43 days ago):
Paddy in West Belfast===There is a mural in the heart of the Shankill Road depicting a hero, only this hero wasn't given a choice in how they died. This hero wasn't old enough at just months old to make that decision. This mural depicts a very sad and historic scene of a cherished member of their community who were devastated at the death of this baby whose only offence was to be in the Balmoral Furniture Showroom with the parents on a Saturday afternoon. There were other children murdered on a Saturday afternoon in Frizzels shop by another IRA bomb. Again; no choice in how or where they died. Just thought I'd let you know; should you have an interest in murals depicting heroes of the troubles. Everyone has different views of what constitutes a 'hero'.For me all the uninvolved everyday people who were killed in bombings etc are the true heroes and I, in no uncertain terms, am referring to people of all religions or none, or whatever 'community' they belonged to.
Wolf in east belfast wrote (46 days ago):
I wish these do gooders would get of they're high horses. Whether we like these murals or not they bring tourists to our country because its what they want to see. Be realistic what harm can a mural do. As long as we are not killing each other anymore who cares....GET A LIFE!
Sick of these murals! in Bangor wrote (47 days ago):
Mick in Belfast - you obviously didn't look at all the comments to which you refer - I said then and I say it again THERE SHOULD BE NO PARAMILITARY OR TERRORIST MURALS FROM EITHER SIDE ANYWHERE IN NORTHERN IRELAND - they are an eyesore and not all the people in the so-called nationalist and loyalist areas agree with them - AND THERE SHOULD BE NO SUCH THING AS THESE SO-CALLED NATIONALIST AND LOYALIST AREAS EITHER - that is what is wrong with this country especially Belfast - everyone should be able go wherever and whenever they want and to live their lives without fear and intimidation from anyone! TIME FOR ALL THIS BIGOTRY TO CEASE!!
OldSod in Fermanagh wrote (47 days ago):
I object to these paramilitary trappings (loyalist or republican) primarily due to the fact that they carve up parts of our society into "ours and theirs", an unofficial apartheid if you will. It labels everybody in their vicinity and leaves you in no doubt as to who claims control, who is welcome, who is not,... let alone glorification of terrorism, murder, sectarianism, blood sacrifice etc. I appreciate that some paramilitaries out there and their families want to pay respect to their dead, so why not just a plaque, or a solemn, respectful remembrance garden? If this or similar were in my neighbourhood, then I would be afraid to object,... I suspect much the same happens near these murals. That is what this is all about, staking out territory, keeping us divided and putting people in fear!
s in Belfast wrote (47 days ago):
Mick in West Belfast - you didn't see all this comments about the UVF murals? Where have you been looking? Open your eyes and take off your green tinted glasses. This is simply a glorification of murdering criminals (as are the Loyalist ones).
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