Poster wars in North Antrim

The Cold War continues. Apparently there’s a battle of wills about to ensue over a poster campaign to commemorate the hunger strikes of 1981 in North Antrim.

  • I hadn’t realized that they’d finally got that web site working properly. Thanks for the tip.

  • Donnie

    I saw these up last week and I don’t think they have a place in the Glens. Not for fear of what some knuckle-dragging Loyalists might do in return but down to the fact that they reflect badly on the area which is one of the premier tourist areas in N. Ireland.

  • fair_deal

    I see Sinn Fein sticks to the “If Prods do it, it is for nasty reasons. If we do it isn’t cos it’s us.” Hmmm.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The UDA and DUP once again publicly singing from the same hymn sheet, nostalgic.

  • Yokel

    Oh for the old days Pat eh..when the fenians knew their place and the 12th was a family day out without any trouble….

    Donnie, they don’t have a place because what is killing this country is the bloody past. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing all these politicians talk of the future then promptly refer to the past normally in a ‘look what you did to us’ type manner. Its a joke

  • St. Piran

    Unfortunately I suspect that the posters would be seen by some as an addition to the tourist trade in the same way that taxi tours are now so popular. But hey, if Sinn Fein want to commodify their “heroes” and make a bit of cash out of them, who are we to quibble?

  • Yokel

    Never thought of it like that…cleverrrrrr on their part. This is just Antrim Coast & Glens franchise for ‘Precious Memories’ Memorials….I wonder how much it costs to buy in. I wonder if their is an East Belast & North Down franchise bought up yet..I’d pay for that one, think I’d do well..

  • Donnie

    On a nicer note the mural of “Brigadier” William ‘Billy’ Wright on the Brownstown Road in Portadown has been painted over with a new George Best mural.

  • slug

    North Antrim news this week:

    1. At the request of a catholic priest, loyalists paint over an offensive wall painting and replace it with inoffensive material from Ulster Scots culture.

    2. Ballymena Academy pupils welcome the Irish president to Balylmena and traditional-style unionists do not protest against this.

    3. Irish Republicans erect large posters with hunger strikers on them.

  • Realist

    “Irish Republicans erect large posters with hunger strikers on them.”

    …And claim it was not intended to cause offence, as if sectarian crimanals being eulogised in mixed areas as “heros” would cause any offence.

  • English


    “1. At the request of a catholic priest, loyalists paint over an offensive wall painting and replace it with inoffensive material from Ulster Scots culture.

    2. Ballymena Academy pupils welcome the Irish president to Balylmena and traditional-style unionists do not protest against this.

    3. Irish Republicans erect large posters with hunger strikers on them.”


    You forgot to mention:

    4. Suspected homophobic attack in Bushmills in which a mans windows were smashed and his car was burnt out. Intimidating Homophobic graffiti threatening another man was written on a wall, and two masked men were seen running from the area.

  • crow

    Is there a poster of Dennis Donaldson?

  • Belfastwhite

    Anyone who takes offence at the display to commemorate Hunger Strikers is as bad as those who take offence at displays of poppys to commemorate soldiers in WW1 and WW2.

  • crow

    Hmmm Hunger strikers = terrorist, WW1/WW2 soldiers = not terrorists.Not sure what the difference is?

  • Dec


    If they erected posters of Bomber Harris would you feel less outraged?

  • Belfastwhite


    Maybe you should be asking yourself why people want to commemorate those who you label “terrorist” maybe it’s because they have a different view than you is that so difficult to understand?

  • DK


    Who would erect posters of Bomber Harris? The point is that efforts are being made to reduce sectarian symbols in the area and the hunger strikers are hardy inclusive.

    What are the motives for putting up the posters? Someone must have realised that it would be controversial, so to go ahead and put them up anyway suggests that provocation is the aim. Is there a potentially contentious Orange March in Ballymoney coming up? (“We couldn’t have our posters, so you can’t have your march”)

  • crow

    Who said i was outraged?

  • Keith M

    “Hmmm Hunger strikers = terrorist, WW1/WW2 soldiers = not terrorists.Not sure what the difference is? ”

    Primary level history lessons.

  • crow

    You said it Keith.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Unionists in that part of ireland still cannot get used to Philip Mc Guigan getting democratically elected in their own backyard. As long as their protests are people and they leave Ballymoney children alone then they can brey at the moon till their hearts content.

  • crow

    The posters are controversial and provocative.

  • caulfield

    The hunger strikes are one of the most divisive issues to arise from the troubles. They killed cross-community friendships stone dead when I was a child. There are no middle ground opinions. Most unionists would view hunger strike memorials in the same way that nationalists would view memorials to Billy Wright. The hunger strikers werent in prison for traffic offences. This is a depressing step backwards.


    As long as their protests are people and they leave Ballymoney children alone then they can brey at the moon till their hearts content.

    Would only that the hunger strikers and their organisation had left children alone, then there might be a tad more willingness to turn a blind eye to their hagiography.
    How many children injured or bereaved by the hunger strikers during their active service?

  • elfinto

    Someone tell them how the H-Block song goes.

  • North Antrim Republican

    These posters are only erected in areas where local people want to remember and pay homage to the sacrifice that these 10 men made, as far as Im aware they will only be up for the duration of the hunger-strike. If the DUP insist on them being taken down because they’re ‘offended’ by the past actions of the IRA, etc. then by the same token should I not insist on the removal of RUC stations, the advertising for joining the British Army in Ballymena Technical College and so on, because these are just as offensive to me given the past actions of these groups.

    Its interesting that, as Pat has mentioned, that the UDA and the DUP are singing from the same hymn-sheet on this issue, but the fact remains that the DUP will not lecture nationalists/republicans on who they can and cannot commemorate, in the same way as republicans shouldn’t (and never do) lecture unionists who they can and cannot commemorate.

  • elvis Parker

    All part of the great SF smoke screen exercise. Remember the Cavalcade with tricolours? – all about giving The Impression that they are winning. In reality? they’ve admitted their terrorist campaign was a disaster, handed over their weapons, accepted a partitionist solution and are getting ready to endorse policing.
    They desperately need this nostalgic nood to the past to distract any malcontents.
    What they would really like is for some dumb loyalists to rise to their provocation. Let them have their posters for a month or two – losers

  • Perhaps a better idea than complaining would be to erect slightly more honest posters about the hunger strikers in protests. You know, numbers of convictions, the numbers of people they killed or mutilated etc.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Could one of you net-heads do me a favour and explain why I can’t get this Ballymena Today site, or any of the similar new ‘Today’ newspaper sites (including the News Letter) to load on my computer? The front page of each site always comes up, but when I click on any link only the banner of the next page appears.
    I’m using BT Broadband connection, Internet Explorer 6.0 and the Norton Firewell – and I’ve fiddled with every setting I can find.
    It’s doing my head in. Please help, before I actually end up buying the News Letter…

  • Glensman

    Last weekend I returned home from Galway to the Mid-Glens and was surprised to see the boards commemorating the 1981 Hunger Strikers. My feeling of surprise was soon replaced by a feeling of pride, I owuld like to thank whoever erected these boards for helping to remember 10 brave men in an area where it is all too easy to forget.

  • Yokel

    Aye Glensman, so proud you left the area but hey isn’t it just the greatest thing to return to your current place of residence where you can reminisce with yer rose tinted glasses on.

    The North was a hopeless violent dump in those days. I doubt many of those involved in actual 30 year shooting and bombing match saw it as glory, they tended to see it as a dirty old scrap after a while and were more cyncical than anything opnce they got into it. It’s only the mile away flag wavers that grandstand…..and before you even suggest what yer da or yer uncle Joe did, it wasn’t you, you didn’t put yerself in the firing line…have a lovely day now

  • Yokel


    Are ya getting pictures, Icons etc or just text?

  • Yokel


    I think you’ve just given a very good idea to loyalists, why don’t they just run up their own posters with pictures and their convictions..then everything is balanced and people can turn their heads towards what they want…..

  • Realist

    “Is there a potentially contentious Orange March in Ballymoney coming up”

    Well sussed. Ballycastle, I think. Stoke up a bit of tension with the Bushmills lads.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Hi Yokel
    I’m getting nothing – the front page of every site comes up fine, but no other pages load when you click on any links. I just get the “Town Today” banner at the top then the download sticks and times out.
    It’s doing my head in actually.
    Not so much because I’m missing the News Letter but because it’s one of those intermittent, inexplicable window faults that makes you wonder if curing AIDS and TB is apology enough from that geeky little Bill Gates bastard.

  • fair_deal


    “should I not insist on the removal of RUC stations”

    Did you never hear of the Patten report?

  • Yokel


    Could be the sites which may well either be hosted or be operated by the same people, before you do anything I’d sit tight and try again tomorrow. The automatic desire is to fiddle with your own kit when it may not be your problem at all.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Cheers – though it’s been like this for a week and I’ve tried two different PCs.
    It’s more the technical mystery that’s bothering me to be honest.

  • slug

    I think the new Newsletter site is a deterioration from the old Newsletter site, which was nice to use.

    Unfortunately there aren’y as many articles on the new site, and the default print size is smaller.

  • Yokel

    2 different PC’s..its the sites probably..does happen

  • Glen Taisie

    Some of the posters were erected by a man who publically stated in 1975

    “The Provos and the IRSP are not only guilty of politically antagonising Protestants, but have been engaged in a murderous sectarian campaign against them”
    Given that most of the hunger strikers belonged to either the PROVOS or IRSP in 1975 will he withdraw his statement ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    This thread reminds me of the usual strands of Northern Ireland hypocrisy. One of the most significant problems we have here centres around the word “provoke”, a word that in and of itself is used to launch an assault on free speech and expression.

    The UDA and their de-facto political wing, the DUP (The DUP’s close relationship with the UDA is hypocrisy all by itself), want posters taken down because they are offensive and provoke anger. Just like how a Catholic grave blessing in Carnmoney “provokes” rioting by loyalists.

    The Shinners want Orange marches rerouted because they are offensive and provoke civil unrest. Instead of ignoring the marches as they pass, they turn out in droves in order to take in the full offensive spectacle. Then they use it as an excuse to go rioting.

    We’re all going to have to be offended a little bit less, and live and let live a little bit more. Let the republicans hang posters of their sick murderers around the place. Let the Orange Order march alongside the sick murderers of the UDA. Surely it is better to allow these things to be expressed and understood for the repulsive things that they are, rather than keep the wound open ?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    The posters are about intimidating and provoking Protestants in the overwhelmingly Protestant and Loyalist North Antrim area. Republicans are trying to mark out these areas as their own and if the UDA paint UYM, UDA or UFF murals close by, or put up the blue and black UDA and UFF flags on nearby lampposts, local nationalists should vent their spleen at their own “defenders”, and not the UDA/UFF North Antrim/Londonderry Brigade.

    Only recently the South-East Antrim Brigade, which covers South Ballymena, worked with the local Ulster-Scots society to remove a UDA mural close to the Roman Catholic chapel in Harryville, and local republicans did remove tricolours in the North of the city in return. This sort of co-operation is the way forward in achieving harmonious living conditions, but Sinn Fein/IRA are obviously intent on flying in the face of this…