We are letting the community manage these [i.e. tributes to UVF man]

I suspect it is embedded in the psyche on the eve of the Covenant commemorations at the end of this month, but loyalist North Belfast, having bared the religious intolerance in it’s soul at St Patrick’s, still appears to be bristling with hostility and animosity. Now the unlikely focus is a supermarket.

A former UVF member, William Hunter, who killed two Catholic brothers was at the centre of a 2010 protest over his sacking for telling a Catholic delivery man to play The Sash at the ASDA store on Belfast’s Shore Road (he was subsequently re-instated). Last week (link above), the Belfast Telegraph reports, there were tributes left at the store after Hunter:

doused himself in petrol and set his body alight on Ballywalter Road in Co Down…

The family of his two murder victims are unlikely to express much sympathy. Their brother Gerard contacted Walmart, the US company that owns Asda, and asked it to remove the tributes.. He said Hunter’s supporters were making a shrine out of Asda with his death. Asda said it had no plans to remove the tributes.

“We respect there are strong feelings from various groups within the local community on this matter. The tributes being left at our Shore Road store have been led by the local community and we are letting the community manage these,” a spokesperson said.


As well as the floral tribute (including references celebrating Hunter’s paramilitary past) there is now a book of condolences in the entrance foyer. Hunter’s violent death is as tragic as any suicide but the link with Asda/Walmart was a controversial one and the tributes are not appropriate there. If Hunter had been an IRA member, would civic unionism be so tolerant in silence?

, , ,

  • DC

    the attack by irishs nats was/is a clear and successful attempt to cause trouble,

    If true, poor form.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Back again making excuses for rioting I see, lamhdearg.

  • lamhdearg2

    you see what you want to see comrade. just like everyone else, but maybe you have a higher opinion of yourself.

  • Mister_Joe

    It really is a pity that hypocrisy can’t be bottled and sold. ASDA might put in a big order.

  • Mister_Joe

    What exactly is “loyalism”?
    Younger readers hear won’t know about the fierce debates across the UK regarding abolition of the death penalty in the early 60s. The rest of the UK did abolish it but Stormont retained it for the murder of police officers. Then a policeman was shot dead. By a “loyalist” on the Shankill road, or thereabouts, and was arrested. You can’t imagine the panic in the unionist community since it was thought that the law would only applied to themmuns. Feverish activity ensued at Stormont and the UUP repealed the law.

  • Mister_Joe

    “here” not “hear”.

  • Zig70

    Big riot at the minute in N Belfast over a republican march.

  • DC

    whereabouts?

  • Reader

    Mister_Joe: You can’t imagine the panic in the unionist community since it was thought that the law would only applied to themmuns. Feverish activity ensued at Stormont and the UUP repealed the law.
    Not all that “feverish” – Constable Victor Arbuckle was murdered in October 1969, the death penalty was abolished in July 1973 – by Westminster!

  • lamhdearg2

    dc, carlise circus, quiet at the moment, lots of police.

  • Mister_Joe

    Thanks, Reader. I was relying on memory and I’m getting too oul.

  • Zig70

    carlisle circus, Denmark st & top of Newlodge. Mob formed to protest at the henry joy mccraken parade and both sides have joined in to pelt the police with bricks.

  • Comrade Stalin

    lamhdearg, you are clearly the Slugger equivalent of Lord Haw Haw.

    I’m sure if I looked into it I’d find that the attack on the Orange Hall, assuming there was one, was a few teenage spides chucking stones.

  • PeterBrown

    Did the UVF just happen to have the keys to Clifton St Orange Order headquarters ?

    two things – I am assuming you have proof this is the UVF bearing in mind Gerry was never in the IRA he just like parading in a beret because he liked Some Mother Do Ave Em while singing songs in the Mazr that weren;t actually going to be written for another couple of years.

    Secondly I’m assuming once the first burden of proof is established that you are not suggesting that someone has access to a building with permission or otherwise they are associated with its owners – just remember where the Enniskillen bomb was planted….

  • lamhdearg2

    “You can’t imagine the panic”
    although apparenty You could/can imagine, given that as you have stated, your not from the unionist community.

  • lamhdearg2

    comrade, I am sure if “You” looked into it, “you” will indeed find, something along those lines.

  • DC

    lamhdearg, you are clearly the Slugger equivalent of Lord Haw Haw.

    Leave him alone – this is Belfast calling, Belfast calling, Lamhdearg with an announcement!

  • Mister_Joe

    Funny that, lamhdearg, since I am not an Irish nat.

  • lamhdearg2

    whats funny joe?. that your not a irish nat, and not from the unionist community?, not funny at all, I myself am not a unionist and I am not from the irish nat community.

  • Mister_Joe

    Well lamhdearg, you state that I don’t know what the unionist community was thinking back then. Perhaps that’s because for 6 years in the early 70s I lived in the well known nationalist estate in Bangor called Kilcooley. Then, when I got a new job, I moved to the well known nationalist town of Carrickfergus. I didn’t have a clue.

  • lamhdearg2

    joe, I did not state that, nor do I imply that you do not have a clue.

  • DC

    Gerry was never in the IRA

    Brilliant i love these ones.

  • Mister_Joe

    Ah, DC. That was always the question put to him, I think. Was he ever asked “Were or are you a member of the PIRA?”

  • lamhdearg2

    better the Q, have you stopped being a member of the Pira.

  • Mister_Joe

    And I have heard it rumoured that, although the PIRA have gone away, there is still a rump “Army Council” of three people to provide continuity in case they need to once more “put manners on” the Prods. Wonder who they might be?

  • andnowwhat

    Mighty be the oul Alzheimer’s kicking in but has Matt Baggot spoken on recent events?

  • Toastedpuffin

    “This was the Republican Network for Unity (dissidents) so I doubt any campaign by Sinn Féin is relevant”

    Maybe – and then again maybe not – but how is their “Hug a Hun” campaign going? Where’s a Shinner with a camera when a Hun needs one? Hmm?

  • andnowwhat

    Might, not mighty

  • Mister_Joe

    Who is Matt Baggot? (sarcasm).

  • Mister_Joe

    The only plea I have seen is from the leader of the police “union”. It’s his members who seem to suffer the most these days. I never did like the game “Piggy in the middle”, being on the short side.

  • Mister_Joe

    I wanted to be a policeman; applied to almost all jurisdictions across the UK. Unfortunately, back then, you had to be at least 5’8″ for all of them. Despite my constant stretching, I fell 1/4″ short.

  • andnowwhat

    Matt Baggot is the Sir Cliff Richard of policing

  • Mister_Joe

    Dammit, andnowwhat, I’m preparing my supper. You could have kept that remark for later.

  • andnowwhat

    Well, unless you are making mutton, the Cliff remark should be ok.

    On a less lighter side, I really think there are serious issues about Baggot. Last year, I’ll equipped and unarmed police took on thousands of rioters in London and beyond. A serious lesson was sent by the courts to back up the rule of law.

  • Mister_Joe

    Yes, I think that the sentence on the Scotsman was particularly light but, I guess there are differing sentencing guidelines. Since it was his first offence, presumably, I don’t have a problem with the sentence being suspended.

  • andnowwhat

    Joe, a dirty big incitement law with very serious punishment might do the place wonders I’d also like to see a law about filling kids heads with crap, be it marching around a hall pretending to be provies are parading in an antoginistic fashion.

  • tacapall

    “two things – I am assuming you have proof this is the UVF bearing in mind Gerry was never in the IRA he just like parading in a beret because he liked Some Mother Do Ave Em while singing songs in the Mazr that weren;t actually going to be written for another couple of years.

    Secondly I’m assuming once the first burden of proof is established that you are not suggesting that someone has access to a building with permission or otherwise they are associated with its owners – just remember where the Enniskillen bomb was planted”

    Peter are you drunk or something now who’s making excuses and getting into whataboutery to defend the Orange Orders relationship with still armed loyalist paramilitaries. The dogs in the street know Gerry Adams was in the IRA what that has to do with allowing the UVF access to Clifton St Orange hall I dont know but anyhow, just like Gerry Adams, the dogs in the street know that was the UVF in Clifton St Orange lodge and I dont think Winkie and his sidekicks present will challenge that accusation in a court of law.

    You tell us how the UVF got the keys to Clifton Street Orange Hall after all they did break their never on a Sunday rule to open their premises to the very same people who orchestrated the sectarian scenes outside St Patricks church.

    Is there a big trial and an inquest coming up which will possibly lead to convictions of leading UVF figures and possibly open a can of worms into the criminal actions of RUC special branch in relation to allowing the Mount Verno UVF to murder at will. Maybe we’re all being blackmailed and the parades issue is being used as a stick to threaten the PSNI and the HET to back off.

  • Jack2

    Peter to back up tacapall’s comments, you normally dont resort to whataboutery.
    What about Gerry?
    What about Enniskillen?

    If they didnt have the keys, did the O.O owners report a break in?
    A lot of burly (at least one looked drunk) men roaming around premises I was responsible for would be concerning.

  • andnowwhat

    The district commander said it was trouble initiated by around 300 loyalists. We can park that now

  • tacapall

    The district commander said the trouble was orchestrated by the UVF.

  • andnowwhat
  • Bishops Finger

    This episode has shown loyalism in general and the oo in particular to be morally bankrupt, and nothing more than a vicious rabble who demand rights yet seek to deny the same rights to others. What was their protest actually about? Was it the fact that a different tribe wanted to parade through their area? Reeks of hypocracy.

  • DC

    Thanks for the above link.

    Well there you have it, the UVF started it.

    It turned out to be a battle of the commanders.

    Superintendent George Clarke v Winkie Irvine.

    Evidently the UVF’s staff officer system must still be functioning.

  • DC

    I guess I can understand Asda’s position now.

    Dawn Purvis probably shouldn’t have thrown the towel in re her work with the PUP, the boys have taken over again and are running around playing soldiers.

  • andnowwhat

    Bishops Finger

    I think it was a crude attempt at good for the gander. Neither the PUP nor North Belfast Parades Forum were available for comment to the Nolan Show. A caller to the show said that a group were in the back of an old people’s home where an officer was rounded on. Although there was no confirmation of this, Nolan said that he did hear of this last night and will contact the police on the issue

  • andnowwhat

    Actuall, the area commander didn’t specifically say the UVF were involved but did say it was started by loyalists. Gerry Kelly said it was them initially and later joined by the UVF.

    Anyway, we all saw who was on the balcony. Mike Nesbitt didn’t sound as smooth as usual this morning http://audioboo.fm/boos/944235-sf-mla-gerry-kelly-uup-leader-mike-nesbitt-discuss-yesterday-s-riots-in-north-belfast

  • DC

    Winston Irvine is part of the Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium, seems like he’s actually a force for good causes:

    Winston Irvine

    Winston Irvine has been involved in community activism for over 16 years. Throughout that time, he has worked tirelessly on issues affecting working class Unionist communities, including housing and development, community safety/anti-social behaviour issues, lack of adult/youth provision and issues relating to cultural identity such as bonfires, marking out of territory, flags and emblems.

    In recent times, Winston has been actively involved in high profile negotiations surrounding the issue of parades and protests across the city of Belfast and has played an important role in supporting and developing dialogue processes in other areas, where there have been problems associated with Republican and Loyalist parades and protests.

    At all levels of engagement Winston has been an active participant in the Transformation Process. In the context of peace-building and transforming relationships he has contributed both strategically and at a grass-roots level, assisting positive change at various levels.

  • tacapall

    “What was their protest actually about? Was it the fact that a different tribe wanted to parade through their area? Reeks of hypocracy.”

    Clifton Street is not a Protestant area nor is any route the Henry Joy parade took, it simply passed an Orange hall that is yards from St Patricks church where all shades of Unionism watched and encouraged these same people to break the law then stood in silence while they directed their sectarian venom on the parish priest and the church.

    When you consider there are ongoing talks between St Patricks church and its parishioners with the Orange orders and the likes of Winkie Irvine about the upcoming covenant parade then theres not much hope of a settlement as they dont really want this issue settled. This whole issue is being stoked up by the UVF for reasons other than the right to act in a disrespectful, offensive and sectarian manner outside a Catholic church.

  • TwilightoftheProds

    What is really behind the trouble at Clifton street?

    At one level there is a ‘you kick up a fuss with the Parades Commission, and we’ll mess with you’ dynamic from loyalism. Crude, overdone and paranoiac…it could be easily sorted another way.

    so what else?

    The intent to put down markers over small territorial changes in a post girdwood environment?

    Street level warnings over future trials of the UVF?

    An attempt to establish continued relevance and influence at neighbourhood levels by the UVF?

    DUP and Loyal Orders will have to think carefully about how they deal with this…there are only costs and no benefits to trying to leverage this…I haven’t picked up any traction over this issue amongst ‘ussuns’.

    Loyalists will get hosed off the streets, and the decent work done by them in the BCRC will suffer. This issue won’t mobilise like the Homecoming parade, or even cause split views like a Drumcree.

  • PeterBrown

    The fact that alleged / known UVF members were in Clifton Street Orange hall would not particulalrly concern me uless the hall was a firing point during the exchnage of missiles – I am assuming someone gave them the keys and they were there with permissio. My reference to G Adams is the assumption that these were UVF men but so long as we abide by the dogs in the street burden of proof standard for everyone then i have no issues with that. As a rural orangeman I am at a loss to explaint he apparently close connection with the UVF in north & west Belfast when the UDA / UFF (see Jackie McDonald) has seemingly cuts its ties.

    I had a discussion at church last night about recent evetns with a fellow oyal order member who shares their frustration with the Commission and my frustration witht their methods of venting that and we felt both felt that the next step at the Covenant parade (we are not on that particular route) is either voluntarily reroute or parade and behave impeccably which provided it can be delivered is actually preferable for me to rerouting….I see the Black hierarchy has also now commented expressing disappointment with Black Saturday and promising the usual investigation…

    And tacapall at least the UVF trial (which I welcome) is taking place in public which is more than be said for its Republican counterpart…so far at least

  • Mister_Joe

    There is at least one solution and both “sides” have contributed to it.
    I’m talking about the Derry/Londonderry model. There has been no, or very minor, trouble associated with the Apprentice Boys parade in many years.

  • tacapall

    “And tacapall at least the UVF trial (which I welcome) is taking place in public which is more than be said for its Republican counterpart…so far at least”

    I really dont know what you refer to in the comment above Peter but if its to do with keeping identities secret then I agree with you on that point.