UDA mural ‘removal’ talks mooted

Calls have been made for the removal of this mural in Glenfield. INCT 07-701-CON
Calls have been made for the removal of this mural in Glenfield. INCT 07-701-CON

Community discussions are to take place over a paramilitary mural which appeared in the Glenfield area of Carrickfergus.

It depicts a masked gunman beside a message which reads: ‘Better to die on your feet than live on your knees in an Irish Republic. Join the UDA’.

The appearance of the image is “disappointing” for the local population, according to East Antrim MLA David Hilditch. He added: “It is on the road in Glenfield and on the way to a primary school, which is not ideal.

“I have spoken to police and we are intent on having discussions with community people over the next few days. Discussions have to take place in order to get a positive outcome over it.

“It is the same for all paramilitary murals; there should not be anything like this. Most people have tried to move on in recent years and it has just been so disappointing after a number of re-imaging projects. A lot of decent and good work has been done on bringing things up to speed with murals that depict historical events.”

Fellow East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson, who believes the mural is being used as a “recruitment” tool, added: “It is an illegal image for an illegal terrorist organisation. This mural is about creating fear and intimidation within the local community, as well as attempting to demarcate territory.

“There is no place for images of masked gunmen on our streets. It is sending out the wrong message to our children. These terrorist organisations are just about destroying people’s lives. They have no place in our society.”

Meanwhile, Area Commander T/Superintendent Stephen Reid indicated local officers are making enquiries to determine the owner of the building on which the mural has been placed with a view to launching an investigation. “We will also be working with the local authorities to progress the removal of the mural,” he said.