“The PUP has hailed what it says is a groundbreaking replacement of a paramilitary mural in a staunchly loyalist mega-estate.
The party believes the change is the first time any mural honouring the Red Hand Commando (RHC) has been “reimaged”.
There are other RHC and other paramilitary murals in Rathcoole, a huge housing development in the Newtownabbey/north Belfast area. It is not clear what will happen with those.
It is understood the old mural in Carmeen Drive featured weapons. The new one mentions the ancient north-east Ulster kingdom of Dalriada, and ancient inhabitants the Pretani.
PUP North Belfast councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston said “it is now a window into the rich historical tapestry of Ireland”, which “reaches beyond partition, beyond division and promotes a common identity”.
The CAIN archive, run by Ulster University, attributes 13 deaths to the RHC between 1969 and 2001, while the UVF – to which the RHC is affiliated – was behind 428.”