Ballyclare residents have voiced concerns about a series of new paramilitary murals that have appeared in the town in recent days.
One mural, depicting four masked men brandishing automatic rifles, was painted on a wall at the entrance to Erskine Park.
The badges of the proscribed Ulster Defence Association, the Ulster Freedom Fighters and the Ulster Young Militants also feature on the wall.
Surrounding walls in the housing estate, located off the Rashee Road, have been daubed with “UDA booked”, indicating that more murals are set to be painted. Similar graffiti has appeared on walls in the Grange estate.
A mural on Charles Drive, commemorating the Battle of the Somme, was praised after being unveiled on Friday, July 1. However, residents have now voiced their disgust after a paramilitary mural was painted beside it. The mural, which refers to the South East Antrim UDA/UFF, appeared on the wall within days of the Somme mural, which was created with the assistance of local historians, being unveiled.
Speaking to the Times, one resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “I’m disgusted that these murals are appearing in the town. As other towns in the country are moving away from this, it’s distressing a small minority are still trying to drag the people of Ballyclare back to the past. There’s a lack of investment in the town and things like this will only make it worse.”
One local political representative, who didn’t want to be named, said they’d received a number of complaints from angry residents about the new paramilitary murals.