UVF mural at soccer pitch to be removed

The UVF mural is visible behind the East Belfast FC youth players
The UVF mural is visible behind the East Belfast FC youth players

A UVF mural beside a football pitch used for children’s matches is to be “re-imaged” after an agreement between “local loyalists” and East Belfast FC.

The mural, which carries the words ‘UFV 1912’, is painted on a wall behind Inverary Park in Sydenham, East Belfast, where the local club play their matches.

In a statement, the club said they were “pleased to announce that agreement has been secured with key stakeholders to positively re-image a long standing Ulster Volunteer Force mural”.

The club said they were “extremely proud of the strong cross-community element” to East Belfast FC and said the ‘re-imaging’ work would “remove a mural that some from differing traditions may find offensive”.

A spokesperson for the club said: “East Belfast Football Club have positively engaged with local loyalists over a period of eight months and are pleased to today announce that we have secured this re-imaging agreement.

“It must be placed on record that local loyalists were extremely positive throughout our period of consultation and clearly demonstrated a desire to engage with the exciting development work going on for the betterment of our local community.”

The club spokesperson continued: “We do place on record that the local community expressed a keen desire to maintain the memory of those who sacrificed during the conflict and visible manifestations of our communities culture and history, but agreed this should be viewed in light of the genuine Fresh Start that all of us want to see within Northern Ireland.”