Carnmoney Districts Arch (Glengormley 2003)

Above is a photograph taken in August 2001 of the Carnmoney District Arch which spans across the Antrim Rd in the center of Glengormley. As has become ritual, I along with fellow loyalists and brethren attend what was once an ordinary occurrence but due to the cancer of republicanism has become a major event in our calendar.

Over the years Glengormley has become invaded with people from the New Lodge , Ardoyne, Oldpark and West Belfast areas, who rather than buy a house and live peacefully beside their protestant neighbours, they have now become aggressive and domineering and wish to have all things protestant removed from sight, and exterminate our culture from the town we we have lived all our lives.

above.....local orangemen get ready to secure the Arch's uprights

This year was unfortunately like the previous few years and has seen not only crowds of republican youths gathering to hurl abuse and sectarian insults at the local brethren, but hardened terrorists from North Belfast who come to intimidate those erecting the arch. This year veteran republican Martin Meehan could be seen orchestrating the protest with his Sinn Fein / I.R.A. terrorists standing in close proximity,one of whom was thought to be the commander of the Ardoyne P.I.R.A. which was responsible for the murder of nine innocent people in the bombing of a fish shop on Belfast's Shankill Rd.

above.......Veteran Provo Martin Meehan organizes republican protests.

Meehan's wife who also comes from Ardoyne is now a Councilor on Newtownabbey Borough Council . Running alongside Breige Meehan in the Council Elections is a republican who lives in the Hightown area of Glengormley called Roisin McGurk. Mrs McGurk has previously tried to stir up tensions over the Arch by using her disabled son to bring a court action to stop the arch being erected on the grounds that it did not give adequate room to maneuver a wheel chair around the base of the arch.

CLICK HERE to read the Court Proceedings.

Other attempts, some less subtle have been used to try and prevent the arch being erected. In 2000 a local republican from the Hightown area, parked his car over the Manhole covers which are removed to enable the Arch to be stabilized. This man only moved his vehicle when a Video Camera started recording him.

The tactics used by Republicans this year were to try and provoke the Loyalists into a confrontation. At first republicans were kept at a distance and looked to be quite uninterested in proceedings until Mr. Meehan arrived and started to give his orders. As young nationalists kicked a football on the main Antrim Rd. the ball began to get kicked ever closer to where the Arch was being erected, causing young nationalists to run past the P.S.N.I. mobile support units and within reach of the gathered Protestants.(with kicking that bad these young men could walk straight into the Antrim GAA team). After several attempts without success a man then tried to walk through Police lines and when confronted began to verbally insult the officers who had stopped him.

above left......A republican try's to push his way past Police while Orangemen look on ......above right......Republican hurls abuse to a Police Officer before being led away

After this Republican was led away the gathered mob then started shouting sectarian insults and abuse to try once more to get a reaction out of the Orangemen who were busy putting the final touches to the Traditional Orange Arch

Above.....Local Orangemen put the finishing touched to their Arch while republicans (who can be seen in the background) shout sectarian slogans

Then in what can only be described as a reenactment of the Celtic Huddle, about fifty republicans gathered around Martin Meehan before walking to the side of the road so they could be more easily seen by the Orangeman, and began to sing the Irish National Anthem at the top of their voices. At this stage the police decided enough was enough and began to move the agitators away. Most of them im sure had a long journey home as a considerable amount of them belong to Sinn Fein / I/R.A's youth wing and had been bussed in for the event. Also something to take note of was the fact that Glengormleys two S.D.L.P. councilors decided to stand beside the Orangemen while the Arch was being erected. Was this an act of solidarity with the local population or where they positioning themselves for maximum provocation. Councilor McTeague lives only around the corner from where the arch is erected but Councilor McClelland made the journey from Randalstown and was at one point joined by her husband Donavan McClelland who is a Councilor on Antrim Borough Council. It amazes me just how far nationalists will travel to be offended.

Above....S.D.L.P. Councilors McClelland and McTeague stand beside brethren erecting the Arch.

Also in the crowd of republicans was the man who's job it is to rid Crumlin of its protestant population. His ambitions, im sure will not be allowed to see their fruition, nor will the ambitions of these blow in republicans who gather beside Glengormley Police Station to Drink carry outs before hunting down innocent Protestants and assaulting them. Unfortunately this was the case last Saturday night when a young youth was viciously attacked by a crowd of drunken republicans who left their victim fighting for his life in hospital.

It has become very hard work being a Protestant in Glengormley, whether it be verbal or physical attacks or frustration at the local police when adopting their pro-nationalist policing strategy or just simply because you cant safely walk through the Village that you where born and raised in. But Protestant people are not afraid of hard work and we must unite to see this scourge of republicanism leave our town so that we can raise our children in peace and safety.

UNITED WE STAND.

Above.......Senior S.F./ I.R.A. members

Above....Republican youths shouting sectarian insults and covering their faces getting ready for trouble.