Well done to all the Northern Ireland athletes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games!… 2 gold, 3 silver, 7 bronze.
Congratulations to Ulsterman Rory McIlroy who last weekend won the British Open Golf Championship 2014!
Vintage photo of an Orange Order parade, early 1900’s
Traditional 11th night bonfires across Belfast. The bonfire tradition started when huge fires were lit around the coast of Ulster to guide King William’s fleet into Carrickfergus in 1690.
In May 1915, the two biggest rivals in Irish League football; Linfield & Belfast Celtic combined to play a benefit match for wounded soldiers in WWI. The two biggest teams had a history of sectarian strife in Belfast as one team was from a Unionist background (Linfield) and one from a Nationalist background (Belfast Celtic) but they came together as one to take on a ‘The Rest of League’ team in a charity match. Over 10,000 spectators saw the Linfield/Celtic team win 4-2.
In memory of over 5,000 Ulstermen who fell at the Battle of the Somme on this day in 1916. The plaque in the photo is mounted in the Ulster Memorial Tower in Thiepval, France.
1914 Newspaper article highlighting the fact that both Ulster Unionists & Irish Nationalists signed up to fight in WWI side by side.
Sinn Fein World War One anti-enlisting postcard.
AN antique historical flag for Northern Ireland. Six stars representing the six counties of N.I.
The Irish Elk is an extinct creature. It was one of the largest deer to ever live and also had the biggest antlers of any know cervid. The Irish Elk is used to represent Northern Ireland in UK heraldry coats-of-arms (see pic 2). Creatures that represent other UK nations are the Lion for England, Unicorn for Scotland and the Dragon for Wales.
Although most of the known skeletons were found in Irish bogs the Irish Elk was not exclusive to Ireland and extended across Eurasia to northern Asia and Africa. It stood 7 foot tall at the shoulder and were thought to weigh up to 1,500lbs and more. It became extinct at least 7000 years ago.
The sculpture of the Irish Elk in photo 3 is in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland.
Designs for the Northern Ireland two pence coin that never was.
When the UK was switching to decimal new coins had to be designed. The English lion was on the 10p coin, the Scottish thistle was on the 5p coin. The Duke of Edinburgh suggested there should be a design for Northern Ireland on the 2p coin. Several designs were drawn up as seen here but the idea was scrapped after the onset of the troubles as the Royal Mint feared the red hand of Ulster designs may be divisive.
Doagh Hole Stone:
This remarkable stone stands 1.5 metres high, with a 10cm diameter hole cut into it, overlooking the entire Six Mile Water Valley and one of only a few holed stones in the British Isles. The Holestone is an ancient stone that has attracted visitors seeking external love and happiness since the 18th century. Upon reaching the Holestone couples undertake a traditional ceremony where the woman reaches her hand through the circular hole and her partner takes it, thus pledging themselves to love each other forever.
Northern Ireland coat-of-arms on a lamp-post in Stormont estate, Belfast.
detail from a Northern Ireland Royal Mail First Day Cover postcard. Features the red hand of Ulster set in a six pointed star topped by an imperial crown as seen on the Northern Ireland coat of arms. Also features the flax plant which is the official flower of N.I.
First Day Cover postcard celebrating Northern Ireland regional stamps. Features the RMS Titanic surrounded by a celtic art frame.