By Ciaran Barnes
North Belfast News
A mural honouring two dead north Belfast loyalists has been removed from a gable wall off the Oldpark Road as part of the city council's mural replacement scheme.
The image to UDA members Freddie and Norman Truesdale went up on the corner of Manor and Alloa Street in the mid-1990s.
It was painted over in the last month by council workers after politicians agreed a compromise with the local UDA unit.
In a bid to improve the image of the area, known locally as the River Streets, the UDA has agreed that non-paramilitary images should replace the murals.
The move is part of a wider initiative by the paramilitary organisation. It comes on the back of their request for financial assistance from the British government in order to go out of business.
The mural replacement scheme has been rolled out across Belfast in recent months with a total of 55 murals now being removed or replaced.
Among these were a series of UDA murals in the lower Shankill area on Hazelfield Street, Bellevue Street, Boundary Way and Dover Block.
According to an internal council report “substantial” progress has been made in removing murals in North Belfast.
It also reveals City Hall chiefs hope to replace a further 25 murals in the city within the coming months.
Norman Truesdale was shot dead by the IRA at his shop next to Oldpark library in March 1993.
He died after being hit four times by bullets fired from an AK47.
He was a leading member of the UDA and a close friend of exiled loyalist Johnny Adair.
His brother, Ian Truesdale, was part of the Adair's 'C' company faction that fled the Shankill three years ago following an internal purge by the mainstream UDA.