The assassination of King George V, Belfast, 22nd June, 1921

Today, 22nd June 2021 is the centenary of King George V of England opening the northern parliament in Belfast, one of the occasions taken to mark the beginning of partition. This particular centenary and Anglo-Irish relations may have been significantly different, though, as on 22nd June 1921 the IRA, or at least Belfast IRA members,Continue reading “The assassination of King George V, Belfast, 22nd June, 1921”

21 July 1920: what the papers said

So what did the papers say about the outbreak of the Belfast pogroms in 1920? Following Edward Carson’s speech on the Twelfth at Finaghy the annual industrial holiday and taken place and, on the first day back at work, thousands of Catholic workers and socialists were attacked in the shipyards and driven from their jobs.Continue reading “21 July 1920: what the papers said”

The start of the Belfast pogroms, July 12th 1920

It will be interesting to see how much airtime is given to one of this year’s most significant centenaries over the next week or two, that of the start of the Belfast pogroms in July 1920. On July 12th 1920, Edward Carson addressed the assembled Belfast Orangemen at Finaghy telling them that the UVF wouldContinue reading “The start of the Belfast pogroms, July 12th 1920”

Winston Churchill and other cartoons from 1922

Here’s some cartoons from the Sunday Independent in early 1922. Given the papers recent ethos, their political emphasis is maybe surprising. The cartoons were all apparently drawn by Gordon Brewster. The first three date from the period in February and March 1922, in the immediate aftermath of the Weaver Street bombing. The second three areContinue reading “Winston Churchill and other cartoons from 1922”

Albert Coyle and Evidence on Conditions in Ireland

A little bit more on Albert Coyle, of Evidence on Conditions in Ireland fame. Coyle, a Stanford and Yale graduate, compiled and edited testimony given to hearings in Washington DC in 1921 about events in Ireland over the previous couple of years. Over 1,100 pages were published by Coyle as ‘Evidence on Conditions in Ireland’Continue reading “Albert Coyle and Evidence on Conditions in Ireland”

The Ulster Special Constabulary on @theirishstory

A point that became clear during the recent controversy over an RIC commemoration in Dublin Castle was the various blindspots in general knowledge of the RIC. One clear gap was in awareness and knowledge of the Special Constabulary (from later became the B-Specials or B-men). The Irish Story has just published an overview I’ve writtenContinue reading “The Ulster Special Constabulary on @theirishstory”

Are people being hasty in opposing remembering the R.I.C.?

The proposed inclusion of the Royal Irish Constabulary in commemorations of the War of Independence has provoked a bit of storm. The War of Independence still resonates in Ireland as the intersection of an array of themes that remain provocative and contested. Outrage over remembering the R.I.C.,  the police force of the British administration inContinue reading “Are people being hasty in opposing remembering the R.I.C.?”

A century of rebel songs: Ceol Chogadh na Saoirse

Looking for something slightly different to binge watch over Christmas? How about a series looking at political songs and music from 1916 onwards? For the last few weeks, TG4 has been showing Ceol Chogadh na Saoirse which explored the music that grew out of the political events from 1916 until more recent decades. It includes filmContinue reading “A century of rebel songs: Ceol Chogadh na Saoirse”

The Burning of Cork, 1920

On the night of 11-12 December 1920 members of two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) units, the Special Reserve and Auxiliary Division, shot burned and looted their way through parts of Cork city centre killing and wounding a number of people and causing damage estimated at $194m/€175m (in today’s value). In the immediate aftermath much ofContinue reading “The Burning of Cork, 1920”