The ‘outrage’ propaganda should be dropped: from Belfast pogroms to the Hooded Men and Miami Showband

“The ‘Outrage’ propaganda should be dropped in the Twenty-Six Counties. It can have no effect but to make certain of our people see red which will never do us any good.” So wrote Ernest Blythe in August 1922, but looking for coverage this week of the British government’s effective admission of liability over the MiamiContinue reading “The ‘outrage’ propaganda should be dropped: from Belfast pogroms to the Hooded Men and Miami Showband”

Facts and Figures of the Belfast Pogrom

This is the story of one of the most curious books in Ireland. ‘Facts and Figures of the Belfast Pogrom 1920-1922‘ by G.B. Kenna is a book very much shrouded in mystery. Written and printed in 1922, thousands of copies were printed for distribution but only eighteen ended up in circulation. The rest were apparentlyContinue reading “Facts and Figures of the Belfast Pogrom”

Sailortown and the violence of 1935

Previously, as part of the launch for the Belfast Battalion book, I gave a talk in St Joseph’s Church in Sailortown in Belfast. The talk looked at the experience of residents during the violent, summer of 1935 (rather than at the broader politics of what happened). A couple of themes that emerge from it are,Continue reading “Sailortown and the violence of 1935”

William Falconer, another International Brigade volunteer from Belfast?

I was recently asked to see if I could find anything on William Falconer who, as a 46 year old, had fought with the International Brigade in Spain in support of the Spanish Republic. He was at Jarama and Brunette then, due to ill health, was repatriated from Spain (this, as with the image below,Continue reading “William Falconer, another International Brigade volunteer from Belfast?”

“a position paralleled only by continental dictatorships”: the abuses that prompted the Civil Rights campaigns

An old post worth revisiting on the 100th anniversary of the Treaty. Some commentary in recent years focused on debating the origins and ‘ownership’ of the civil rights campaign. What has been missing from the discussion has been a timely reminder of the actual abuses that prompted the campaigns. At heart, the civil rights campaignContinue reading ““a position paralleled only by continental dictatorships”: the abuses that prompted the Civil Rights campaigns”

Joe McKelvey GAC: the IRA’s own GAA club

This is the story of Joe McKelvey GAC, a GAA club formed by the IRA in Belfast. Founded in 1924, the Joseph McKelvey Gaelic Athletic Club was named after the executed former commandant of the IRA’s 3rd Northern Division. McKelvey had been a founder member of the O’Donovan Rossa GAA club in Belfast. The choiceContinue reading “Joe McKelvey GAC: the IRA’s own GAA club”

A forgotten child death of the conflict, Joseph Walsh

In 1935, fourteen month old Joseph Walsh died as a result of injuries he received when his family were burnt out of their home in Academy Street. Oddly, histories of the period overlook his death. During 1935 Belfast saw significant violence, which saw a number of people killed over the period from the 12th JulyContinue reading “A forgotten child death of the conflict, Joseph Walsh”

#McGurks Bar: a brief prehistory of disinformation

This was published five years ago and still holds true, despite the persistence of the family’s in trying to uncover the truth. Forty-five years on from the McGurks Bar bombing there is much that is yet to be understood not only about the bombing itself, but also the context in which it happened. Mindful that the humanContinue reading “#McGurks Bar: a brief prehistory of disinformation”

Map of Belfast IRA members and suspects

Here’s the current map of Belfast IRA members and suspects spanning a period of around 60 years. It includes lists of Cumann na mBan, Irish Volunteer and Irish Republican Army members and suspects from 1916 onwards as well as lists of internees and sentenced prisoners for various periods. As some sets of names did notContinue reading “Map of Belfast IRA members and suspects”

Free delivery on Belfast Battalion book (while stocks last)

Signed copies of the Belfast Battalion book are available with free delivery for the next week or so (or while stocks last). Click the link here to buy a copy. Free delivery only available in Ireland and Britain (see the link for instructions for delivery elsewhere)..