Revisiting 1969: #peacewalls50

The peace line formally erected in 1969 is directly associated with the events of 14th and 15th August 1969. With the fiftieth anniversary of those days looming, I’m going to recap some previous posts on the peace line. The course of the Shankill/Falls peaceline closely mirrors the path of the River Farset as it windsContinue reading “Revisiting 1969: #peacewalls50”

Revisiting 1969: “we mustn’t allow hatred to spring up in our hearts for our Protestant brethren” (from Brendan McMahon)

This is a recording from August 1969 of Fr Patrick Egan addressing the Clonard Men’s Confraternity supplied by Brendan McMahon. It gives a contemporary response to events in Clonard, Bombay Street and Cupar Street from the days after 14th/15th August 1969. Keep an eye out for more from Brendan in a couple of weeks.

Revisiting 1969: the deployment of the British Army, April 1969

This is another article revisiting 1969, this time looking at the initial deployment of the British Army. In 1969, violence led to the deployment of the British Army in the north. Historically people usually associate this event with the aftermath of serious disorder in Derry and Belfast in the middle of August. However, the BritishContinue reading “Revisiting 1969: the deployment of the British Army, April 1969”

Revisiting 1969: the myth of a pre-August 1969 split

I have a few posts on events in 1969 taking a fresh look at some key events. This will include the deployment of the British Army, the introduction of internment and the split in the Belfast IRA in September 1969. But they are for another day. Firstly, I’m going to wrap up the previous postContinue reading “Revisiting 1969: the myth of a pre-August 1969 split”

IRA split 1969: unpublished speeches

Here are two unpublished speeches given in July 1969 at an event that later portrayed as central to the split in the IRA later that year 1969. I’ve posted about it previously, so rather than add more to that, I’ll just post the speeches (this is taken from the audio mentioned in those links). TheContinue reading “IRA split 1969: unpublished speeches”

Billy McKee, 1921-2019

The death of veteran Belfast republican Billy McKee has been reported this morning. Born in 1921, he had joined Fianna √Čireann in his teens against the backdrop of intermittent violence in the 1930s. He was then arrested in the McKelvey Club in Rockmount Street in November 1938 along with twenty-three others. The McKelvey Club wasContinue reading “Billy McKee, 1921-2019”

How to replace the peace lines with the River Farset

Imagine we could replace the fifty year old peace line by re-opening the River Farset? That isn’t as fanciful as it sounds. A significant section of the river along the northern side of Cupar Street (much of it open ground today) while the peace line runs on its southern side. So it would certainly beContinue reading “How to replace the peace lines with the River Farset”

The start of the peace lines: Belfast, 1969.

Fifty years ago this summer peace lines were erected across parts of Belfast, most famously along a line that roughly follows the course of the River Farset from Divis Street to the Springfield Road. Here, I look at how it was first built in September 1969 and some of its predecessors in Belfast. I alsoContinue reading “The start of the peace lines: Belfast, 1969.”

Belfast Battalion: #WorldBookDay

To mark World Book Day, you can now read Belfast Battalion online for free (just click here or cut and paste the link: It will be available to read for free from 7th March 2019 to the 18th March 2019. To¬† buy the book click here.