Weaver Street, Tuam and Bessborough as ‘non-sites of memory’

In 1992, Mary Kerr was driving along the M2 motorway in Belfast at the point immediately to the east of the former location of an area known as Weaver Street, off the York Road. As the name suggests, Weaver Street had been a residential area largely occupied by mill workers and their families. Kerr laterContinue reading “Weaver Street, Tuam and Bessborough as ‘non-sites of memory’”

…for fear of alienating the Unionist vote… #BloodySunday50

When the UK’s current Brexit Minister, Liz Truss, held a series of clandestine meetings in Belfast last week, it seemed clear that the Tories intention is to continue to make the UK’s relationship with the EU fractious. And to play along with misrepresenting views in Belfast as part of a public pretense of opposition toContinue reading “…for fear of alienating the Unionist vote… #BloodySunday50”

Weaver Street, Tuam and Bessborough as ‘non-sites of memory’

In 1992, Mary Kerr was driving along the M2 motorway in Belfast at the point immediately to the east of the former location of an area known as Weaver Street, off the York Road. As the name suggests, Weaver Street had been a residential area largely occupied by mill workers and their families. Kerr laterContinue reading “Weaver Street, Tuam and Bessborough as ‘non-sites of memory’”

Undoubtedly She Was Ready to Kill: Constance Markiewicz at St Stephen’s Green

An enduring controversy has raged over the role of Constance Markiewicz in the death of DMP Constable Michael Lahiff at St Stephen’s Green on the first day of the Easter Rising in 1916. The controversy is mostly fuelled by a mixture of uncertain eye-witness testimony and confused timelines. Regardless of whether she did fire theContinue reading “Undoubtedly She Was Ready to Kill: Constance Markiewicz at St Stephen’s Green”

“Come Hell, High Water or Herr William Craig…”, #CivilRights50

On 5th October, 1968, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (N.I.C.R.A.) staged the first of the civil rights marches in Derry demanding an end to discrimination in housing allocation, gerrymandering and restrictions in the right to vote. You can read some more on the background to N.I.C.R.A. here. By the October 1968 march, it hadContinue reading ““Come Hell, High Water or Herr William Craig…”, #CivilRights50″

Sir James Craig’s 1922 border propaganda

Border propaganda isn’t exactly new in Ireland. Here’s some century old invective from the Illustrated London News. The Unionist government was suffering considerable bad publicity from the violence being inflicted on nationalists in Belfast in particular in early 1922. The Weaver Street bombing in February 1922 had drawn Churchill’s ire and the McMahon murders in MarchContinue reading “Sir James Craig’s 1922 border propaganda”

Ethna Carbery and the disappearance of many Northern cultural figures from the literary history of Ireland

Previously the Irish Times published a map showing some of the locations where it believed we should be considering erecting monuments to honour the achievements of various outstanding Irish women. Since it only included very few in the north, I’m suggesting one, Anna Johnston, who should be near the top of any such list. In 2002, whenContinue reading “Ethna Carbery and the disappearance of many Northern cultural figures from the literary history of Ireland”

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 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”

Belfast ‘pogroms’, Rabbi Rosenzweig and Winston Churchill

Famously the term ‘pogrom’ has been used and criticised when applied to political violence in Belfast. But it’s use goes back to at least 1911 when Belfast Rabbi Jacob Rosenzweig wrote about anti-Jewish violence in Wales. Contemporary newspapers widely reported on Eastern European pogroms. So, when people at the time used the term ‘pogrom’ itContinue reading “Belfast ‘pogroms’, Rabbi Rosenzweig and Winston Churchill”