International reactions to #BloodySunday: Germany and the death of Erwin Beelitz

The events of Bloody Sunday were immediately broadcast around a world that had been getting used to hearing and seeing news footage almost as it happened. For several years well-resourced American media organisations had been showing footage of combat in Vietnam, sometimes live, that was seen globally. Similarly, film clips of mass political protests inContinue reading “International reactions to #BloodySunday: Germany and the death of Erwin Beelitz”

James Connolly, the British soldier.

This may come as a shock to many people but James Connolly, the revolutionary socialist and republican, had served in the British army (but then, so many Irish people did join up, it’s hardly a surprise). This post looks at some of what we know about Connolly the British soldier. James Connolly’s legend appears toContinue reading “James Connolly, the British soldier.”

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”

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.”

Lightly tap the muffled drum: the stories of Belfast-born Vol. Jack Edwards, killed Kilkenny prison 1922, and his family

These are the epic stories of the Edwards family who lived in the Manor Street area of Belfast at the turn of the twentieth century. Later moving to Waterford, the Edwards had an eldest son in the flying column of the local IRA (and who was shot dead in Kilkenny prison in 1922), a fatherContinue reading “Lightly tap the muffled drum: the stories of Belfast-born Vol. Jack Edwards, killed Kilkenny prison 1922, and his family”

Where, oh where, is our James Connolly: #Connolly150

One of the remarkable things about James Connolly is how his life provides an intersection with so many long-standing themes: immigration, poverty and disadvantage, Irish-British relations, the Irish in Scotland, class politics, imperialism, socialism and Irish republicanism. Another critical area, in which so many of these issues, and others, converge is in service in theContinue reading “Where, oh where, is our James Connolly: #Connolly150”

James Connolly 150th anniversary

The 5th June 2018 will mark the 150th anniversary of James Connolly’s birth in Edinburgh of Monaghan parents. I’m sure the year will include various events and discussions of Connolly, his life and legacy. One area that interests me and, I think, seems wholly under-explored, is Connolly’s time as a British soldier. Not just inContinue reading “James Connolly 150th anniversary”

James Connolly’s time as a British soldier, some new evidence

James Connolly, signatory of the 1916 proclamation, is widely accepted to have served as a British soldier in Ireland. Remarkably little is known about this period of his life and its impact on his political formation and views. It is assumed that he joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment, although direct documentary proof has yet toContinue reading “James Connolly’s time as a British soldier, some new evidence”

The shooting of John Pat Cunningham, 1974

Here is another case from the 1970’s that is in the news today. Basically, the Belfast Newsletter is attempting to troll nationalists into reacting to their strategy of trying to put ‘legacy’ issues to the forefront of politics at the minute. Mainly, you’d have to guess, because the DUP, and presumably the UUP, fear theContinue reading “The shooting of John Pat Cunningham, 1974”

Barney Watt: propaganda and obstructing justice in February 1971

The oldest legacy inquest is due to start today in Belfast, that of Barney Watt who was shot dead by the British army in Hooker Street on 6th February 1971. The British army managed to provide several contradictory accounts of the shooting, to the point where the subsequent press conference was an absolute¬†fiasco, with claimsContinue reading “Barney Watt: propaganda and obstructing justice in February 1971”