An Indian hunger striker in 1940

Parallels were often drawn between the Irish and Indian experiences of colonialism and imperialism in the early twentieth century. The Irish drive for independence was seen as a source of inspiration by many India nationalists. It may even have provided a significant influence on Udham Singh, one of the iconic figures of India’s anti-colonial struggles.Continue reading “An Indian hunger striker in 1940”

The Derry Jail Great Escape, 20th March 1943

On the 20th March 1943 the IRA staged a mass escape through a tunnel from Derry Jail. The escape was one of a series of high profile actions by the IRA in the north in the first half of 1943 (there is more on the context of the escape here). The escape itself is well coveredContinue reading “The Derry Jail Great Escape, 20th March 1943”

Eamon O’Tierney: 1916 veteran and English born Gaeilgeoir from a unionist family

Among those listed as interned in Frongoch in 1916 is an Edward Tierney whose address is given as the Falls Road, Belfast. There is also a Tierney tentatively listed among the Belfast Battalion volunteers who mobilised that Easter. So who was Edward Tierney? Tierney’s name and address appear in the list of Frongoch internees compiledContinue reading “Eamon O’Tierney: 1916 veteran and English born Gaeilgeoir from a unionist family”

A propaganda photo and some Corr family stories (by Dominic Corr)

  This is another classic example of propaganda from 1920-1922. The photograph above was reproduced in the Belfast Telegraph on 20th September 1921 with a second photo (see the end of this post for the second photo). The caption said, “So bad have conditions become in Vere St., Belfast, that the loyalists have had toContinue reading “A propaganda photo and some Corr family stories (by Dominic Corr)”

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”

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”

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”

THE IRA IN BALLYMACARRETT 1920-1922 (by Sean Ó Coinn)

The most dangerous place in Belfast, writes Sean Ó Coinn, describing Ballymacarrett in 1920-1922 in his book Defending the Ground published earlier this year. Here Sean gives a flavour of his account of the IRA in Ballymacarrett during that period (the book is available to buy at various places in Belfast).   The Most DangerousContinue reading “THE IRA IN BALLYMACARRETT 1920-1922 (by Sean Ó Coinn)”

why republican groups are so fractious…

It has long been a cliché that, historically, the first thing on the agenda in any Irish republican organisation is a split. But like many clichés it has an element of truth to it. Most people are probably unaware that the Irish Citizens Army, as well as Republican Congress, organised in Belfast in the 1930s.Continue reading “why republican groups are so fractious…”

Tom Barry’s British Army service records and #Armistice100

On 30th June 1915, Thomas Bernard Barry from Cork (but born in Kerry) joined the British Army at Athlone and enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery,  going on to serve with the 14th Battery in the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force and Egypt. Barry is better known for his subsequent exploits as Tom Barry, a leading I.R.A.Continue reading “Tom Barry’s British Army service records and #Armistice100”