John McQuillan, a forgotten IRA volunteer shot by the RUC in 1942

John McQuillan’s name doesn’t feature in any republican roll of honour yet the eighteen year old appears to have been in the I.R.A. when he was shot dead by the R.U.C. in January 1942. That month there were significant tensions as the I.R.A. in A wing of Crumlin Road staged a week long mass hungerContinue reading “John McQuillan, a forgotten IRA volunteer shot by the RUC in 1942”

Time must pass as years roll by:

Early in the morning of 2nd September, 1942, seventy five years ago, prison staff moved a cupboard aside in Tom Williams’ cell in C Wing of the Belfast Prison, on the Crumlin Road. It revealed a door that led into the execution chamber. Williams was led into the chamber where he was hung at 8Continue reading “Time must pass as years roll by:”

For Not One Of Which Were The Perpetrators Ever Made Amenable To The British Courts Here

A series of ongoing campaigns are trying to force the British government to fully resolve the issues raised by a significant number of killings under both the unionist Stormont regime and direct rule. Many people seem to infer that these issues should really be set aside as the circumstances of the killings were somehow peculiarContinue reading “For Not One Of Which Were The Perpetrators Ever Made Amenable To The British Courts Here”

Joint IRA and British Army barricades, Belfast, 1969

For a period of time in September 1969, barricades in many Belfast districts were effectively guarded jointly by the British Army and IRA, under the guise of the local Citizen’s Defence Committees (CDC). The Central CDC in Belfast was chaired by Jim Sullivan who was also acting O/C of the IRA’s Belfast Battalion. The BelfastContinue reading “Joint IRA and British Army barricades, Belfast, 1969”

Belfast IRA commandants from 1916 to 1969

Previously, I’d published a chronology of the Belfast IRA commandants from 1924 to 1969, including some revisions and a look at gaps in the list. As more files, mainly pension applications, have been released by the Military Archives in Dublin, it has been possible to put together a picture from the Easter Rising in 1916Continue reading “Belfast IRA commandants from 1916 to 1969”

Hugh McAteer centenary

This year is the centenary of the birth of the former IRA Chief of Staff Hugh McAteer. To mark it, I’ve put together various pieces about McAteer, including a lengthy memoir he published in instalments in The Sunday Independent in 1951. You can read it here: https://issuu.com/jjconeill/docs/hugh_mcateer_the_escape  

RUC list of IRA suspects

The following is the RUC’s ‘A’ list of Irish Republican Army suspects in Belfast in January 1938. The list below is organised by RUC district and is an extract from a 1930s RUC Diary that is in private hands. Names and addresses are recorded (more or less) as they are listed by the RUC, althoughContinue reading “RUC list of IRA suspects”

Interview with Ivor Bell

Interesting interview with Ivor Bell (pictured below) about 1969-70, with reference to strategy, particularly in Belfast where he was Brigade Adjutant. Much of the analysis offered for this period is based on journalistic opinion, often heavily influenced security briefings. While Frank Kitson has become a bit of a bogeyman in writing the history of theContinue reading “Interview with Ivor Bell”