IRA appeal to the Orange Order

An Address from the Army Council of the Irish Republican Army to the Men and Women of the Orange Order [This is the text as quoted by The Kerryman on 16th July 1932. It was published in An Phoblacht the same day and had been largely written by Peader O’Donnell. Prior to publication, it had beenContinue reading “IRA appeal to the Orange Order”

A brief history of Cumann na mBan in Belfast from the 1920s to 1960s

This is a short history of Cumann na mBan in Belfast from the end of the civil war through to the 1960s. Obviously, anyone with information that enhances the story or adds further details is more than welcome to share it in the comments section. Jack McNally (in his 1989 autobiography, Morally Good, But Politically Bad)Continue reading “A brief history of Cumann na mBan in Belfast from the 1920s to 1960s”

April 5th, 1942: Tom Williams and ‘legacy issues’

On Easter Sunday, 5th April, 1942, a unit from the Belfast Battalion’s C Company was to carry out a diversionary attack on the RUC on the Kashmir Road. The unit involved were to fire shots at one of the armoured cars that the RUC used to patrol nationalist districts, withdraw to a pre-arranged safe house, dump theirContinue reading “April 5th, 1942: Tom Williams and ‘legacy issues’”

‘The boy who rules Free Derry’ (a profile of Martin McGuinness from 1972)

Below is the earliest (and perhaps the most illuminating) profile of Martin McGuinness, written by Nell McCafferty and published in The Irish Times on 19th April 1972, within weeks of Bloody Sunday. Entitled, ‘Martin McGuinness: Profile of a Provo‘. Given all that is being said following his recent death, it is fascinating to read as it givesContinue reading “‘The boy who rules Free Derry’ (a profile of Martin McGuinness from 1972)”

The Great Escape: Derry, 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. The escape itself is well covered by an episode of the TG4 series, Ealú: ToContinue reading “The Great Escape: Derry, 1943”

The 1972 hunger strike

In 1972, an IRA hunger strike was successful in achieving the recognition of the political status of those held as prisoners by the British government. The hunger strike provided significant lessons for later republican protests in 1980 and 1981 and, in itself, was modeled on earlier hunger strikes. The numbers of prisoners had increased dramaticallyContinue reading “The 1972 hunger strike”

The Falls Curfew, 1942

The issue of Republican News that was published just after Tom Williams‘ execution on 2nd September 1942, stated that “…neither the passions of the people, nor the fiery demand for action of the Volunteers, will make the Army authorities enter into hasty or unplanned action.” Just over a month after Williams’ execution, the IRA did enter intoContinue reading “The Falls Curfew, 1942”

Reprieve Petition Refusal: The Irish Press, 2nd Sept 1942

This is the text of The Irish Press coverage of the lead up to Tom Williams’ hanging on 2nd September 1942. Two years previously, on 6th September 1940, De Valera’s government had executed Thomas Harte from Lurgan and Patrick McGrath, a 1916 veteran. The difference in the coverage, publicity and reprieve campaigns are significant. The same couldContinue reading “Reprieve Petition Refusal: The Irish Press, 2nd Sept 1942”

Armed confrontations between the IRA and RUC in Belfast

Armed confrontations between the Belfast IRA and RUC were not commonplace. While IRA volunteers engaged the RUC in 1932 during the Outdoor Relief riots and again during the attempted pogrom of 1935, in the former case they were not acting under IRA orders while in both instances it occurred during more general violent clashes. DuringContinue reading “Armed confrontations between the IRA and RUC in Belfast”