Fifty years ago this summer a new run of Republican News began to be published by the Publicity Department of the Belfast IRA’s Brigade staff under the editorship of Jimmy Steele. The importance of publicity and communication had long been recognised across the political spectrum in Ireland. The anti-colonial movements, in particular, recognised the needContinue reading “Republican News, fifty years on…”
Tag Archives: Jimmy Steele
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”
Joe McKelvey GAC: the IRA’s own GAA club
This is the story of Joe McKelvey GAC, a GAA club formed by the IRA in Belfast. Founded in 1924, the Joseph McKelvey Gaelic Athletic Club was named after the executed former commandant of the IRA’s 3rd Northern Division. McKelvey had been a founder member of the O’Donovan Rossa GAA club in Belfast. The choiceContinue reading “Joe McKelvey GAC: the IRA’s own GAA club”
Revisiting 1969: the Belfast IRA, reactions and responses
This is a brief account of IRA activity in Belfast over the course of 13-15th August 1969 and its reaction to events. [A brief warning: I’ve included some graphic press images of the violence in Belfast below. Published images and footage of the night-time violence appear to be almost non-existent, despite the clear presence ofContinue reading “Revisiting 1969: the Belfast IRA, reactions and responses”
Revisiting 1969: the myth of a pre-August 1969 split
I have a few posts on events in 1969 taking a fresh look at some key events. This will include the deployment of the British Army, the introduction of internment and the split in the Belfast IRA in September 1969. But they are for another day. Firstly, I’m going to wrap up the previous postContinue reading “Revisiting 1969: the myth of a pre-August 1969 split”
IRA split 1969: unpublished speeches
Here are two unpublished speeches given in July 1969 at an event that later portrayed as central to the split in the IRA later that year 1969. I’ve posted about it previously, so rather than add more to that, I’ll just post the speeches (this is taken from the audio mentioned in those links). TheContinue reading “IRA split 1969: unpublished speeches”
Billy McKee, 1921-2019
The death of veteran Belfast republican Billy McKee has been reported this morning. Born in 1921, he had joined Fianna Éireann in his teens against the backdrop of intermittent violence in the 1930s. He was then arrested in the McKelvey Club in Rockmount Street in November 1938 along with twenty-three others. The McKelvey Club wasContinue reading “Billy McKee, 1921-2019”
The 1944 IRA hunger strike
The 1944 IRA hunger strike marks a significant stage in the evolution of tactics by long term prisoners that culminated in the likes of the 1972 and 1981 hunger strikes.
Who was in charge of the Belfast I.R.A.?
Who was in charge of the Belfast I.R.A. from the 1920s to the 1960s? Formally, the I.R.A. designated Belfast as either a Battalion or Brigade from 1922 through to the late 1960s with it’s commander usually listed as O/C Belfast. As a clandestine organisation, the identity of it’s leadership was not usually transparent. Occasional arrestsContinue reading “Who was in charge of the Belfast I.R.A.?”
Belfast and Nineteen Sixteen book relaunched by National Graves Association, Belfast.
The National Graves Association Belfast are relaunching ‘Belfast and Nineteen Sixteen’ the booklet produced to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising. The original 1966 book has been reprinted along with a new cover and introduction. You can read more on the relaunch below (by Brónach Ní Thuama in the Andersonstown News): The booklet wasContinue reading “Belfast and Nineteen Sixteen book relaunched by National Graves Association, Belfast.”