Lá Lúghnasa Agus Diarmaid Ó Donnabháin Rossa

A belated happy Lá Lúghnasa to one and all as we celebrate the traditional harvest festival marking the commencement of the third quarter of the year in the indigenous calendars of Ireland and the Gaelic world. Unfortunately my day has as been consumed with rather more contemporary work, leaving me little time for festivities. However it’s pleasing to note… Read More Lá Lúghnasa Agus Diarmaid Ó Donnabháin Rossa

Super Colonised Irish Syndrome

  In today’s Irish Times newspaper Seaghán Mac an tSionnaigh reviews the latest in a wave of books from a new generation of writers and historians challenging the inferior position of Ireland’s indigenous language, and the conventional narratives which have shaped our understanding of the suppression – and extermination – of those who speak it: “In The Broken Harp, Identity and… Read More Super Colonised Irish Syndrome

The Hooded Men, British Torture-Centres In Ireland

The Irish Times has a laudably detailed article examining the historic issue of the “Hooded Men”: Irish citizens detained by the British and unionist authorities in the north-east of Ireland during the period of internment – imprisonment without charge or trial – in the early 1970s. Unlike some two thousand others who were carted off to… Read More The Hooded Men, British Torture-Centres In Ireland

British Spies In The IRA, Myth Versus Reality

Just a quick heads-up for those who have access to the series “Twentieth Century British History” from the Oxford Journals. A recent edition features an article titled “The Influence of Informers and Agents on Provisional Irish Republican Army Military Strategy and British Counter-Insurgency Strategy, 1976–94” by Thomas Leahy of King’s College, London. In it the researcher pretty… Read More British Spies In The IRA, Myth Versus Reality

The INLA Show Of Strength In The City Of Derry

      Following the recent death of Peggy O’Hara, the veteran political activist in the city of Derry, the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Irish National Liberation Army – the IRSP’s largely quiescent military wing – staged an unusual public show of strength at her funeral, drawing much media attention and commentary. O’Hara was the mother of the late Patsy O’Hara, the INLA leader who died… Read More The INLA Show Of Strength In The City Of Derry

A Sordid Tale Of British Gunmen, Bombers And Policemen

In his final exploration of the evidence sourced for the RTÉ television documentary “Collusion”, a feature-length programme examining the links between the UK military and intelligence services garrisoned in the north-east of Ireland during the period of the “Long War” and their allies in the so-called “Loyalist” terrorist gangs, veteran Irish journalist Ed Moloney begins with a story that coincidentally illustrates the easy relationship that existed between the… Read More A Sordid Tale Of British Gunmen, Bombers And Policemen

Shoot-To-Kill, Britain’s Summary Executions And Assassinations In Ireland

Sometimes I do wonder if the dozens of Irish and British journalists who spent most of their careers loftily dismissing the evidence of Britain’s criminal counter-insurgency war in Ireland as “republican propaganda” have any regrets now that the veracity of those allegations has been proven to be correct? Or do those newspaper columnists, press editors and… Read More Shoot-To-Kill, Britain’s Summary Executions And Assassinations In Ireland

The Reorganisation Of The IRA In The Early 1970s

Irish journalist and author Ed Moloney, now resident in New York, has an interesting article over on his Broken Elbow blog examining possible evidence of the reorganisation of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army into a “cellular” command and control structure primarily based upon Active Service Units (ASUs) at a date much earlier than previously thought. “Way… Read More The Reorganisation Of The IRA In The Early 1970s

Irish Is Not Dying, Irish Is Being Killed

When the greater part of Ireland won its independence from the United Kingdom in the early 1920s the number of native Irish-speakers across the island, north and south, was close to 6% of the total population (a figure which excludes fluent non-native speakers of Irish, perhaps another 3%-5%). This represented over 250,000 men, women and children, the vast… Read More Irish Is Not Dying, Irish Is Being Killed

Dylann Roof, The Last Rhodesian – Or Ulsterman

In the wake of the racially-motivated massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by Dylann Roof, a self-proclaimed Far Right militant with a fondness for the former regimes of apartheid-era South Africa and white-minority-rule Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), I was reminded of those in the leadership of the British unionist minority in the north-east of Ireland who once expressed similar feelings of… Read More Dylann Roof, The Last Rhodesian – Or Ulsterman

The British Army’s “Tuzo Plan” Of 1972

Over on the Broken Elbow blog the veteran Irish journalist Ed Moloney has a detailed examination of the British Army’s so-called “Tuzo Plan“, named after its originator General Sir Harry Craufurd Tuzo. If the strategy had been implemented in 1972 it would have seen the UK Forces in Ireland and their counterparts in the British terror factions co-operating… Read More The British Army’s “Tuzo Plan” Of 1972

Uaigh Éadaoine, Éadaoin’s Grave, Hill Of Howth

Ceann Bhinn Éadair or Howth Head is the suburbanised peninsula overlooking the northern half of Dublin Bay, a headland that is geographically dominated by three tall peaks, Binn Éadair or the “Summit of Éadar” (anglicised as the Ben of Howth), Sliabh Mhártain or the “Mountain of Mártan” (rendered into English as Shielmartin Hill or Shelmartin) and Dún Aill “Fortress of the Cliff” (variously called… Read More Uaigh Éadaoine, Éadaoin’s Grave, Hill Of Howth

The Battle of Pettigo and Belleek, May To June 1922

The Battle of Pettigo and Belleek in the summer of 1922 was the largest military confrontation between the Irish Republican Army and the British Occupation Forces in Ireland since the Easter Rising of 1916, and arguably the last major engagement in the nation’s War of Independence. Beginning in earnest on May the 27th and lasting until… Read More The Battle of Pettigo and Belleek, May To June 1922

Britain’s Army Of Serial Killers In Ireland 

In the late 1980s and early ‘90s British terrorist groups in the north-east of Ireland began to justify their attacks on the Irish nationalist population in the contested region – and elsewhere – by briefing the domestic and international news media with intelligence information supplied to them by the UK’s “security forces”. Literally thousands of documents… Read More Britain’s Army Of Serial Killers In Ireland 

The Fallen Of World War II

The “Fallen of World War II” is a data-driven feature examining the human cost of the Second World War, measuring the losses incurred to other wars in history, including some recent conflicts. There is much to be shocked by in the sheer scale of the numbers involved. Visit here to learn more about the documentary and its author Neil Halloran.

Here Be Dragons, Book Images Of The Internet Archive On Flickr

Susceptible as I am to the marriage of history with technology, being the original antiquarian-technophile, my love affair with the Internet Archive (a digital library offering free access to a legion of books, movies and music, not to mention some four billion cached web pages) grows ever deeper. If you haven’t browsed its files you really need to… Read More Here Be Dragons, Book Images Of The Internet Archive On Flickr

No, Ireland Did Not Inspire Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings

I love Ireland. I love the Lord of the Rings and most of the other associated works in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth canon. However just because I admire both it does not mean that I can claim a creative relationship between them based upon the most tangential of proofs. Yet that is one of the modern and largely… Read More No, Ireland Did Not Inspire Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings

Pat Finucane, The Assassination Of An Irish Lawyer By British Terrorists

More on the slow unravelling of the secrecy and deception which obscured most aspects of Britain’s counter-insurgency war in Ireland from the late 1960s to early 2000s. The family of Pat Finucane, the Irish lawyer assassinated in 1989 by gunmen from the UDA-UFF (the largest British terrorist faction in the country), is bringing a case to the courts in Belfast demanding a… Read More Pat Finucane, The Assassination Of An Irish Lawyer By British Terrorists

Google Ngram Viewer, Irish Republican Army, Fenian, Fenians

Judging by the positive reactions it seems that many of you have enjoyed my occasional posts highlighting the earliest occurrences of the term “Irish Republican Army” in the vast repositories of digitised and increasingly digital publications known as Google News and Google Books, so I thought I’d introduce you to another one of the online tools provided by the internet giant for would-be researchers. Using… Read More Google Ngram Viewer, Irish Republican Army, Fenian, Fenians