Due to the baleful influence of the Neo-Unionist lobby in the Dublin press corps since the 1970s popular culture in Ireland has tended to overlook the truly national character of the War of Independence. The volunteer-soldiers of the Irish Republican Army who sought to liberate our island nation in the first half of the 20th century did so by waging an insurrection not just on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Limerick but on the thoroughfares of Belfast, Derry and Armagh too. In the penultimate contest for Irish freedom and democracy there was no border, no demarcation line between north and south (or east and west). It was one country and one struggle. The July Truce of 1921 may have ended official hostilities between the forces of the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom in four-fifths of the nation but in the remaining fifth the war continued unabated for another two years. Unfortunately the conflict worsened as the military, paramilitary and terror components of the British Occupation Forces exploited divisions in the ranks of their Irish opponents to press home a diplomacy-gifted advantage. The worse days of the Northern Pogrom took place during this period as thousands of Irish men, women and children fled their homes for southern refugee camps and exile with family and friends in what was to become the so-called Free State. Arguably it was not until May of 1923 that Ireland’s War of Independence came to an end as the Republican Army declared a ceasefire in its struggle with the “Stater” regime in Dublin (though in reality most operations against the British Occupation Forces in the north-east of the country had petered out by the winter of 1922). This makes studies and articles examining the history of the Irish Revolution through the experiences of those who lived and fought in the “Ulster cauldron” very welcome indeed. So here is John O’Neill with a short account of the Fianna Éireann, the remarkable revolutionary scouting movement, in Belfast from 1917 to 1924. Without the youthful and committed enthusiasm of the Fianna Éireann branches or sluaite across Ireland the struggle to reassert Irish independence would have been very different indeed.