The Controversial Legacy of Frank Kitson in Northern Ireland…

Frank Kitson has been fulsomely praised in death through a number of obituaries while others have damned him over what is widely seen as his background role in the Ballymurphy massacre (August 1971) and in the killings at Derry on Bloody Sunday(1972). Frank Kitson had joined the Rifle Brigade as he was turning twenty in the months after the end of WWII. In choosing a career in the Army he had gone against a family tradition of naval service that …

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Two hundred and thirty years ago today a unique visionary French feminist of the Enlightenment Olympe de Gouges was guillotined…

The execution took place the day after she had stood trial for her writings which had criticising the descent of the high deals of the French Revolution into recrimination and bloodshed…. …….the execution took place ….towards 4 P.M. ; while mounting the scaffold, the condemned, looking to the people, cried out “ Children of the Fatherland, you will avenge my death.” Universal cries of “Vive la République” were heard amongst the spectators waving hats in the air… De Gouges and …

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The Belfast Shipyard Expulsions and Their Aftermath, 21st July 1920…

The general election held in 1918 had completely transformed the post-war politics of Ireland, with the Sinn Féin candidates winning a majority of FPTP seats by a landslide vote. These newly elected members boycotted Westminster and established an alternative assembly in Dublin on 21st January 1919. Despite the mounting campaign of political violence that had also developed during 1919 and in early 1920, by July Robert Lynd could still accurately write, “So far as the mass of people are concerned, …

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A personal brush with CoVid-19….

A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic.    Attributed to Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference by the author Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko. When one is writing non-fiction, the books one inevitably buys pile up. Last week an order of new shelves arrived and by Sunday I was ready to put up a few banks of them in the least cluttered part of my library and decant the tall forty inch piles collecting on my stairs and around …

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Review of Guy Beiner’s “Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster”

“This is the past and it has to stay in the past. We don’t want to see any more of it.” Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster, Guy Beiner, Oxford University Press, 2018. Over the weekend the PSNI were called to manage an incident with a car bomb within the Walls of Derry. The car was parked in Bishop’s Street, just by the courthouse and directly across the road from the Masonic Centre that …

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