Northern Ireland

Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in these documentaries are soley intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors.

Bits Of Belfast – Falls Road.


Irish History Cromwell,God’s Executioner Part 1.

Part 1 of a 2 part documentary about Oliver Cromwell’s campaign in Ireland.Even in these times, when all the talk is of putting history behind us, the easiest way to tell the difference between the Irish and the English is to utter the word ‘Cromwell’. In England, especially to those of a progressive bent, it evokes democracy, popular rights and national pride. In Ireland, or at least in Catholic Ireland, it is still a swearword.
The name evokes annihilation – the ruin of almost every roofless church or tumbledown castle in the landscape is attributed to Cromwell’s Irish campaign of 1649-50, even when it dates from much later times. In the folk memory, there is a visceral hatred that springs from pure terror. In the 1890s, when Irish MPs at Westminster succeeded in blocking the use of public funds for the erection of a statue of the Lord Protector outside the Houses of Parliament, the vote was greeted, according to one MP, with ‘wild cries of aboriginal joy from our Irish friends’. The reaction would be little different today if the statue, which eventually went up in 1899, were demolished.

The sheer extent of the hatred nevertheless invites the kind of revisionism that has been applied to so many of the simplistic myths of Irish history. Cromwell, after all, was neither the first nor the last English general to unleash total war on the Irish population. Lord Mountjoy in the early 1600s and General Gerard Lake in 1798 committed systematic atrocities, but neither is much remembered. Is Cromwell merely a folkloric bogeyman for the Irish?
Given the dominant mood of contemporary Irish historiography, one almost expects Micheál O Siochrú’s forensic and fastidious account to conclude that Old Ironsides really had a heart of gold. The fascination of the book is that, even when it is put through the wringer of low-key, unemotional and carefully documented analysis, the myth turns out to be mostly true.

Hype certainly did play a part in the terrible events of the 1640s and early 1650s that killed a fifth of the Irish population. But the hype was mostly on Cromwell’s side. In strict military terms, his conquest of Ireland was relatively easy and could have been accomplished without atrocities. When he landed in Dublin in August 1649, the Puritan revolution was at its height. Already that year Charles I had been executed, the Leveller mutiny crushed, and the Commonwealth declared. Cromwell’s New Model Army had proved itself a virtually unbeatable force – highly disciplined, superbly equipped and very well funded.

By contrast, he faced in Ireland what John Milton called ‘a mixed rabble, part papists, part fugitives, and part savages’ – a deeply uneasy alliance of Catholic rebels and the royalist colonials with whom they had until recently been at war. This coalition was barely held together by Charles’s weak and incompetent viceroy, the Marquis of Ormond.



Bits Of Belfast – Shankill Road 1

Bits Of Belfast – Shankill Road 2

Bits Of Belfast – Shankill Road 3

Bits Of Belfast – Shankill Road 4

Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in these documentaries are soley intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors.


The Greysteel Massacre

The Greysteel massacre[1][2] was a mass shooting that happened on the evening of 30 October 1993 in Greysteel, County Derry, Northern Ireland. Three members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a loyalist paramilitary group, opened fire in a crowded pub during a Halloween party, killing eight civilians and wounding thirteen. The pub was in an Irish Catholic and Irish nationalist area. The group claimed responsibility using their cover name “Ulster Freedom Fighters” and said that the attack was revenge for the Shankill Road bombing a week earlier.


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