Republican Tartan gangs? A seemingly impenetrable subject …

One of the biggest obstacles I have encountered in my research into the Tartan gangs and youth culture generally in the early Troubles is the reticence of republicans to talk about their experiences of being in such gangs. I have heard from in-laws from Andersonstown about the Tartan gangs that emerged in West Belfast. ThereContinue reading “Republican Tartan gangs? A seemingly impenetrable subject …”

‘Smacked the bastard’ – an encounter with a Belfast skinhead (1981) – David Archer

I am really pleased to publish this vignette of life in early 1980s Belfast by David Archer. Accompanying the piece are two etchings which David has drawn. David kindly sent me this recollection and the etchings in response to something I had mentioned about the power of cathartic writing as a way of understanding one’sContinue reading “‘Smacked the bastard’ – an encounter with a Belfast skinhead (1981) – David Archer”

“We were just standing there frightened and not knowing what to do” – 50th Anniversary of the Three Scottish Soldiers

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the killings of the three Scottish soldiers. As part of my ongoing book project A Bloody Awful Country? I have been examining contemporary newspaper reports which contained the reactions of local people to the ongoing violence in the 1970s. One article that has stuck in my mind over theContinue reading ““We were just standing there frightened and not knowing what to do” – 50th Anniversary of the Three Scottish Soldiers”