A History Ireland Hedge School
At The Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum, 21 Talbot Street, Belfast BT1 2LD, Thursday 5 May at 7pm
While public attention has naturally been focused this year on the centenaries of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, April and May also marks the 75th anniversary of what former air raid warden, Jimmy Doherty described as ‘the most disastrous event in the history of the city’ — the Belfast Blitz. On the night of 15/16 April 1941 German bombs fell on the densely populated working class terraces of north Belfast, killing 740 civilians (Catholics and Protestants without discrimination). No other city in the United Kingdom, save London, lost so many in one night’s raid. Neutral Ireland did not stand idly by; firemen from Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin responded to the call for assistance. Three weeks later, on the night of 4/5 May, another 190 civilians were killed in air raids on the city’s industrial heart in the docks area. Adding military casualties to these figures, well over 1,000 died; half the city’s housing stock was destroyed; c. 50,000 were left homeless; and by the end of May an estimated 220,000 (half the city’s population) had been evacuated, such was the atmosphere of panic and fear.
Join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, for a Hedge School (a lively round table discussion) with Brian Barton (The Blitz: Belfast in the War Years), Ciaran Elizabeth Doran (Curator Northern Ireland War Memorial), Michael Kennedy (RIA’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy), and Peter Collins (St. Marys College).
Tickets available through Northern Ireland War Memorial, booking is essential as there is limited availability firstname.lastname@example.org, www.niwarmemorial.org, 0044 (0) 2890 320 392 ext. 4