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A lifetime of union struggle

  Patrick McKeown was born on March 16, 1854 and, as was the custom in those days of high infant mortality, he was baptised the following day, St Patrick’s Day, in St Michael’s Catholic church near Dromara, Co Down. In all probability you will never have heard of Patrick McKeown. That comes as no surprise, […]

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When McNamara’s Band were kings of the local music hall

  “OH, my name is McNamara, I’m the leader of the band. Although we’re small in number, we’re the best band in the land.” These are the opening lines of the famous song McNamara’s Band. When I was growing up this song vied in our neck of the woods with The Boys from the County […]

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‘Solid Man’ who ensured crowds flocked to view Alhambra acts

  On the morning of Tuesday, March 11, 1873, crowds of people made their way to Lower North Street. They went there to see the damage done by fire to the Alhambra. The Royal Alhambra Music Hall, probably Belfast’s first, was opened in 1871. In two short years it was playing to full houses every […]

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Churchill death the spark for Casement reinterment

  Operation Hopenot was many years in the planning. This was the name given to the planned state funeral of Winston Churchill. When the 90-year-old former leader died on January 24, 1965 Operation Hopenot swung into operation. Six days later after a three-day lying-in-state in the Palace of Westminster, the funeral took place in St […]

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Belfast man Robinson: the real hero of Soleheadbeg

  On Easter Saturday 1916 the Belfast Volunteers travelled to Coalisland to link up with the Tyrone contingent. Daniel Braniff, a native of Dromara now domiciled in Belfast, expected to travel to Coalisland on the Saturday. However, he received orders from Denis McCullough to stay in Belfast. Braniff had spent several years in Scotland actively […]

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Robinson brothers were imbued with patriotic spirit

  A great amount of information has recently surfaced about the men and women who partook in the Easter Rising and the ensuing War of Independence. There is no doubt that there has been a renewed interest in the subject, especially among young people. After a lecture and discussion about the life of Winifred Carney […]

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