Serving the poor of Belfast for 270 years

The first great charity of this town: Belfast Charitable Society and its role in the developing city edited by Olwen Purdue (Irish Academic Press, €29.95/£24.99) The Belfast Charitable Society was established in 1752 for the purpose of raising funds to build a poorhouse and hospital for the poor of Belfast. The result was the building…

The Irish Famine: natural disaster or genocide?

Ireland’s Great Famine, Britain’s Great Failure William H. A. Williams (Anthem Press, £80.00/€94.00) It is impossible to write about certain matters, even in a scholarly context, without feelings of outrage. The Irish Famine of 1845-49, the subject of this new book by William H. A. Williams, an American historian who taught at University College Dublin…

The Irish who made it across the Atlantic

Irish lives in America Edited by Liz Evers and Niav Gallagher (Royal Irish Academy, €19.95/£18/$25) On this day every year Irish thoughts turn without fail to our relatives and friends in the United States. In reciprocation, President Joe Biden has this year issued a special proclamation from the White House declaring March 2022 as Irish-American…

The Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921: two studies of an unhappy compromise — how the latest books see the event

Birth of a State; the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Micheál Ó Fathartaigh and Liam Weeks (Irish Academic Press, €19.95/£17.99) The Treaty: the gripping story of the negotiations that brought about Irish independence and led to the Civil War, Gretchen Friemann (Merrion Press, €16.95) Apart from two commemorative stamps issued by An Post, the centenary of the signing of…

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