Author of "Holy War in Belfast" remembered

Historians in the News

Andrew Boyd was a prolific journalist and popular historian who for decades enlivened the Belfast writing scene with his trenchant opinions and researches into the city's history and politics.

A highly independent individual who delighted in argument and relished controversy, he was a man of the left throughout his life.

From that standpoint he was outspokenly critical of practically all political groupings, left, right and centre.

Although he abhorred partition and the creation of the Northern Ireland state, Boyd was contemptuous of modern republicanism.

He declared scornfully that the IRA had decided "to kill thousands of decent, inoffensive people and innocent children, destroy commercial and private property to the value of billions of pounds, and incite the bloodlust of the most brutal loyalists".

He was also highly critical of the unionist party, accusing it of maintaining power "by exploiting the ignorance and fears of the Protestants, thriving on recurring violence, the inflaming of hatreds and the continuance of divisions".

His most striking work was his book Holy War in Belfast, which detailed the violent outbreaks other historians had tended to play down....

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