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Irish BirminghamA History$
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James Moran

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846314742

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316043

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War and Immigration

War and Immigration

(p.153) 6 War and Immigration
Irish Birmingham
Liverpool University Press

This chapter first describes the IRA's bombing of public places in several cities in Britain, including Birmingham in 1939, which led to widespread anti-Irish prejudice. Ultimately, in this feverish atmosphere, the British authorities arrested, tried, and executed two Irish republicans deemed guilty of the Coventry bombing, hanging thirty-two-year-old Peter Barnes and twenty-nine-year-old Jimmy McCormack in Birmingham's Winson Green prison on 7 February 1940. However, neither of the men had committed the act for which they had been convicted. The discussions then turns to Brendan Behan whose work was inspired by the Birmingham hangings; Britain's recruitment of Irish workers during World War II; the debut plays by David Rudkin and Tom Murphy entitled Afore Night Come and A Whistle in the Dark, respectively; Birmingham's city's first ever St Patrick's Day parade in 1952.

Keywords:   IRA, bombing, Birmingham, Northern Ireland, anti-Irish prejudice, Irish workers, Brendan Behan

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