The Battle of St. Matthew's

Battle of St. Matthew’s 50th Anniversary

The Battle of St. Matthew’s was a pivotal moment in our local history and we have much to learn from it still. The 27/28th June is the 50th anniversary of the battle around the parish church in Short Strand. 3 men were shot dead and over two dozen injured. The local area around Ballymacarrett and […]

BritGov Brandon Lewis and Boris Johnson

Police Failure To Investigate MRF Shootings

Paper Trail published proof from secret British archives that the MRF was guilty of a catalogue of murders and attempted murders of civilians in Belfast 1972. The report followed the failure of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) Legacy Investigation Branch (LIB) to arrest or convict British Army soldiers in the killer gang, the […]

Lyra McKee Mural and Paper Trail

Paper-Trailers with Lyra McKee

Paper-Trailers was first published in 2017. It is particularly poignant today as Paper-Trailers opens with an article by the talented writer, Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by extremists on 18th April 2019. Lyra was a great supporter of Paper Trail and the charity’s work from its inception. She remains a guiding light. We are […]

Springhill Westrock Massacre July 9th 1972

Casual Collusion and a Tale of Two City Estates

Collusion between state forces and paramilitaries can take many forms. Rarely do we see such casual collusion evidenced in inky black and white, though; and, here, it went to the top. Two incidents. The same British Army Regiment. Just over 24 hours apart and a just a few of hundred yards away from each other. […]

Kitson and the Military Reaction Force

Earliest Recorded MRF Shooting (Thus Far)

Paper Trail is releasing the earliest recorded shooting by Britain’s Military Reaction Force MRF. The MRF shooting is the earliest recorded that we have discovered – this, of course, does not mean that it was the first MRF shooting. It means that, at the moment, it is the earliest recorded shooting that researchers like ourselves […]

Kitson and the Military Reaction Force

Britain’s Military Reaction Force and Operation Everson

Paper Trail has linked Britain’s Military Reaction Force (MRF) to multiple murders and attempted murders of civilians in Belfast in 1972. Secret British military documents prove that the MRF was indeed guilty of a catalogue of murders and attempted murders of unarmed civilians – including teenagers – in Belfast between May and September 1972. The […]

Paper Trail splash image of archives

Black and Tans: A Historical Brief for a British Minister in 1972

In May 1972, the British Minister of State for Northern Ireland requested a short note on the origins of the Black and Tans and the B Specials. Lord Windlesham requested the historical brief regarding the Black and Tans and B Specials “at a time when the Royal Ulster Constabulary is under strength and there is […]

Paper Trail splash image of archives

The Soldiers’ Truce, Christmas Day 1914

Remembering the Soldiers’ Truce on the Western Front 105 years ago, Christmas Day 1914. The festive miracle continued throughout Christmas Day and is recorded in the War Diary of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. “At dawn 25th, the Germans shouted out ‘Merry Xmas’ from their trenches and danced and sang in front of their […]

Paper Trail splash image of archives

The Soldiers’ Truce, Christmas Eve 1914

Remembering the Soldiers’ Truce on the Western Front 105 years ago, Christmas 1914. Peace broke out 105 years ago along certain sections of the Western Front when troops on both sides of the trenches put down their weapons and sang Christmas hymns during a Soldiers’ Truce. Thanks to the great work of the National Archives, […]

Paper Trail splash image of archives

Who Killed Joseph Downey?

Nobody in the Market was certain who killed Joseph Downey. A local witness at the inquest said he had watched Joseph Downey walking up McAuley Street in the Market, Belfast, close to his home and had shouted a warning to him there was shooting in the area. He thought Joseph had been drinking and did […]

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