Connal Parr: ‘Pogroms’ and ‘Rotten Prods’: 1920 and the Beginnings of Northern Ireland
This lecture will focus on Ulster Unionism around the pivotal year of 1920, addressing how it dealt with the ‘threat’ of a resurgent Labour movement, along with the connected industrial strife of what would become, the following year, the statelet of Northern Ireland. It will concentrate on the violent shipyard expulsions of July 1920, when, following an incendiary speech by Edward Carson, groups of ‘loyalist’ men attacked Catholics and ‘Rotten Prods’ (Labour-supporting Protestants, or socialists). In serious violence, 7,500 workers, including 1,800 women (often forgotten), were forced from their place of work. This lecture will address the nature of this violence; whether it was a conventional ‘pogrom’, as well as individual stories of the distress and examples of resistance. It analyses the exact circumstances of that tumultuous year through that emblematic episode and the ramifications it would have for the future of Catholics and the Protestant working-class in Northern Ireland.
Dr Connal Parr is Lecturer in History at Northumbria University. His book, Inventing the Myth, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.