In this episode we talk to Danny Morrison. Danny is a writer and Republican political activist from West Belfast. He was national director of publicity for Sinn Féin in the 1980s, and editor, first, of the Sinn Féin paper Republican News in Belfast, and then of An Phoblacht when the two papers were merged. He is the author of several fiction and non-fiction works. He is also secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust, and was chair of the West Belfast festival, Féile an Phobail, until 2014.
Danny was spokesperson for Bobby Sands during the 1981 hunger strikes and subsequently called for a dual strategy of armed struggle and electoral politics in Sinn Féin. He was elected on an abstentionist ticket to the 1982 Northern Ireland Assembly. In 1990, he was charged and imprisoned in connection with the abduction of an IRA informer, and released in 1995. The charges were later overturned in 2008.
Danny’s books include Then the Walls Came Down, based on his prison letters, and the novels West Belfast, On The Back of the Swallow, The Wrong Man, which he later adapted as a play, and Rudi. He is also a regular reviewer and political commentator in newspapers.
We discuss Danny’s background and analysis of the political landscape during the Troubles; his work with Sinn Féin and as editor of Republican News and An Phoblacht; and his work as a writer, and how his creative work is informed by his experience and politics.
You’ll find more information on Danny’s writing and regular articles on his website at dannymorrison.com.
The Irish Left Archive Podcast looks at Left politics in Ireland, talking to activists, writers, historians, politicians and others involved in Left organisations and movements about their experiences of participating in Left parties and campaigns. The podcast is hosted by Ciarán Swan and Aonghus Storey.
View this episode on our website: #18: Danny Morrison: Sinn Féin, An Phoblacht / Republican News, and Political and Fiction Writing.