Short Strand Songs of Resistance CD to be launched
June 27 last marked the 30th anniversary of the battle of St Matthews, when the fledgling Provisional IRA faced the crown forces in the first major military engagement of the war.
The small nationalist enclave was under siege from loyalist mobs, who were backed by the crown forces. The people of the district fought hard to defend themselves and with the IRA behind them drove their attackers out and saved St Matthews chapel, which was the focus of the loyalist invasion and hatred.
About ten years ago, local people made a tape as a way of remembering and honouring all those who fought to defend the district.
One of the main movers and shakers in the project was local man Frankie Brennan.
Speaking to An Phoblacht Frankie said that in the aftermath of this year's 30th anniversary people decided to get produce a CD from the old tape.
This CD will be called 30 Years On and will honour Sadie McComb, who sang on the original tape but has since died.
Sadie's is one of the foremost republican families in the Short Strand and all her sons have served time in British prisons, from the H Blocks to jails in England, in the course of the struggle.
As a further tribute to two men from the district, Jim Straney and Liam Tomlinson who died in the Spanish Civil War, the CD features two new songs about that war.
The CD will be officially launched in the Sean Martin's GAA club on Friday 24 November by Denis Donaldson, who is from the district. This will be preceded by a talk on republicanism by local historian John Quinn.
yone wishing to get a copy of the CD can contact Frankie Brennan on joe_shortstrand@.com or buy at the Art Shop Falls Road. It is priced £6.99p.