Belfast’s Stephen Boyd and the Red Hand of Ulster (The Emerald Isle’s Powder Keg)

Stephen Boyd Blog

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Stephen Boyd was always a very proud Irishman. Being born in Belfast made Stephen a citizen of the United Kingdom, as Northern Ireland did not follow its Southern compatriots in their bid for independence which became official in 1922. Being an important industrial city, it was also more prosperous (for some at least) than the south and this area chose to remain loyal to the crown. Northern Ireland, however, was deeply divided by two things– religion and wealth. Stephen’s came from a poor Presbyterian family. This left Stephen somewhat sympathetic to the cause of a United Ireland even before the Troubles began in the late 1960’s. Catholics in Northern Ireland were even worse off, for years being denied even the most basic rights of property, voting, employment and education. The have-not’s were mostly Catholic but not entirely. The impoverished Protestants also felt the strain. These resentments and injustices ran deep…

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