Ties between political activists in black America and Ireland span several centuries, from the days of the days of the slave trade to the close links between Frederick Douglass and Daniel O'Connell. Brian Dooley focuses on the connections that were made in the 1960s as civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland drew inspiration for their struggle from the civil rights campaigns in the American South. He examines how Irish protesters forged links with the radical Black Panther Party and how the tactics of non-violent marches and sit-ins were adopted. This is a fascinating study which demonstrates how protesters in Northern Ireland - then and now - openly acknowledge the extent to which their battles against discrimination have been influenced by the American struggle for civil rights.
Brian Dooley is author of Black and Green; the Fight for Civil Rights in Northern Ireland and Black America. He is Senior Advisor at US NGO Human Rights First, and part of an international panel of experts investigating State impunity during the conflict in Northern Ireland. He will talk about the connections between the civil rights movements in the US and Northern Ireland, and also about the ongoing struggle by families for accountability for killings and torture 1969-1998.