The DC Tours phone rang on Monday, and I answered professionally and courteously as usual. Nadia, a pleasant woman with a posh London accent, quickly explained that BBC Breakfast wanted to interview me as a Belfast tour guide and historian about the Kenneth Branagh film ‘Belfast’.
The sprouts have wreaked (reeked?) their havoc, the remaining turkey has been curried and the tree shoved back up its hole, it is time to reflect on the Christmases past. Every year should be a learning year and whilst it has been an ‘annus horriblis’ to borrow a phrase, this year I have learned several things
The spectre of assassination was probably not envisaged as being in the form of a mentally ill, 50-year-old Dublin woman clothed in a black shawl and armed with a rock and a revolver. This however was how Violet Gibson appeared as she shot and wounded Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Sir Walter Devereux 1st Earl of Essex may not be as (in)famous as Sir Arthur Chichester, the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell or King William of Orange amongst those to visit Ireland and leave an indelible historical mark on the land, but he certainly deserves a mention.
Paul Donnelly, DC Tours' lead guide (and old punk), looks back at the life of the most successful singer (from a very different era) to be born in Belfast.
During the Second World war a derelict farm in Millisle, County Down, would become home to hundreds of Jewish refugee children fleeing the war in Europe.
Dr. William Drennan, a United Irishman centuries ahead of his time in many ways, comes under the microscope of our lead guide Paul Donnelly.
Donzo's blog about the lost cinemas of Belfast
Donzo interviews his Ma about Belfast's nightlife before the Troubles really got started...
All empires crumble and fall and so it seems to come to pass in Portrush, County Antrim.
Donzo looks back at the impact of the Belfast Blitz. How and why it happened and how it is remembered (or not) in the city to this day...
DC Tours lead guide Paul 'Donzo' Donnelly remembers the halcyon days of his youth as a young punk in Belfast in the eighties.