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 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.
Tour guide James Ellson takes a deep dive (not literally thankfully) into the Belfast Sludge Boats and their role in keeping the city clean.
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.
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...
Belfast is famous for its murals, many of which commemorate or memorialise the victims of the Troubles. But why are there so few memorials in the city centre, where so many of the attacks happened?
Donzo casts his eye over the unique histories of some of Belfast's earliest churches. Don’t worry, this is not a theological piece but rather a hybrid muse of the historical, social and personal.
Donzo regularly gets asked what is his favourite book about the Troubles from our list of recommendations. Here it is. It may surprise you...