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Quiz about Belfast  A Whos Who of the Troubles
Quiz about Belfast  A Whos Who of the Troubles

Belfast: A 'Who's Who?' of the 'Troubles' Quiz


A brief look at some of the key 'players' associated with the political conflict in Ireland's second city since the 1960s (and maybe a little while before). Not for the squeamish!

A multiple-choice quiz by dsimpy. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
dsimpy
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
325,396
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
478
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 86 (10/10), Guest 113 (1/10), Guest 27 (2/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. An iconic figure in Irish Republican history, who was this Belfast man who spent nearly all his adult life in jail, was elected as an MP to the British Parliament, and died in 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike for political status? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Associated with the North Antrim town of Ballymena as well as with Belfast, which larger-than-life political cleric, famously linked with the slogan 'Ulster Says No!', founded his own church in 1951 and the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force member Lenny Murphy led one of the most feared Loyalist killer gangs in the 1970s, responsible for at least 30 killings in North and West Belfast. Many of his victims were horribly tortured with knives. By what name was Murphy's gang widely known? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Regarded as the principal Irish Republican strategist since the 1970s, who was the Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for West Belfast who was once part of an IRA delegation to secretly meet the British government in 1972? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Which international statesman's important contribution to supporting the Northern Ireland peace process was symbolised when he switched on the lights of Belfast's Christmas tree in 1995? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Another notorious Loyalist gangster was Johnny Adair, who ran the Ulster Defence Association's 'C' Company on Belfast's Shankill Road, believed to have been responsible for up to 40 killings of Catholics. When he eventually fled Belfast amidst an internal Loyalist feud, he left behind his Alsatian dogs, Rebel and Shane - to whom he was said to bear some resemblance. By what nickname was Adair fittingly known? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Which leading Marxist and Irish Republican led the Belfast dock workers' strike in 1911, and unionised women mill workers across the city, before going on to help lead the Easter 1916 Uprising in Dublin and being executed by a British firing squad? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In March 1988, a Belfast IRA Volunteer, Mairéad Farrell, along with some colleagues, was shot dead by the British SAS at the Shell petrol filling station on Winston Churchill Avenue. The IRA appeared to have been planning an attack against British soldiers. By what collective name did Mairéad Farrell and the other dead IRA members become known? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In 2006, a high-profile Loyalist paramilitary, Michael Stone, was arrested as he entered Stormont parliament buildings in Belfast, fully armed, to kill Republican leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Before entering the building he first daubed a graffiti slogan on its walls. During his trial how did Stone bizarrely describe his apparent murder bid? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Let's end on a less serious note. Cave Hill mountain towers over the northern approach to Belfast, shaped like a sleeping giant. Which 18th century political satirist is rumoured to have drawn inspiration from Cave Hill for his most famous 'giant' novel? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. An iconic figure in Irish Republican history, who was this Belfast man who spent nearly all his adult life in jail, was elected as an MP to the British Parliament, and died in 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike for political status?

Answer: Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands joined the IRA in 1972 at the age of 18, was imprisoned later that year, and spent only 6 months of freedom before his rearrest for possession of a weapon in 1976. In 1981, he led Republican prisoners in Long Kesh prison on hunger strike for political status. Three weeks before his death on May 5th 1981, after 66 days without food, he won the Fermanagh-South Tyrone by-election and became a Member of Parliament 'in absentia'. He wrote movingly of his experience as a prisoner and on his hunger strike, in 'Prison Poems', his autobigraphical 'One Day in My Life', and in a prison diary. He was the first of ten Republican prisoners to die during the 1981 prison protest. Over 100,000 turned out for his funeral.

The other men were also Republicans in a long tradition of Irish hunger strike protests: Terence MacSwiney died on hunger strike in 1920, Michael Gaughan in 1974, and Frank Stagg in 1976.
2. Associated with the North Antrim town of Ballymena as well as with Belfast, which larger-than-life political cleric, famously linked with the slogan 'Ulster Says No!', founded his own church in 1951 and the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971?

Answer: Reverend Ian Paisley

A charismatic and divisive political preacher in the tradition of Irish Protestant evangelism, Ian Paisley became a prominent figure in 'Troubles' history in the 1960s with his vigorous opposition to ecumenism and to the Civil Rights movement in the North of Ireland. In 1951 he founded the breakaway Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, and in 1971 he broke from orthodox Unionism to establish the Democratic Unionist Party. An implacable opponent of any perceived compromise with Irish Republicanism for over four decades, he carried out what many viewed as an astounding volte-face in 2007 to go into a power-sharing devolved government with Sinn Féin at Stormont. So cordial was his personal relationship with his Sinn Féin cabinet counterpart, the former IRA leader Martin McGuinness, that the two were dubbed "the Chuckle Brothers" by the media.

Henry Cooke, Hugh Hanna and Jack Glass were all Protestant evangelical preachers closely associated with the history of conflict in Ireland.
3. The paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force member Lenny Murphy led one of the most feared Loyalist killer gangs in the 1970s, responsible for at least 30 killings in North and West Belfast. Many of his victims were horribly tortured with knives. By what name was Murphy's gang widely known?

Answer: The Shankill Butchers

Operating from the loyalist Shankill Road, Murphy's feared trademark was to abduct a Catholic off the street, bundle him into one of the 'black taxis' that are a common sight in North and West Belfast, and torture his victim savagely before cutting his throat with a butcher's knife. The Shankill Butchers are believed to have killed around 20 innocent Catholics, along with other killings of rival Loyalist paramilitaries and Protestants who simply crossed Murphy. Arrested in 1976 on a firearms charge, Murphy continued to orchestrate the gang's killings from his jail cell. When 11 of the gang were eventually charged and convicted of 19 Butcher killings in 1979, Murphy himself avoided prosecution. He was released from jail in July 1982 after serving the firearms sentence, and immediately recommenced the Butcher killings. However, in November 1982 as he drove up to his girlfriend's house in North Belfast, IRA Volunteers emerged from a van and shot him dead.

The Winter Hill Gang and The Westies were Irish-American gangs, and Malvern Street is in the Shankill Road area but does not have a gang named after it.
4. Regarded as the principal Irish Republican strategist since the 1970s, who was the Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for West Belfast who was once part of an IRA delegation to secretly meet the British government in 1972?

Answer: Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams joined the Irish Republican movement in 1964, aged 16, and by the early 1970s was a key figure in Republican resistance to the British army's presence in Belfast. Interned without trial in early 1972, he was released three months later to be part of a delegation flown to London for secret talks with the British government's Secretary of State, William Whitelaw. A year later, after the truce that resulted had collapsed, he was back in jail for several years. He first became West Belfast MP in 1983, and the following year was shot three times in a Loyalist UDA assassination bid. The gunman, John Gregg, was killed in a Loyalist feud in 2003.

Martin McGuinness, Seamus Twomey and Dáithí Ó Conaill (along with Ivor Bell) were the other members of the IRA delegation to meet Whitelaw in 1972. Martin McGuinness also became a Sinn Féin Member of Parliament in 1997, but for the Mid-Ulster constituency, as well as becoming Deputy First Minister of the North of Ireland government in 2007.
5. Which international statesman's important contribution to supporting the Northern Ireland peace process was symbolised when he switched on the lights of Belfast's Christmas tree in 1995?

Answer: President Bill Clinton

President Bill Clinton was the first serving US President to visit Northern Ireland, and he did so three times while in office (1995, 1998 and 2000). His commitment to the developing peace process was marked by the appointment of Senator George Mitchell as his Special Envoy to the North, with Mitchell going on to chair the peace negotiations leading to the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

During his first high-profile visit in 1995, I was in the audience when Clinton gave his main speech on the shop floor of Mackies Engineering works in West Belfast, and he was truly impressive. Leaving Mackies after his speech, his motor cavalcade stopped at McErlean's tiny home bakery shop on the Falls Road, where 'by chance' the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams happened to be buying potato bread - leading to the historic first handshake between both men and, reputedly, Bill's first taste of potato bread! Later that evening outside Belfast's city hall, accompanied by Hillary Clinton, the President switched on the lights of Belfast's Christmas tree (sent to Ireland from Tennessee).
6. Another notorious Loyalist gangster was Johnny Adair, who ran the Ulster Defence Association's 'C' Company on Belfast's Shankill Road, believed to have been responsible for up to 40 killings of Catholics. When he eventually fled Belfast amidst an internal Loyalist feud, he left behind his Alsatian dogs, Rebel and Shane - to whom he was said to bear some resemblance. By what nickname was Adair fittingly known?

Answer: Mad Dog

Adair was a petty criminal who 'graduated' to the Loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association, becoming its most prominent West Belfast figure by the early 1990s. In 1993 the IRA attempted to kill him by bombing one of his meetings, but succeeded only in killing nine innocent civilians and one of its own bombers. However, Adair's involvement in internal Loyalist feuding, and his suspected involvement in the assassination of UDA commander John Gregg in 2003, led to him being expelled from the UDA and forced to flee the North of Ireland with his supporters.

'King Rat' was the nickname of Billy Wright, a notorious paramilitary leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force in Mid-Ulster, killed by Republican prisoners while he was in Long Kesh jail in 1997. Jim Gray, a Loyalist UDA commander in East Belfast, earned the nicknames 'Doris Day' and 'the Brigadier of Bling' because of his bleached hair, tanned complexion and love of clothes and jewellery. He was shot dead by fellow Loyalists in 2005. 'Doctor Death' was the nickname of Gerard Steenson, a member of the Irish People's Liberation Organisation splinter group, killed in an internal feud in 1987.
7. Which leading Marxist and Irish Republican led the Belfast dock workers' strike in 1911, and unionised women mill workers across the city, before going on to help lead the Easter 1916 Uprising in Dublin and being executed by a British firing squad?

Answer: James Connolly

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, of Irish immigrant parents, James Connolly first came to Ireland as a teenage British soldier, later becoming a trade union organiser back in Scotland. In 1911 he came to live in Belfast for two years to support striking dock workers, and set up the Irish Textile Workers Union for the women workers (the 'millies') in Belfast's linen mills.

In 1913 he went to Dublin to organise against employers during a major Lockout of unionised workers. As well as setting up the Irish Socialist Republican Party, Connolly founded the Irish Citizen Army, which was one of two key organisations involved in the April 1916 Rising. Connolly was the commander of Dublin insurgents during the Rising. Badly wounded in the fighting, and only a day or so from death anyway, he was nonetheless court-martialled, tied to a chair to keep him upright, and executed by a British firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol on May 12th 1916.
8. In March 1988, a Belfast IRA Volunteer, Mairéad Farrell, along with some colleagues, was shot dead by the British SAS at the Shell petrol filling station on Winston Churchill Avenue. The IRA appeared to have been planning an attack against British soldiers. By what collective name did Mairéad Farrell and the other dead IRA members become known?

Answer: The Gibraltar Three

All three of the IRA Volunteers shot dead on Winston Churchill Avenue in Gibraltar - Mairéad Farrell, Dan McCann and Seán Savage - were from Belfast. According to eye-witnesses they were shot without warning or any attempt to arrest them. The European Court of Human Rights found that they were engaged in an act of terrorism, but that they had been unlawfully killed and were unarmed. Mairéad Farrell had been imprisoned for IRA activity in 1976 at the age of 19.

In jail for the next 10 years, she was the leader of Republican women prisoners and went on hunger strike in 1980 in a protest for political status.

At the funeral in Belfast of Farrell, McCann and Savage, a Loyalist gunman, Michael Stone, opened fire on mourners and threw grenades, killing three people and injuring sixty.
9. In 2006, a high-profile Loyalist paramilitary, Michael Stone, was arrested as he entered Stormont parliament buildings in Belfast, fully armed, to kill Republican leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Before entering the building he first daubed a graffiti slogan on its walls. During his trial how did Stone bizarrely describe his apparent murder bid?

Answer: An act of performance art

Michael Stone became a Loyalist cult figure when, seemingly acting alone, he attacked the Belfast funeral of the Gibraltar Three in March 1988, killing three mourners - although he failed to kill his main targets, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. On his early release in 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, he capitalised on his notoriety by becoming a writer and artist. On the morning of November 24th 2006 he scrawled anti-Republican graffiti on the parliament buildings in East Belfast before trying to walk in with an imitation pistol, knives, an axe, a garrotte and nail bombs.

His targets were once again Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness who were in the debating chamber. At his trial, the judge rejected Stone's defence that he hadn't really intended to hurt anyone and that this was merely 'an act of performance art'! He was sentenced to 16 years, with the remainder of an 648-year sentence for his earlier killings being reimposed.
10. Let's end on a less serious note. Cave Hill mountain towers over the northern approach to Belfast, shaped like a sleeping giant. Which 18th century political satirist is rumoured to have drawn inspiration from Cave Hill for his most famous 'giant' novel?

Answer: Jonathan Swift

Swift's most famous novel of political satire, "Gulliver's Travels", was published in 1726. It's rumoured that he drew inspiration for the Lilliputian scene of the sleeping 'giant' Gulliver from his memory of Cave Hill when he worked in the nearby parish of Kilroot from 1694-96. The rock outcrop on the mountain summit is said to look like the profile of a sleeping man, and is now popularly known as 'Napoleon's Nose' after the French Emperor.

Just in case you're wondering what this has to do with this quiz's theme of political conflict, the summit of Cave Hill is also where members of the Society of United Irishmen met in 1795 to organise a rebellion against the British government - which they launched three years later, resulting in up to 30,000 deaths!
Source: Author dsimpy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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