Next tour: Sat 18 March 2017 during the Manchester Irish Festival.
Meet: Oxford Road station, 1.30pm.
Brendan Behan: genius writer or terrorist? In 1939 Behan spent a night inside Bootle Street police station in 1939 after entering Britain illegally. He had been banned from the country under the Prevention of Violence Act after shooting at three policemen. But on being released, during an amnesty, came to Manchester at the invitation of the local IRA cell, thereby reneging on the deal.
In Manchester Behan was arrested by Robert Mark, then a detective constable in the Special Branch, who went on to become Commissionaire of the Metropolitan Police. In court Behan was given an extra four months on his jail sentence, despite or perhaps because of the pleas of his lawyer who kept referring to the writer as a “love choild of the Oirish revolution”.
No wonder Karl Marx urged Britain to solve the Irish question before choosing socialism.
But don’t worry, we won’t get too political. We’ll also talk about George Best, Phil Lynott, Little Ireland, Irish Town and find some time for a chorus or two of the Waxie’s Dargle.