Horrible scenes in the news yesterday, when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring many more.

I’ve visited Boston myself – it’s a beautiful place in some ways, with leafy open spaces and a bit more sense of history and tradition than most American cities. What you may not know is that it’s also a city with a rather unfortunate historical association with terrorism.

The Provisional IRA raised substantial amounts of money for their campaign of violence there for years. Some of the bars in the city used to help out during the “troubles” by selling drinks called “Car Bomb” and “Kill A Brit”.


In June 1981, the Massachusetts House of Representatives even adopted a resolution calling for the withdrawal of British Consul General Philip McKearney from Boston unless his government gave in to theĀ five demands of republican terrorist convicts on hunger strike in British prisons.

Perhaps one or two of the Bostonians who used to casually toss coins into a collection tin for the Provos during the ’70s and ’80s might have seen some of the images on the news, and reflected on the error of their ways.

Terrorism. Not quite so funny on your own doorstep, eh?

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