Eamonn McCann
Eamonn McCann is an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 and political activist.


McCann was born and has lived most of his life in Derry. He was educated at St. Columb's College
St. Columb's College
St. Columb's College is a Roman Catholic boys' grammar school in Derry, Northern Ireland and, since 2008, a specialist school in Mathematics and Computing...

 in the city. He is prominently featured in the documentary film The Boys of St. Columb’s.

He was involved with the Irish Workers Group, a Trotskyist organisation, for a time in the 1960s.

As a young man he was one of the original organisers of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was an organisation which campaigned for equal civil rights for the all the people in Northern Ireland during the late 1960s and early 1970s...

 (NICRA). His political contemporaries included Bernadette Devlin, for whom he served as an election agent. McCann has always been critical of other politicians in Derry, and throughout Ireland North and South, whose politics were based on cultural-identity rather than class analysis. He personally witnessed and participated in many of the key events of the early part of the Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

, including the Battle of the Bogside
Battle of the Bogside
The Battle of the Bogside was a very large communal riot that took place during 12–14 August 1969 in Derry, Northern Ireland. The fighting was between residents of the Bogside area and the Royal Ulster Constabulary .The rioting erupted after the RUC attempted to disperse Irish nationalists who...

 in August 1969 and Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Bloody Sunday —sometimes called the Bogside Massacre—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, in which twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army...

 in January 1972.

Later, he worked as a journalist for the Sunday World
Sunday World
The Sunday World is an Irish newspaper published by Sunday Newspapers Limited, a division of Independent News and Media. It is the largest selling "popular" newspaper in the Republic of Ireland and is also sold in Northern Ireland .-Origins:The Sunday World was Ireland's first tabloid newspaper...

newspaper and contributed to the original In Dublin magazine, among others. He currently writes for the Belfast Telegraph and the Derry Journal
Derry Journal
The Derry Journal is a newspaper based in Derry, Northern Ireland, serving County Londonderry as well as County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. It is operated by a Johnston Press holding company entitled Derry Journal Newspapers. The paper is published on Tuesday and Friday and is a sister...

, and has for many years written a column for the Dublin-based Hot Press magazine. He is a frequent commentator on the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

 and other broadcast media.

A Trotskyist
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 and outspoken atheist
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

, he is a prominent member of the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (Ireland)
The Socialist Workers Party is an Irish Trotskyist political party.-Foundation and growth:The SWP was originally founded in 1971 as the Socialist Workers Movement by supporters of the International Socialists of Britain living in Northern Ireland, who had previously been members of People's...

 in Ireland, and in recent Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 elections has stood as a candidate for the Socialist Environmental Alliance
Socialist Environmental Alliance
The Socialist Environmental Alliance is a minor political party operating in Northern Ireland. Based largely in the city of Derry, they are a leftist organisation with Trotskyist leanings...

. Previously he stood unsuccessfully as a Labour Party candidate in the 1970s.
He is also Chair of his local branch of the National Union of Journalists, and Vice-Chair of Derry Trades Council.

As a political activist, he has lent his support and considerable oratorical skills to many causes, including campaigns in support of abortion rights, immigrants and gay marriage. Much of his journalistic work reflects what he himself describes as a "shuddering fascination" with religion which, when coupled with his profound scepticism, has made it a topic to which he has often returned.

In the 2002 film, Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (TV drama)
Bloody Sunday is a 2002 film about the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" shootings in Derry, Northern Ireland. Although produced by Granada Television as a TV film, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 16 January, a few days before its screening on ITV on 20 January, and then in selected London cinemas...

, McCann's character is played by the Irish actor Gerard Crossan.

In March 2008, McCann spoke with National Public Radio in the U.S. about the solidarity between the Catholic civil rights movement in Northern Ireland and the Black civil rights movement in the U.S.

McCann was tried in Belfast in May–June 2008 for his actions as one of the Raytheon 9
Raytheon 9
The Raytheon 9 are a group of anti-war activists from the Derry Anti-War Coalition who caused considerable damage to the Raytheon factory in Derry, Northern Ireland...

, a group who attacked and damaged the Raytheon
Raytheon Company is a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007...

 factory in Derry. The jury unanimously acquitted McCann, and all the other defendants, of charges of criminal damage to property belonging to multinational arms company, Raytheon. The judge dismissed charges of affray
In many legal jurisdictions related to English common law, affray is a public order offence consisting of the fighting of two or more persons in a public place to the terror of ordinary people...

 after hearing the prosecution evidence. However, McCann was found guilty of the theft of two computer discs. For this he received a 12 month conditional discharge.

In a statement outside the court McCann said:
McCann now writes a column for the Sunday edition of the Derry Journal
Derry Journal
The Derry Journal is a newspaper based in Derry, Northern Ireland, serving County Londonderry as well as County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. It is operated by a Johnston Press holding company entitled Derry Journal Newspapers. The paper is published on Tuesday and Friday and is a sister...

. He is also a supporter of Derry City FC
Derry City F.C.
Derry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Derry, Northern Ireland. It plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division...


McCann was the partner of Mary Holland
Mary Holland
Mary Holland was an Irish journalist who specialised in writing about Ireland, and in particular Northern Ireland. Born in Dover but raised in Ireland, she married a British diplomat, Ronald Higgins; they lived in Indonesia, but the marriage was eventually annulled.Originally working in fashion...

, the late journalist for The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

, and The Irish Times
The Irish Times
The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadsheet newspaper launched on 29 March 1859. The editor is Kevin O'Sullivan who succeeded Geraldine Kennedy in 2011; the deputy editor is Paul O'Neill. The Irish Times is considered to be Ireland's newspaper of record, and is published every day except Sundays...

. He has a daughter from that relationship, Kitty, who is now a journalist for The Irish Times, and a son, Luke, who is also a journalist working for ¡Hola! magazine
¡Hola! is a weekly Spanish-language magazine specializing in celebrity news, published in Spain and 13 other countries. It also has local editions in Brazil, Canada, Greece, Mexico, Peru, Britain, Russia and Argentina. It is the second most popular magazine in Spain, after the Pronto, the most sold...

 in Spain. Fellow SWP member and academic Goretti Horgan
Goretti Horgan
Goretti Horgan is an Irish socialist activist and a lecturer in social policy at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.Born in Ireland, Horgan was named for Maria Goretti. She attended university before moving to England...

 has been his partner since the mid 1980s and they have an adult daughter, Matty.


  • War And An Irish Town (1973)
  • War and Peace in Northern Ireland
  • Dear God - The Price Of Religion In Ireland

He has also edited two books on Bloody Sunday:
  • Bloody Sunday: What Really Happened (1992)
  • The Bloody Sunday Inquiry: The Families Speak Out (2005).

External links

  • Eamonn McCann at The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

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