Northern Ireland: An Agony Continued

The British Army and the Troubles 1980–83

Ken Wharton

This book is called β€˜An Agony Continued' because of the agony which commenced at the end of the 1960s as the grief, the loss, and the economic destruction of Northern Ireland continued. This book will look at the period which encompassed the 48 months of 1980 and 1983. It saw the Hyde Park and Regent's Park massacre of soldiers and horses from the
Date Published :
July 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
80 b/w photos and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910294390
Pages : 448
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804510421
Pages : 482
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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This book is called ‘An Agony Continued’ because it was simply that: an agony. It was an agony which commenced at the end of the 1960s and as the new decade of the 80s arrived, so the pain, the grief, the loss and the economic destruction of Northern Ireland continued. Little did any of us know at the time, but it was to do so for almost a further two decades.

Between January 1980 and December 1989, around 1,000 people died; many were soldiers and policemen; some were Prison Officers; some were paramilitaries; and some were innocent civilians. The Provisional IRA (PIRA) and their slightly more psychopathic cousins in the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) would continue to kill innocent civilians by the score during this decade. Across the sectarian divide the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) and the equally vicious Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) would continue to slaughter Catholics in streets, in pubs and in restaurants.

This book will look at the period which encompassed the 48 months of 1980 and 1983. It was a near half-decade which saw the Hyde Park and Regent’s Park massacre of soldiers and horses from the Blues and Royals and the cowardly bombing of the Royal Green Jackets’ band. It further witnessed the murder of 18 people by the INLA at a disco held in the Droppin’ Well in Ballykelly and also the death of the leader of the Shankill Butchers: Lenny Murphy. The years under study include the 1981 deaths of ten Republican paramilitaries who starved themselves to death in protest against the loss of their status as ‘political prisoners'. As ever, this book pulls no punches in its absolute detestation of both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries.

This book continues Ken Wharton's epic journey through the Troubles in Northern Ireland, viewed primarily through the eyes of the British Army squaddies on the ground.

About The Author

Ken Wharton is 59 and is resident now in Australia with his partner Helen. Father of seven and grandfather to three with a fourth pending, he is a skydiver and former football referee. He is also a former soldier and now author of three oral histories on the Northern Ireland troubles. He writes from the perspective of the British soldier as he seeks to put across their story of a conflict, largely forgotten by both Government and public, which claimed the lives of around 1300 military lives. / He has only been writing since 2007 but is planning a further oral history of the troubles, a book on the Australians in Vietnam and a childrens' science fiction book over the next year or two. / There is a clamour from veterans of the Northern Ireland conflict to tell their story and ensure that the truth comes out and in Ken Wharton they have found a conduit for those stories and a man they can trust to ensure that the truth is finally told about the conflict which raged not only a short 30 minute flight from home but also on our own doorsteps.


‘The Northern Ireland conflict was worse, far worse, in terms of British military deaths, than Afghanistan and Iraq. Ken Wharton's book recalls memories - of the Hude Park massacre, which I wel remember, because a neighbor of ours, a fireman, was one of the first on the scene to help deal with the carnage. This is an important contribution to the literature on the conflict, but sometimes it makes for difficult reading.’

- Books Monthly

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