Within the stone walls of Belfast City Cemetery lie those men and women who helped shape the city. From Catholic and Protestant to Muslim and Jew, from the great and the good to the poor and the destitute, each grave has its own tale to tell, In this new edition of his acclaimed publication, Tom Hartley uses the cemetery to examine key events in Belfast’s history – the First and Second World Wars, the Troubles, the campaign against Home Rule, and the Dockers’ strike of 1907, as well as the development of the shipbuilding and other industries, the political and social life of the city, and the careers of the many writers, artists, entertainers and sportsmen who have helped to enhance the city’s international reputation over the years.
Tom Hartley was born in Belfast in 1945 and has been active in politics for over forty years. He was both the General Secretary and National Chairperson of Sinn Féin, and in May 1993 he was elected to Belfast City Council. From 2008 to 2009 he was lord mayor of Belfast. He works to highlight the importance of our burial sites as a repository of the political, social and economic history of Belfast.