These are the writers who have contributed to Radical Manchester. If you’d like to join us, please take a look at the Write for Us page. Please note that the author is credited at the bottom of each article, and is not necessarily the person who posted it to the website, who is named at the top.

Arwa Aburawa is a freelance journalist based in Eccles. She specialises in local politics, Palestine, climate change, women’s rights, and arts & culture, and holds an MA in International Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.

Andrew Bibby is a writer and journalist who works as an independent consultant for a number of international and national organisations (including the International Labour Organization, UNI Global Union and the International Co-operative Alliance), and as a regular contributor to British national newspapers and magazines (including the Observer, Independent, Guardian and FT). He is also also the author of a number of books, the most recent of which is The Backbone of England: Landscape & Life on the Pennine Watershed.

Andrew Bowman is a writer and researcher based in Manchester. He is an editor for Manchester Mule and Red Pepper.

Michael Herbert first came to Manchester in 1973. He has a degree in history from the University of Manchester and an MA in the History of the Manchester Region from MMU. He is a Trustee of the Working Class Movement Library and has edited the North West Labour History Journal. He has run courses on Manchester’s radical history for the WEA and from time to time leads radical history walks. His published work includes Never Counted Out! The Story of Len Johnson, Manchester’s Black Boxing Hero and Communist (1992) and The Wearing of the Green: A Political History of the Irish in Manchester (2000). Copies of both books are still available and can be bought by contacting Michael directly at mossley [at]

Sarah Irving is a full-time freelance writer and editor. Sarah has been active since the early 1990s in anti-fascist, anti-globalisation, feminist and anti-roads campaigning, social enterprise and Nicaragua solidarity work. She is co-author, with Sharyn Lock, of Gaza: Beneath the Bombs (Pluto 2010) and of two forthcoming books, a new edition of the Bradt Guide to Palestine (late 2011) and a biography of Leila Khaled (Pluto 2012).

Aidan Jolly is a musician, songwriter/composer and multimedia artist, taking inspiration from world wide cultural movements, and the history, identity and undocumented stories of particular communities and environments. He is involved in touring, performing, events and projects, and in 2006 released his first solo CD ‘System Fault’. A second album, ‘State Of Hysteria’ was released in October 2008. He is also a member of Manchester based Virtual Migrants Association, a digital arts group connecting migration, class and race.

David King is a former geneticist who has been writing and campaigning on ethical and social issues raised by genetics for the past 20 years. He has been active in the anti-GM food campaign and was the founder of Human Genetics Alert, an independent, pro-choice secular watchdog group. He often gets called a ‘Luddite’.

Derek Pattison is a freelance writer and blogger living in Tameside. He is an editorial panel member and writer for Northern Voices magazine and publicationsm and former Press Officer Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils. His areas of interest include: writing on social policy issues, the surveillance society, labour history, politics and true crime. Publications contributed to include: ‘Chomsky and his Critics’, ‘The Workers’ Next Step’ and ‘The Spanish Civil War – 70th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet’.

11 thoughts on “Authors

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  2. Could you please forward this to Michael Herbert? The address for him above doesn’t work as an email address.
    PS the website is a wonderful resource. Thanks .

    Hello, Michael Herbert,
    I have read chunks of your book ,”the wearing of the green” in Manchester library, as well as writings by you on Manchester’s radical history web site, which I have found really interesting. It told me about so much of our history that has been conveniently forgotten. I would like to buy a copy of the book if you would tell me how to go about it , please.

    I am interested because I am researching a relative who was probably active in some of the events you describe but I am struggling to find information, so I would be grateful if you give me any suggestions where to look, and also if you would tell me if you noticed his name during any of the research you have done.

    I’ll tell you what I know in case it interests you, or sparks any ideas or memories.
    William, or Willie, or Liam PARR was born in Dublin in about 1892 and moved to Stockport to live with his aunty and Uncle before 1911. In 1923 he married in Stockport and died aged 42 in 1934. These are the facts from official records but family stories say he was heavily involved in republican activities during that period. The stories are very garbled, and have come through the channel of family members who were probably pretty unsympathetic to republicanism, some having links with the Freemasons, so they wouldn’t have boasted about having an IRA man in the family.

    The most consistent story is that when Liam died in 1934 there was some involvement of the IRA or De Valera at his funeral. All agree that there was a card on a wreath, or a telegram from De Valera saying something like, “may the angels pipe you into heaven as you piped us into Clare.” Liam played the pipes, and I guess he may have been one of the volunteers who came from far and wide to help with the East Clare by election which De Valera won in 1917. I did discover in Dublin a photo of a march from that election led by three pipers, and followed , at the head of the crowd by Constance Markievicz. Some see a resemblance between the central piper and a photo we have of Liam on his wedding day, but I am not certain, and don’t want to fall for wishful thinking. The picture of the march is a good photo and I’ll email it to you if you are interested.
    It seems that some of his english family were unhappy at a contingent of IRA, or at least Irish friends at his funeral, and transmitted their feelings for 80 years in the family traditions. Some of the stories suggest that De valera came to Manchester to attend the funeral, or that it was turned into a full IRA funeral, but I imagine this was exaggeration as I have checked in Manchester papers and found no reports of the funeral, and I’m sure anything that unusual would have been reported. All I found was his death notification in the paper which gave his name as William (Liam), so I expect he was known in Irish circles as Liam.
    I would have thought there must be some truth in Liam’s involvement in the east clare election as it is an obscure enough story not to have been wholly invented.

    Another story is that he, or his Irish relatives in Stockport ( probably one of the Costello’s – his grandparent’s family) came across De Valera while he was hiding in Manchester. This caused a momentary panic untl someone said “don’t worry, we know this person who is a friend”. I know this could be true, but I expect lots and lots of members of Manchester’s irish community would claim similar stories. However the story has come down to us through people who would not have been very proud of it, which gives me more reason to put some trust in it.

    Other stories say he may have been arrested, that he took “pot shots at British soldiers”, made himself ill while hiding in ditches, and went between Ireland and Stockport to resist arrest. I have seen no documentary evidence that he was involved in republican activities, but I know that family traditions are rarely manufactured out of thin air, so I’m wondering how to get a bit closer to the truth. I’m sure you have used all the sources that I need to use, so I wonder if you would be kind enough to point me in the right direction?. I guess you must have used reports from newspapers in Manchester Library, but I wonder if you have discovered any preserved memories of participants? All I have found is “Sworn to be free, the complete book of IRA jailbreaks 1918-1921” edited by Florence O Donaghue which has chapters on De Valera’s escape from Lincoln, and the escape from Strangeways, and hope that there are others that you know about?

    If you don’t have time to advise me, that is fine; we all get far too many emails, so I do understand, but I’d still be grateful to be able to purchase the book.

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  9. Mary O’Kane was also, apparently the first female mayor of Eccles, according to her half brother (RIP), my relative John Mcfeely of Glasgow, of the Owenbeg McFeelys (near Dungiven).

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