Firefighters of Belfast: The Fire Service During the Troubles 1969-1994


The firefighters responded to every incident during the Troubles, wherever it was located, seeing the best and worst of humanity. The years 1969 to 1994 were particularly difficult for Northern Ireland, and what would become known as `the Troubles' would test the firefighters of Belfast to their limits.

This book provides a record of that time from a firefighter's perspective, combining thorough research and contemporary records with first hand accounts from people who were involved, bringing these significant events to life through the words of the people who lived through them.

Full of character and characters, this personal account places on record the dedicated service and invaluable contribution made by firefighters to the people of Belfast when the city needed them most.

Firefighters of Belfast is ultimately an uplifting portrait of human courage and resilience during the most difficult of times.

About the Author

In 1969, at the age of sixteen, Brian Allaway joined the Belfast Fire Brigade. In 1994 he transferred to Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade and was based in Edinburgh. Further promotions saw him appointed as the last Firemaster of Edinburgh in 2002. Having joined the fire service with little in the way of formal qualifications Brian passed the fire service promotion exams and continued with part time study throughout his career, gaining a BA from the Open University, an MSSc from the Queen's University of Belfast and a PhD from The University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers and holds the Queen's Fire Service Medal.