Irish Citizens Encouraged to Support Belfast Trade Boycott

Freeman’s Journal, 11 June 1921

In August 1920 Dáil Éireann ordered a boycott of Belfast goods and a withdrawal of funds from the city’s banks in support of Catholic workers expelled from the shipyards. A Department of Boycott was created in 1921 and hundreds of local boycott committees were established across Ireland. Firms breaking the boycott were fined and the IRA carried out its own boycott patrols. This notice, printed in the Freeman’s Journal, shows how Nationalists encouraged Irish citizens to support the action. The boycott officially ended in January 1922 with the announcement of the first agreement between James Craig and Michael Collins, when Craig promised to aid the return of the expelled Catholic workers.

Notice of a trade boycott and withdrawal of funds from British banks by Dáil Éireann in the Irish News.
25 October 1921 poster advertising the Belfast boycott. © Whytes.

Belfast Trade Boycott

Fourteen Points for the Irish People

  1. Do you approve of the Starvation of Men, Women and Children because they are Catholics?

  2. Do you approve of pouring petrol over a child of six and attempting to set fire to her because her mother is a Catholic?

  3. Do you approve of the burning of the Catholic Presbytery and the Desecration of the Catholic Graveyard at Lisburn?

  4. Do you approve of the Orange Mob which forced the Nuns of Lisburn to flee for their lives?

  5. Do you approve of the expulsion of the Catholic Religion from every school in the Six Counties?

  6. Do you approve of the Orange doctrine that No Catholic has a right to live in the Six Counties?

  7. Do you approve of the attempted Murder of a Protestant in Belfast on 24th May, 1921, because he was suspected of being a Sinn Feiner?

  8. Do you approve of the murderous Orange attacks on helpless prisoners going under armed escort to Ballykinlar?

  9. Do you approve of the expulsion of the Sinn Fein Personating Agents by Orangmen from the Polling Booths during the Partition Election on 24th May, 1921?

  10. Do you approve of the burning of De Valera’s effigy at Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast (vide FREEMAN’s Journal, 1/6/’21)?

  11. Do you approve of the Belfast Corporation’s “Tolerance” in denying the use of the Ulster Hall for Election Meetings to all but Orangemen?

  12. Do you approve of Orange barbarities and atrocities?

  13. Do you approve of Partition?

  14. Do you approve of Orange tactics generally in its fight against Christianity and Ireland?