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Henry McDonald is a writer and is the Irish editor for The Observer, the sister paper of The Guardian.
McDonald has written extensively about the Troubles and related issues. He was born in the Irish nationalist Markets area of Belfast and attended St. Malachy's College. McDonald was formerly involved in Sinn Féin the Workers Party, a left-wing Irish republican party that emerged from Sinn Féin in the early 1970s and was associated with the Official IRA. He travelled to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) with the youth wing of SFWP around 1980. Much of his writing concerns paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, like the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). He has written a book on the INLA - INLA - Deadly Divisions, which he co-authored with the now deceased Jack Holland. The book was first published in 1994 and has since been re-printed.
More recently, McDonald has written on Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups and has co-authored books on the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and UDA with Jim Cusack. He also wrote a biography of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader David Trimble. He was, for a period, a security correspondent for the BBC in Belfast. During the 1990s he was a staff reporter at Belfast newspaper The Irish News, where he edited the youth pages.
McDonald is a supporter of Cliftonville and Everton.