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A Presbyterian, Halley joined the Independent Labour Party, and when this disaffiliated from the British Labour Party, he became a founder member of the small Socialist Party of Northern Ireland, an integral part of the Northern Ireland Labour Party. He fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. and was also appointed to the editorial board of the Irish Democrat, a short-lived left-wing journal.
Halley soon became closely aligned with Harry Diamond, and in 1944 he was a founder member of the Socialist Republican Party. He stood for the party at the 1946 Belfast Central by-election for the party, but was defeated by Frank Hanna.
- Halley Family 1911 Census Form
- Notes on the Socialist Party of Northern Ireland
- Patrick Byrne, Memories of the Republican Congress 1934-84
- Matt Merrigan, Eagle Or Cuckoo?: The Story of the ATGWU in Ireland
- Northern Ireland Parliamentary Election Results: Boroughs: Belfast