Sam McAughtry

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Sam McAughtry (24 March 1921 – 28 March 2014) was a Northern Irish writer and broadcaster.

He was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1921. He lived in the loyalist Tiger's Bay area and was educated at St Barnabas'.[1] He left school at 14 and served in the Royal Air Force. On leaving the armed forces he worked as a labourer, then civil servant, before becoming a full-time writer.

He was a trade union and Northern Ireland Labour Party member, he stood unsuccessfully for elections on a non-sectarian socialist platform.[2] He was founding chairman of the Peace Train Organisation which protested against the bombing of the Dublin–Belfast railway line.

McAughtry made many contributions to radio and television programmes, giving his memories of life in Belfast as well as political analysis during the troubles. He was also a regular columnist in The Irish Times.

Sam McAughtry was elected a member of the Seanad Éireann, the Irish senate, in 1996 by the Industrial and Commercial Panel. Others from Northern Ireland such as Gordon Wilson, Maurice Hayes, John Robb, Sam Kyle, Seamus Mallon and Bríd Rodgers were appointed by the Taoiseach.

He was introduced on 28 February 1996, welcomed as a rare northern Protestant representative, and made his first contribution in response.[3]

He died on 28 March 2014.[4]


  • The Sinking of The Kenbane Head (1977), an autobiography
  • Play It Again Sam (1978)
  • Blind Spot (1979)
  • Sam McAughtry's Belfast (1981), a collection of sketches
  • McAughtry's War (1985), autobiography and autobiographical fiction
  • Hillman Street High Roller (1994), autobiography and autobiographical fiction
  • Down in the Free State (1987), a travel book
  • Belfast Stories (1993)
  • Touch and Go (1993), a novel
  • On the outside looking in, A Memoir (2003)
  • "A Wistful Eye on Titanic" (2012) A review of the 2012 novel 'A Wistful Eye - The Tragedy of a Titanic Shipwright' written by his cousin DJ Kelly (Denise Beddows).


  1. ^ Date of birth given as 1921 on fly-leaf and also on page one of text of "McAughtry's War" (Blackstaff Press, 1985).
  2. ^ 1998 Assembly Election Results Belfast North (ARK)
  3. ^ "Seanad Éireann Debate". Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Belfast writer Sam McAughtry dies". BBC News. 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2017-12-02.