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 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 Brid Rodgers were appointed by the Taoiseach.

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

He died on 28 March 2014.[5]


  • 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)