Remembering Billy Reid – Irish Revolutionaries
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Remembering Billy Reid

Remembering Billy Reid

The Irish Revolutionary Billy Reid was killed on active service in Belfast, this day in 1971.

Billy Reid grew up in Regent Street, Carrickhill, North Belfast. He attended Catholic schools in North Belfast and became a joiner by trade. He boxed at an amateur level for the Holy Family Club in Belfast.

On May 15th 1971, a foot patrol of the British Army was ambushed in Academy Street in the centre of Belfast by the Third Battalion Belfast Brigade.

Billy Reid, aged 32, was killed by British soldiers when returning a gun. While dead they proceeded to kick him around and drag him by the hair.

A mural depicting Reid and other Irish republicans Sean McIlvenna, Rosemary Bleakley and Michael Kane is painted on the New Lodge Road in Belfast.

The Ballad Of Billy Reid:

I'll Sing You a song of a terrible wrong
When the flag it flew at half mast
When a man he lay dead was riddled with led
And he died on the streets of Belfast

Oh, the Radio said was another shot dead
And he died with a gun in his hand
But they didn't say why Billy Reid had to die
For he died to free Ireland

It happened one day when the bold I.R.A
Went out to fight for their land
With an old Thompson gun, put the troops on the run
To return to their home was their plan

Oh, the Radio said was another shot dead
And he died with a gun in his hand
But they didn't say why Billy Reid had to die
For he died to free Ireland

While returning the guns Billy met British huns
And when the fight was begun
His position was dire and the gun wouldn't fire
And he died with that old Thompson gun

Oh, the Radio said was another shot dead
And he died with a gun in his hand
But they didn't say why Billy Reid had to die
For he died to free Ireland

Although he lay dead he was kicked in the head
By the hair they dragged him around
But they still fear him yet the will never forget
How brave Billy Reid stood his ground

Oh, the Radio said was another shot dead
And he died with a gun in his hand
But they didn't say why Billy Reid had to die
For he died to free Ireland

If you think he was right come and join in the fight
And help to free Belfast
For the blood Billy shed although he lies dead
In our hearts, his memory will last

Oh, the Radio said was another shot dead
And he died with a gun in his hand
But they didn't say why Billy Reid had to die
For he died to free Ireland

Oh, the Radio said was another shot dead
And he died with a gun in his hand
But they didn't say why Billy Reid had to die
For he died to free Ireland


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