Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Bloodstains in Ulster: The Notorious Case of Robert the Painter
Foyalty 27

Bloodstains in Ulster: The Notorious Case of Robert the Painter (Paperback)

To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.
Email me when back in stock


"Bloodstains in Ulster" recounts the remarkable true story of one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice in Northern Ireland's long troubled history. The book recovers from near-oblivion the case of Robert Taylor, known in the media as Robert the Painter, who was sentenced to death in Belfast for the savage premeditated murder of Mrs Mary McGowan and then in January 1950 released on a technicality. The defence revealed that contrary to the judge's express instructions the jurymen and their four RUC keepers had on two occasions separated and spoken to members of the public while on an evening break, thus infringing a rule then operative in Northern Ireland. Having had two trials, Taylor could not be tried again. Taylor was a Protestant from a hotly Loyalist ghetto, his victim a Catholic, and all the evidence suggests that not only was the judicial process deliberately sabotaged but also that the appeal judges (members of the Grand Lodge Committee of the Orange Order) turned a blind eye to that fact. Taylor returned to his ghetto as a hero. His release was accepted in sullen silence by the Nationalist minority; it fitted with their conception of the way things were.

The case riveted the attention of the divided community for six months, but was subsequently forgotten in the turmoil of the Troubles. Yet it was an omen of 1969, when Nationalist alienation from the state, the judiciary, and the RUC exploded in demands for justice and civil rights, only to be met by Loyalist indignation (orchestrated by Dr Paisley), police partiality, burnings and evictions, and the renaissance of the IRA. Uniquely, the Taylor case, although it turned on the fate of two socially insignificant individuals, is a single episode which encapsulates in itself the essential meaning of Northern Ireland's history from 1920 to the start of the Troubles.

Thomas McAlindon was born and bred in Belfast, received his secondary education there and studied subsequently at University College Cork and Cambridge University. He is the author of six books on English Literature in the Renaissance and is currently Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Hull. He was in his late teens when the case of Robert the Painter occurred and left Belfast for good shortly thereafter.

More books by Thomas McAlindon

Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Click and Collect is available for all our shops; collection times will vary depending on availability of items. Individual despatch times for each item will be given at checkout.

Special delivery items

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Animator's Survival Kit

For delivery charges for the Animator's Survival Kit please click here.


Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

The Emergence of the English
Susan Oosthuizen
The Duty To Stand Aside: Nineteen...
Eric Laursen
Britain and Europe: A Short History
Jeremy Black
Art, Cybernetics and Pedagogy in...
Kate Sloan
© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close