The Ghosts of Riots Past Book Launch

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The Ghosts of Riots Past Book Launch

Launch of The Ghosts of Riots Past -The Story of The Knights of Malta First Aiders in Free Derry hosted, by best-selling author Jude Morrow

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City Hotel Derry Queens Quay Londonderry BT48 7AS United Kingdom

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About this event

The Ghosts of Riots Past - The Troubled Conflict in Derry Through The Eyes of A Volunteer First -Aider

Nostalgic and sharing a storied history may have been almost forgotten if it wasn’t for Jude Morrow’s unquenchable thirst to delve deep into subjects that interest him, The Ghosts of Riots Past is a fictional narrative that more than does justice to the teenage first aiders of the Order of Malta, working in war zone environments during the Free Derry period, in the late sixties and early seventies.

Due for release on the 27th of October 2022, this immersive novel introduces first-aid volunteer Martha Bradley and how her world was turned upside down, from her first-aid unit supporting sports fixtures, festivals and fairs to finding themselves amidst an active warzone with live ammunition.

A gem of a novel, the author has also included, as appendices, the real-life stories and newly voiced details and perspectives of Bloody Sunday and other events provided by Order of Malta volunteers of the time. These personal reminiscences add to the credentials of this accomplished work and position The Ghosts of Riots Past as a significant addition to Derry’s social history archives.


Set against a backdrop of the late 1960s Bogside, Martha Bradley is inspired to join the Order of Malta at the age of fifteen following a family tragedy that changes her life forever; this prompts her family to move to the legendary Rossville Flats that dominated the skyline of the Bogside.

The teenage first-aiders begin their service by attending sports fixtures, fairs, and religious services, to administer first aid in a most forbidding active war zone with live ammunition. Martha's journey with the Order of Malta places her at The Battle of The Bogside, the daily clashes between the Free Derry residents and the security forces, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman, whilst guarding a shameful secret of her own from her unit and her family.

"Even though we all wore the same thing, white coats and kit bags, everybody wore them and carried themselves a wee bit differently. I would learn everybody’s mannerisms, walks, and small details. I became so close to my unit that I could tell them all apart, even wearing my gas mask during a riot, outside and in the dark.

I feel it quite symbolic that we wore white coats, almost like we were ghosts. We were the ghosts of riots past, the ghosts of riots present, and the ghosts of riots yet to come".

The Ghosts of Riots Past captures the nostalgic perspective of the troubles in Free Derry, the togetherness of the first-aiders, the spirit of Christian charity, and the courage of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, many of whom were still in their teens.

The Event will be hosted in the Corinthian Ballroom with copies of The Ghosts of Riots Past for sale at £11.99 and a book signing. Those who register for the live launch will receive a PDF copy of the first two chapters of the book using the registered email address to attend the launch event.