Henry McDonald is a writer and Ireland correspondent for The Guardian and Observer.
McDonald has written extensively about the Troubles and related issues. He was born in the Irish nationalist Markets area of Belfast and attended St. Malachy's College. McDonald was formerly involved in Workers' Party of Ireland, a left-wing party that emerged from Sinn Féin in the early 1970s and was associated with the Official IRA. He travelled to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) with the youth wing of SFWP around 1980.
Much of his writing concerns paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, like the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). He has written a book on the INLA, INLA - Deadly Divisions, which he co-authored with the now deceased Jack Holland. The book was first published in 1994 and has since been re-printed.
More recently, McDonald has written on Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups and has co-authored books on the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and UDA with Jim Cusack. He also wrote a biography of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader David Trimble. He was, for a period, a security correspondent for the BBC in Belfast. During the 1990s he was a staff reporter at Belfast newspaper The Irish News, where he edited the youth pages.
In 2017, he released his first novel, The Swinging Detective.
McDonald is a supporter of Cliftonville and Everton.