Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 2 August 2015

Northern Ireland Troubles: Battle of the Bogside

By Brian Walker

Published 11/08/2009 | 15:10

In disguise. Ulster Workers Council Strike: 1974
In disguise. Ulster Workers Council Strike: 1974
Farmers from the North Down area form a barricade of tractors across the Belfast-Saintfield Road at Carryduff. Ulster Workers Council Strike 23/05/74
Labour exchange in Great Patrick Street. The queue for unemployment benefit is the biggest seen for a long time. Ulster Workers Council Strike 22/05/74
Faces in the crowd during the Ulster Workers Council Strike. 05/06/74
Newtownards Road Hi-jack. Ulster Workers Council Strike 16/05/04
Farmers celebrations in Hillsborough. Ulster Workers Council Strike 01/06/74
Another blockade during the U.W.C strike. May 1974
Soldiers posted near a petrol station. Ulster Workers Council Strike 1974.
A convoy travels along the road during the U.W.C strike. 1974
A man holds a chick by the foot, during the U.W.C strike. 24/05/74
Soldiers checking cars entering the harbour estate in Belfast after they had taken over the petrol and oil facilities. Ulster Workers Council Strike 27/05/74
Army generators move along the Sydenham By-Pass. Ulster Workers Council Strike 23/05/74
Young Farmers from the North Down area in a convoy of vehicles in support of the U.W.C strike. 1974
A soldier on guard at the Ulster Garages premises during the U.W.C strike. 1974
A U.W.C truck containing a coffin proclaiming the death of the Sunningdale agreement. Ulster Workers Council Strike 1974
Platform party at U.W.C Rally at Stormont. Ulster Workers Council Strike 05/06/74
Soldiers stand guard as a Ministry of Commerce worker serves petrol at one of the Belfast City centre filling stations. Only essential users were being supplied. Ulster Workers Council Strike May 1974
People gathered outside a convenience store. Ulster Workers Council Strike 1974
One of the first trade unionists to get through the picket line at Queen's Quay was the AFU district secretary Jimmy Graham (centre). Ulster Workers Council Strike 1974
Cars queued up waiting to enter the harbour estate at Queens, Belfast, when the Army set up check points at the entrances after taking over the petrol and oil facilities. Ulster Workers Council Strike 27/05/74
Ulster Workers Council Strike 23/05/74
News on the Shankill-the UWC notice board on the Shankill Road recieved a lot of attention from passersby. Ulster Workers Council Strike
Farmers protest march to Stormont. Ulster Workers Council Strike, May 1974
Ulster Workers Council Strike. May 1974
Ulster Workers Council Strike. 28/5/1974
Ulster Workers Council Strike. May 1974
Crowds at Stormont during the Ulster Worker's Council strike. 28/05/74
Crowds during the Ulster Worker's Council strike. 28/05/74
Bobby Sands election campaign. At the Coalisland headquarters are, Noreen Campbell and Seamus McGuckin. 4/4/1981.
Supporters of Fermanagh South Tyrone MP/Hunger Striker Bobby Sands.
Tomboy Loudon, Gerry Roche, Denis Donaldson and Bobby Sands pictured in the Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
IRA prisoners' dirty protest while on hunger strike in the Maze Prison, November 1980.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands funeral procession making its way down Stewartstown Road on Route to Milltown cemetery
Bobby Sands funeral
Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots beside hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, at Milltown Cemetery.
Hunger striker Bobby Sands' coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Deceased hunger striker Bobby Sands (seated fourth from left). The Star of the Sea football team.
Tom McFeely - former hunger striker
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, who spent 53 days on IRA hunger strike
Francis Hughes, IRA killer and hunger striker being captures after Maze break
Former hunger striker, Lawrence McKeown.
Francis Hughes, IRA killer and hunger striker
IRA hunger striker, Brendan McLaughlin, 29, from Greysteel, Londonderry, was moved to a hospital outside the Maze, suffering from internal bleeding. May 1981
IRA hunger striker, Paddy Quinn. Doctors were reported to be trying to save his life, after 47 days without food, on instructions from his family. June 1981
Maze hunger striker, Raymond McCartney from Londonderry. October 1980
Bobby Sands pictured on the first day of his hunger strike. Sands had just come off the blanket protest before going straight on to hunger strike.
The body of catholic man lies in an entry off the Shankill Road in West Belfast after being murdered by members of the Shankill butchers. 25/10/82. Pacemaker Press
Con Neeson who was killed by the Shankill butchers in the late 70's. Pacemaker Press
William Moore aka Shankill Butcher gang member. Pacemaker Press
Shankill Butcher Edward McIlwaine. Pacemaker Press
Robert "Basher" Bates: Shankill butcher
Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy
A man with slashed wrists after an attack by the Shankill Butchers. Pacemaker Press
Some of the knives used by the Shankill Butchers in their attacks. Pacemaker Press
Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press
Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. 18/01/92. Pacemaker Press
William Bleakes, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Cecil James Caldwell, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
David Harkness, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Nigel McKee, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Robert Irons, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Catholic school children and their parents make their way to Holy Cross school under a heavy police and British Army presence in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
School children and parents with RUC officers who had to escort them to the Holy Cross Primary School Ardoyne today. Photo by: Niall Marshall
Paulette Donnelly with her parents arriving at Holy Cross Girls primary School after walking through "Corridor of Hate" on Friday (7/9/01).
Holy Cross School, November 2001. Children laugh and sing as they make there way up the Ardoyne Road this morning after loyalist protests were suspended and things start to get back to normal for the first time since school term started in September of this year
Ardoyne residents try to overturn an army landrover in Ardoyne avenue after trouble flared up again outside the nearby Holycross school. Picture: Pacemaker
Alice Lee Bunting in tears as she makes her way to Holy Cross Primary School
Fr Aidan Troy at the front gates of Holy Cross Girls School
Holy Cross Primary School.
Holy Cross Primary School.
Holy Cross Primary School.
Smoke spreads as a pipe bomb explodes after it was thrown at police and army lines by protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. The postman was the only sign of normality this morning on the Ardoyne Rd as despite all that has been happening - the mail got through.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. Riot police and army march Holy Cross school children and their parents past burnt out cars and protesting loyalists on their second day back to school in Ardoyne, North Belfast this morning.
An injured police officer is helped by two of his colleagues after a pipe bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
An injured police officer is helped into an ambulance by his colleagues after a blast bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, this morning, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Police officers carry an injured dog away to get medical help after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists
Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.
Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.
Protestant school children who were separated from their parents, scream for their mothers who were held behind armed police and army lines, before the catholic Holy Cross school children were brought to school in Ardoyne this morning.
Catholic schoolchildren are shepherded past protestant protesters at Ardoyne Road.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest And Riots Sept 2001
Holy Cross Primary School Protest In Belfast
Catholic children walking to the Holy Cross Primary School.
A pupil from the Holy Cross school in North Belfast interferance where trouble has been erupting for several weeks.
Ardoyne Road parents and their children on their way to Holy Cross Girls Primary School in what is now the tenth week of the dispute and loyalist protest.
Army bomb disposal experts blow up a second device in a grate beside a protestants car parked near the entrance to the Holy Cross Catholic Shool after having dealt with a suspect bomb across the road in the Protestant Wheatfield Primary And Nursery school.
Security forces keep a watchful eye as a young girl and her father walk up the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast to Holy Cross school. Police stepped up their security outside North Belfast schools after recent threats and trouble as parents walked their children to school.
Father Aiden Troy - Chairman of Board of Governors of Holy Cross School - discusses the sitation with a senior police officer on Ardoyne road
Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000
RUC: Police officers at the 12th parades at Portadown 1985.
Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared
Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre
An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997
A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road
Orangemen go no further as they reach the barrier at Drumcreee preventing them from marching on the Garvaghy Rd.
Tempers flare as Orangemen are blocked from walking the Garvaghy Rd, Drumcree, July 2000
Orangemen at Drumcree
Drumcree July 2000
Drumcree - July 6th 2002. Soldiers erect a security fence at Drumcree Church in Portadown.
PSNI riot team firing plastic bullets
Drumcree Orange Parade At Portadown July 1998. Portadown Grand Master Harold Gracey gives a speech to the crowds outside Drumcree Church of Ireland.
Orange Order: Drumcree, Portadown
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.
4/7/03 Garvaghy road residents spokesman Brendan MacCoinnaith pictured in Portadown.
Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown
Nationalist protesters walk to Garvaghy Road July 1997. Residents Coalition in Drumcree Portadown to voice their anger at Loyalist Parades through their area
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Brid Rodgers and Brendan McKenna in attendance at Garvaghy Road demonstration, Portadown
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Security Forces kept a Loyalist counter demonstration at a safe distance from Nationalist marchers near Oben Street, Portadown
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. A young Loyalist waves the Union Jack at Royal Ulster Constabulary police in riot gear, from the Loyalist side of the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland, as a nationalist-republican protest march, passed by peacefully down the Nationalist Garvaghy road.
STAND-OFF BETWEEN PSNI AND ORANGEMEN.
Disturbances On Garvaghy Road Portadown May 1998. Rioters hurl stones at RUC riot police on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland, during disturbances following an Orange parade in the area.
An RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road
Garvaghy Road Residents Meet With David Trimble May 99. Brendan McKenna arrives at Craigavon Civic Centre to meet the First Minister David Trimble in an effort to solve the Drumcree stand off.
RIR Support The Orangemen At Drumcree January 2000. Members of the Royal Irish Regiment with a flag supporting Orangemen in Drumcree.
Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), in the quiet Co Down village of Loughinisland where UVF gunmen burst in opened fire, during a World Cup match on June 18, 1994.
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights) in the Co. Down village of Loughinisland. Six men were shot dead by two UVF gunmen, while they were watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
As the Queen was visiting Belfast city centre in 1977, soldiers came under attack a few hundred yards away in the republican Falls Road area. An army captain was seperated from his unit and was being heavily stoned and kicked when a 'snatch squad' of his troops rushed the crowd to rescue him from the mob.
The ruins of McGurks Bar. Dec 1971
Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Funeral courtege of Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Police and rioters clash in Londonderry after an Apprentice Boys march, 1969.
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.
Belfast IRA men on patrol with new drogue bomb in Northern Ireland 1987
Royal Highland Fusilier, Robert Thompson from Hamilton, Scotland who was killed in Northern Ireland. July 27 1980
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.
Mr Austin Currie, MP, addressing the crowd.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
The first Civil Rights (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association) from Coalisland to Dungannon, held on 24/8/1968. Pictured is a member of the official party leading the civil rights marchers, appealing to the crowd, and requesting that there should be no violence during the march in Dungannon.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard). 9/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Civil rights marchers are confronted by a strong force of polive in Duke Street. October 1968
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's
IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Sandra Morris
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Carol Mills
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Christine Lockhart
SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin. 11/09/75
Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp are SDLP MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71
Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72
William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.
Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park. 18/03/72
Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972. Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.
Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.
A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972.
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.
Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.
The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972
Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.
Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.
Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984
Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast
Gordon Wilson. Irish Senator who's daughter Marie was a victim of the Ennieskillen Remembrance Day explosion in 1987. Pictured with his grandson Timothy.
The funeral of Marie Wilson, killed along with 10 others in no warning explosion during a Remembrance Day Service at Enniskillen Cenotaph. 8/11/1987
William Hughes who was killed in shooting incident due to a mistake by gunmen. The car they were sitting in near Coagh, Co. Tyrone looked like a police car. In the hail of gunfire directed at the car, William Hughes died. His daughter Ann and her fiance Malachy Foye were wounded.
Anglo Irish Agreement Protest Rally outside Belfast City Hall, with Unionists showing a united front. 'Ulster Says No'. 10/12/1985
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
Hugh O'Toole, owner of O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), Loughinisland, in which six men were shot dead watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
Reggie and Walter Chapman: Protestant brothers brutally murdered on a lonely roadside in S. Armagh. Kingsmill Massacre/Shooting. 5/1/1976. Their Bessbrook funeral. 8/1/1976.
Alan Black, a survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambush on their way home from work by gunmen. 5/1/1976

The rioting which gripped Londonderry for 50 hours in August, 1969 quickly spread to other parts of Northern Ireland. Brian Walker reflects on how those events shaped life for decades

At around 3.45pm on August 12, 1969 I stood in Waterloo Place, Derry, when the first stones were thrown in what became known as the Battle of the Bogside. I watched events in the city over the following days of rioting until late afternoon on August 14, when the British army arrived to take control and the fighting stopped.

This conflict, however, had not remained a localised affair. As a consequence of what happened in Derry, serious disturbances broke out in many other places, in particular Belfast, leading to burning of houses, expulsion of populations, many hundreds injured and eight deaths. These events pushed Northern Ireland to new depths of confrontation and violence which took decades to resolve.

I was witness to a number of key events in Derry, which help to cast a light on what occurred. Evidence which emerged later about those days allows us a better understanding of what happened.

At the time, events were interpreted very differently. On the one side there were many convinced that what happened was part of an IRA plot to overthrow the Northern Ireland state, while on the other many who believed that forces of the state and others were involved in an unprovoked assault on the Catholic and nationalist community. In fact, both were wrong, although, subsequently, such views would have considerable influence.

In the months before August 1969 there had been a strong rise in communal tensions throughout Northern Ireland, due to civil rights demonstrations and loyalist opposition to these demonstrations. There had been riots in both Derry and west Belfast but what happened in August was of a much more extreme character than anything before.

In early August there was concern about a forthcoming Apprentice Boys parade on August 12 in Derry. Many were worried that members of the Apprentice Boys would attack the Bogside and other nationalist areas. There were calls for the parade to be banned, but these were rejected by the Government.

At the beginning of August, I attended a meeting of the Derry Citizens Action Committee (DCAC) of people who wished to volunteer as stewards at the parade. All were informed that they would not be needed because the the Derry Citizen’s Defence Association (DCDA), established on July 20, under the chairmanship of republican Sean Keenan, would be responsible for stewarding.

On August 12 the Apprentice Boys parade took place and was virtually trouble free. However at around 3.45pm stone throwing began in Waterloo Place. I was present and the trouble started with youths from the Bogside throwing stones at the end of the parade. Police moved in to protect the marchers, and a violent confrontation began between the stone throwers and the police. There was no effective stewarding from DCDA, and the efforts of a few individuals such as John Hume and Ivan Cooper were unable to stop the fighting.

Fierce street fighting continued in Derry for over 50 hours, day and night. While the DCDA had failed to provide stewards on August 12, it had organised for the erection of barricades and a large supply of petrol bombs.

From a conflict that began between mainly youths and police, the fighting involved a much wider section of the Bogside population, who saw their area as under attack.

The police used tear gas and B Specials were brought in but not used in the Bogside. Finally, at 5pm on August 14 the British army arrived and the fighting stopped.

These events had caused reaction elsewhere. Once the rioting had begun in Derry on August 12, Frank Gogarty, chairman of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), received telephone requests from a number of people in the Bogside, including Eamon McCann, Bernadette Devlin and Sean Keenan, to organise diversions. That evening he called for Civil Rights people to hold demonstrations , ‘to take the pressure off Derry’. This led to small scale demonstrations in a few places that night. The following day NICRA organised more demonstrations to prevent reinforcement of the police in Derry.

On the next day these demonstrations led to extensive rioting in Dungannon, Coalisland, Dungiven, Newry and Armagh. B Specials were mobilised to assist the beleaguered police. Rioting continued on the 14th and led to a death in Armagh.

There was now an extra dimension to matters with a broadcast at 9pm that evening by Taoiseach Jack Lynch. He deplored the ‘tragic events’ in Derry. He declared that the Irish government could ‘no longer stand by and see innocent people injured and perhaps worse’. He stated the Irish army had been directed to set up field hospitals on the border.

The matter was raised in the United Nations and, ‘recognising that the reunification of the national territory can provide the only permanent solution for the problem’, he proposed to enter into negotiations with the British government over the constitutional position of the ‘six counties of Northern Ireland’.

This statement had considerable effect. Scarman described how it was regarded ‘as provocative in Protestant and unionist circles and as an encouragement by some Catholic activists’. Nationalist MP Paddy Kennedy, recalled how on August 13 the tension on the Falls Road had been heightened by Lynch’s speech, which caused many people to think the Irish army would intervene in Northern Ireland.

In unionist circles the speech was regarded differently. The Prime Minister, Major James Chichester- Clarke, stated his ‘intense anger and resentment’ at Lynch’s intervention.

On the evenings of August 14/15 large crowds of Catholics and Protestants gathered in Divis Street and some of the other streets running between the lower ends of the Falls Road and the Shankill Road. The police were reinforced by B specials.

The high tension in the area now led to sectarian clashes, which escalated into serious fighting. In the bedlam which followed, pubs, shops, factories and houses were burned. As well, this conflict resulted in the use of guns by some IRA members and by police, which caused three deaths.

The police were later criticised for their use of Browning machine guns in built up areas: having come under grenade and gun attack, some officers believed they faced an armed uprising.

One of the most notorious incidents of this night involved the destruction of some 48 houses in the predominantly Catholic Conway Street. Initially, the police attempted to keep separate the two hostile crowds which gathered at opposite ends of this street.

The end result of this week of mayhem and destruction was the loss of eight lives, the injury of many hundreds of people, the widespread destruction of commercial property and the loss of hundreds of homes whose residents were forced to flee. Most of those who were killed or lost their houses were Catholic.

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