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Nelson McCausland

50th anniversary of internment is nothing worth celebrating

Nelson McCausland


IRA used Operation Demetrius as excuse for ramping up killing

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Horror: An ambulanceman carries the body of 17-month-old Colin Nicholl from the scene of a no-warning IRA explosion at a furniture showroom on the Shankill Road in 1971

Horror: An ambulanceman carries the body of 17-month-old Colin Nicholl from the scene of a no-warning IRA explosion at a furniture showroom on the Shankill Road in 1971

Horror: An ambulanceman carries the body of 17-month-old Colin Nicholl from the scene of a no-warning IRA explosion at a furniture showroom on the Shankill Road in 1971

Sinn Fein, as well as the SDLP, do not want to commemorate the centenary of Northern Ireland. Instead, in 2021 Sinn Fein will probably look back 50 years to commemorate the introduction of internment in 1971 and, indeed, 1971 was a particularly important year in Ulster.

After the emergence of the Provisional IRA in December 1969, they spent much of 1970 on consolidation. That year, 29 people were killed and 19 of the deaths were the result of actions by republicans.

The consolidation of 1970 paved the way for the escalation of 1971. During that year, 180 people were killed and, of that number, republicans were responsible for 107.


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