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Yes, things were far from perfect in the Sixties, but civil rights campaigners didn't kill innocent people


Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

I presume Gerry Adams' comments comparing Catholic nationalists to African American civil rights campaigners is meant for his American audience, ignorant of the real facts.

As a Protestant from a working-class unionist background, what voting rights had I that Gerry was denied?

My father, who died at 54 from ill-health contracted while serving in the Royal Navy on Atlantic and Russian convoys, worked after the war as a corporation bus driver.

His conductor and friend was a Catholic nationalist, as was the next conductor who replaced him. Same job, Gerry. He waited five years for a house after the war. Our neighbours on either side were both Catholic. Same houses, Gerry.

Ballymurphy, where Gerry lived, was a modern housing development, almost entirely occupied by nationalists. Several of my friends, Catholics, served their apprenticeships in Short Brothers in the Sixties. A number of my current Catholic friends are retired teachers and other professions - all educated in the Sixties.

No one would deny that there were certainly things that needed putting right, Gerry. But when Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks stood up for themselves, they didn't murder their innocent neighbours, or "disappear" mothers-of-10 to make their point.


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Ballyclare, Co Antrim