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Short, sharp shock: Peter Taylor on how deadly Battle of St Matthew's stunned the establishment and transformed image of the Provos


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Carnage

Carnage

Strand 2

Strand 2

McKee

McKee

Donaldson and Bobby Sands

Donaldson and Bobby Sands

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

10th October 1963: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Reginald Maudling, (left), at the Conservative Party Conference at Blackpool, with Lord Hailsham (1907 - 2001, centre), and the deputy prime minister Richard A Butler. (Photo by Edward Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)

10th October 1963: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Reginald Maudling, (left), at the Conservative Party Conference at Blackpool, with Lord Hailsham (1907 - 2001, centre), and the deputy prime minister Richard A Butler. (Photo by Edward Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)

Army

Army

Carnage

A tweet was gaining traction online recently, pointing out how odd that Northern Ireland was calm while much of the West was ablaze with race riots and public disorder.

It was gallows humour, of course, for while we face into another potentially peaceful summer - occasioned this year by the coronavirus - the approach of July in these parts has typically been much less serene.

For decades - centuries even - frayed tensions, naked sectarianism and ugly street violence have framed the marching season.