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Calendar of Newspaper Articles dealing with Civil Rights issues, 1 Jun 1968 - 9 Dec 1968 by Alan Scott



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Text: Alan Scott

Introduction     1968:   | June | July | August | September | October | November | December |
October 1968:   | 1-5 | 7-12 | 14-19 | 21-26 | 28-31 |
14 - 19 October:   | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Top |

14 October, 1968

Belfast Telegraph

Higher ground

Editorial: The timely meeting of parliament at Stormont provides the opportunity to take political debate off the streets and into the legislature, where it belongs. The Queen's students have made their point effectively, and should not spoil the creditable image they have created by marching again; they must also be careful to avoid infiltration by 'outside propagandists.' Paisleyites are entitled to their freedoms, but it is significant that they try to deny others those rights of which they avail themselves.

Cabinet recalled

Leader: The cabinet meets to discuss the developing situation in light of the Derry disturbances. O'Neill is expected to make a speech on the wider implications of recent events for community relations. It is not clear whether Nationalists will attend the debate. Fitt will not be there, arguing that 'the Unionists will try to turn the civil rights issue into an orange and green debate.' Recent events have caused O'Neill's policies a serious setback. His leadership however will only come under serious scrutiny if the crisis is allowed to drag on. Wilson may be blunt with O'Neill when the two meet, but it is unlikely that the British prime minister will present an ultimatum, since he realises that direct intervention would only weaken O'Neill's reformist leadership. Paisley announces his intention to hold demonstrations coinciding with the planned student march later in the week.

News Letter

O'Neill raps 'fair weather friends'

Report: O'Neill criticises Lynch over recent remarks on Northern Ireland. Brooke praises the government's response to the Derry disturbances. Responding to criticism of the local government franchise, O'Neill argues that the ratepayer qualification persisted in Britain until 1948. The Sunday Telegraph claims that O'Neill now has a majority of only one vote in cabinet, and feels that if he is succeeded by either Craig or Faulkner, Westminster intervention will be made more likely.

Belfast Telegraph

O'Neill criticises Province's 'fair weather friends'

Report: O'Neill expresses his disappointment at recent pronouncements on Northern Ireland made in the Republic of Ireland. He defends the local franchise, which he says is the same as that which existed in Britain until 1948. He defends the RUC, a force that he says has a difficult job to perform. Samuel Silkin, chairman of the , believes in O'Neill's sincerity as a reformer, and perceives the strength of the uncompromising faction in the Unionist Party. He adds however that reform must come soon if the situation is not to escalate eventually into violence. 'However great the reluctance in Whitehall and Westminster to intervene, the overriding need to uphold human rights and to avoid bloodshed may compel an intervention which could in these circumstances be both lawful and justifiable.'

Irish News

Social injustices to blame for Derry violence, cardinal says

Leader: Cardinal Conway expresses the belief that, with regard to the recent violence in Derry, 'the immediate causes of these events are social. They grow out of the frustration of ordinary people who want houses and a fair chance of jobs and equitable representation.' People will however 'respond to any credible sign that their position is going to be remedied soon…To put off tackling these injustices realistically until the extremists who support them fade away is, I believe, misguided and dangerous.' He agrees with a call from the protestant churches for 'an examination of conscience by everyone into the significance of recent events,' and also with the hopes they have expressed for 'peace and harmony in the community.' He continues, 'I beg those who are in a position to determine government policy not to make the mistake of seeing recent happenings in purely political terms.' McAteer has asked for 'anything at all that will bring us to the conference table and not the barricades.' He adds that he does not want to be forced to retreat into a fixed position: 'my appeal is to the silent Unionists who say privately that indeed there are wrongs to be righted but are frightened off by the silly old "not-an-inch" catch-cries.'

News Letter

Plea for peace in Province

Report: Protestant church leaders call for a period of calm and reflection on the implications of recent events in Northern Ireland. The official organs of the Church of Ireland and of the methodist church call for 'measures to end social injustices.' O'Brien talks of the risks of a policy of civil disobedience. The Nationalist Party executive recommends that the parliamentary party withdraw from its role as official opposition at Stormont.

Belfast Telegraph

Action can't be put off - Cardinal

Report: McAteer says, 'now is the time to do something before we are all driven into fixed public positions from which retreat is impossible. My appeal is to the silent Unionists who say privately that indeed there are wrongs to be righted but are frightened by the silly "not-an-inch" catch-cries.'

Cure causes of unrest - moderator

Report: Withers feels that grievances should be analysed and, 'where basic justice is being denied to any section and driving it to despair…to set right at once what is wrong.' He also appeals to nationalists 'to accept the fact that they are citizens of this state, which claims their allegiance, and involve themselves loyally in its institutions.' He appeals to protestants not to engage in provocation.

News Letter

Presbytery calls for goodwill

Report: Derry presbytery talks of the development of good community relations over the years, and asks that the law be respected and that people work and pray for peace and justice.

Irish News

Consciences in need of examination

Editorial: Those who have not suffered discrimination find it difficult to sympathise with catholics who have: 'there is always the feeling that grievances become propaganda and, in any case, it is both impolitic and dangerous to sympathise too much.' The Christian churches must continue to raise issues of injustice. 'If these problems are to be solved there will have to be a complete investigation by a body so respected and so representative that its findings will have to be accepted. Only Mr Wilson should provide such a body.'

Minority treatment in North: 'UN might have to be told'

Report: Conor Cruise O'Brien feels that the plight of the minority in Northern Ireland might have to be brought to the attention of the United Nations. He feels that O'Neill is trying to be constructive, but that pressure from the UN would help counteract that from the Paisleyite 'hate merchants.' Civil disobedience would entail great risks and sacrifices for the minority, and should not be entered into lightly.

News Letter

RCs are warned about civil disobedience

Report: O'Brien has argued for caution over civil disobedience, and feels that O'Neill's replacement by a 'strong man' might even prove beneficial if concessions could be forced through by that successor. Professor Geoffrey Copcutt feels that a distinction must be drawn between protest against partition and that against discrimination. The Sunday Express calls for an inquiry into what can be done to calm tensions. It points out that Craig did not ban the parade and that an alternative route was suggested. The claim is made in the Sunday Independent that 'communists there certainly were in the organisation of the parade, but the Londonderry people followed them in spite of the communism, not because of it.' There were also republicans on the march, but most of those involved in the demonstration were simply ordinary people expressing their grievances. Wilson should intervene and introduce reforms now.

[BT, 12 October]

Belfast Telegraph

Dr Vick rejects O'Brien charge

Report: The vice-chancellor of Queen's University denies having bowed to Paisleyite pressure in reference to arrangements for a meeting at which O'Brien spoke on civil disobedience.

Irish News

Westminster rule, suggested solution

Report: North Belfast NDP is told that 'on the evidence of the past, mere pressure from Westminster will amount to little but meaningless ecumenical gestures from Captain O'Neill.' Stormont should be temporarily suspended and direct rule introduced, enabling Westminster to introduce one-man-one-vote and repeal the Special Powers Act, measures which are elementary to democracy in Northern Ireland. A telegram is also sent to Wilson calling for a public inquiry into the ban on the Derry march and police brutality.

'Disorders in Derry debase Britain'

Report: Heaney sends a message to a British UN delegate deploring the 'government by violence' that occurs in the 'police state' of Northern Ireland. 'The white men of Derry have the same rights as the black men of Rhodesia, and they will take what your government will not give.'

'Paisley tail still wags Unionist dog'

Report: The British Liberal representative sent to investigate Northern Ireland feels that extremists such as Paisley still exercise undue influence over Unionism. He also states that excessive police violence was used in Derry, but is unprepared to blame the RUC alone for events.

News Letter

Liberals send 'investigator' to Derry

Report: A British Liberal Party statement, following the party's fact-finding mission to Northern Ireland, draws the distinction between partition and other main grievances, the latter of which must be addressed irrespective of anyone's position on the former.

[BT, 12 October]

Belfast Telegraph

Wolf at the gate in Derry - Copcutt

Report: Professor Geoffrey Copcutt claims that discrimination and partition should be treated as wholly separate issues.

Unionists blamed

Report: The executive of the Republican Clubs blames Unionist demonisation of the civil rights movement for recent sectarian outbreaks in Belfast.

Irish News

A direct result of inflam[m]atory statements

Report: The Six County Regional Executive of the Republican Clubs advises no retaliation against recent sectarian incidents in Belfast which, it urges, are the result of provocative statements by Unionists. The civil rights movement should not endanger the unity that it is creating by such retaliation.

Shock at 'gross violence used by police'

Report: The AOH consultative committee condemns police violence in Derry, and asserts that the right to demonstrate is fundamental

Oxford and the Derry incidents

Report: A branch of the Campaign for Democracy in Northern Ireland has been formed in Oxford. An organiser claims that many English people have been shocked at what television has shown them of events in Derry.

Petrol bombs hurled during civil rights clash with Gardai

Report: A civil rights demonstration in Dublin, staged outside the British embassy, turns violent.

News Letter

Petrol bomb clash at British embassy [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Police fight Dublin crowd at embassy [Report]

Moderates form majority in Ulster - Lord Hamilton

Report: The Marquis of Hamilton feels that the majority of people in Northern Ireland, as moderates, must not be disheartened by 'this temporary setback in community relations.' He blames media coverage of the situation for presenting a false view of reality.

Frost

Report: A letter from the Young Unionist Council praises UTV for its recent televised debate on Northern Ireland, which showed British viewers 'the type of destructive rabble, anti-Ulster, and anti-law and order, who took part in the attempt to introduce civil strife in Londonderry under the guise of civil rights.'

Irish News

'Brute force' condemned by union

Report: The executive committee of the Draughtsmen's and Allied Technicians' Association in London condemns the Derry ban and the 'brute force' employed by police. The Westminster government should 'bring about the necessary reforms which will grant to the people of Northern Ireland the basic civil rights of one man one vote, the right to work, and freedom from discrimination.'


Belfast Telegraph

Union man replies to criticisms

Report: A DATA representative justifies his union's stance on civil rights in the light of some criticisms from union members. Violence is abhorred but can be prevented in the end only by the removal of the grievances that lie at its root. It is stated that the union has consistently worked to foster good community relations.

'Tragic'

Report: West Essex Ulster Society feels that it is tragic that O'Neill's progressive record has been damaged by events 'provoked by forces hostile to Ulster.'

News Letter

Communist-inspired troubles

Report: A memorandum sent by the NILP to Wilson on the situation in Northern Ireland is criticised by a Belfast religious group, and is deemed non-factual. The real problem in Northern Ireland at present is seen to be that of a communist plot.

Craig action approved

Report: Duncairn Unionist Association praises Craig's response to the Derry events, and argues that the statement issued by the local hospital with regard to the lack of serious injury clears the police of charges of unnecessary force having been employed against marchers.

'Appreciation' for minister

Report: Pottinger Unionist Association praises Craig's actions and expresses its confidence in O'Neill and his cabinet.

Belfast Telegraph

Craig backed [Summary]

City Hall Unionists back Craig

Report: Unionist members of Belfast city council back the actions of Craig and the RUC with regard to Derry; the police are said to have been placed under 'severe provocation,' but nevertheless acted commendably.

Labour accused of republican bias

Report: The vice-chairman of the Ulster Young Unionist Council says that Labour views on Northern Ireland are biased and that the party's assertions are inaccurate. He feels that the civil rights movement is controlled by communists. Bailie attacks Lynch for his references to Derry and 'the irrelevant partition issue.'

Belfast Telegraph

Pottinger 'a Unionist test case'

Report: Belfast councillor Albert Quinn sees the Pottinger by-election as a test of Unionist support following events in Derry.

'Stalking horse for violence'

Report: The Irish Times criticises the violent tactics of some of those who associate themselves with the cause of civil rights, but claims that the civil rights movement itself cannot be blamed for their independent actions. The Irish Press sees the recent Dublin violence as a setback to the civil rights movement, but the Irish Independent contrasts the scenes in Dublin with police brutality in Derry.

Irish News

Action Committee PO resigns

Report: The press officer for the Derry Citizens' Action Committee, an ex-Unionist councillor resigns in protest at a decision to hold a sit-down protest outside the city's Guildhall. 'The proposed sit-down meeting, "interpreted as civil disobedience, could no [sic - do] nothing but harm to the objectives of the Committee".'

Belfast Telegraph

Unionist out of Derry protest group [Report]

News Letter

Peace group splits

Report: A member of the DCAC resigns, wishing to dissociate himself for civil disobedience or 'criticism of the forces of order.' The Committee will make a public appeal for funds in support of the civil rights cause, and to help pay the expenses of those involved in the recent disturbances. The peaceful intent of the forthcoming demonstration is emphasised. The Liberal Party fact-finding mission in Northern Ireland has ended with a call for an end to gerrymandering and the passing of legislation at Stormont designed to promote equality. McAteer appeals for 'common sense' to prevail, so that no party is driven into a position from which it cannot retreat. He appeals to 'the silent Unionists who say privately that indeed there are wrongs to be righted.' They must speak out against continued injustice. Some union members dissociate themselves from statements condemning the Craig ban, issued by the bodies of which they are members.

Irish News

Civil rights sit-in in Derry

Report: The DCAC will hold a sit-down demonstration outside the Guildhall in Derry. 'We ask all people who feel strongly over civil rights to discipline themselves, and show the world that we could have had a peaceful demonstration last Saturday.' John Hume states that 'anyone causing trouble is an enemy of the civil rights movement.' The Committee is compiling information both on October 5 and on the reasons for the march.

[BT, 12 October]

News Letter

Belfast again faces tension

Report: A student civil rights march and UCDC counter-demonstration have been called; the new student body, known as the People's Democracy, which contains non-student elements, has invited all sections of the community to join its demonstration. Ian Brick, president of the Students' Representative Council, feels that students will be blamed for any trouble that may occur on the march. Paisley says that two recently-released criminals participated in the last Belfast demonstration, and feels that 'CRA equals IRA.' He adds that the Association is not interested in civil rights, but in destroying Northern Ireland; it is accused of provoking the violence in Derry. In Derry itself, the DCAC will hold a sit-down protest later in the week.

Belfast Telegraph

New body takes over students' protests

Report: Student protests over civil rights are now to be organised by a group including non-students, known as the People's Democracy. Ian Brick, president of the Queen's Students' Representative Council, warns of the dangers of non-student participation, including the possibility that students will be manipulated.

News Letter

QUB students complimented 'on restraint'

Report: The student protesters from Queen's University are complemented by the president of the methodist church in Ireland on their restraint during the recent demonstration.

Protests over rent increases

Report: A march demonstrating against Housing Trust rent increases is called off in view of Paisley's proposed march (itself later cancelled). A spokesman stresses the non-political nature of the demands being made: 'we are just fighting for the rights of tenants.'

[BT, 12 October]

Irish News

Open letter to prime minister urges leadership

Letter: O'Neill once urged that people ought 'never to shrink from controversy, however comfortable and pleasant it may be to do so.' 'Many of us are now looking to you [O'Neill] for some leadership before the Province is overwhelmed and swamped by events.' Unionism must not shrink from its responsibilities; it is in a position to decide whether the future is a constitutional or a violent one. O'Neill must attack the extremists rather than the reformers, so that Unionism can live by the pledge of a fair deal for all of the people of Northern Ireland that the party gave in 1967. If O'Neill cannot carry the desired reforms through, then he should resign and lead a constitutional movement. British intervention in Northern Ireland would be as harmful as a campaign of civil disobedience.

[see BT, 16 October]

Belfast Telegraph

Only Captain O'Neill can save an explosive situation

Letter: O'Neill's reforms are going ahead too slowly for the minority and too quickly for the majority. 'This is a crucial time for Northern Ireland. If the frustration and impotence of the minority get out of hand, and if the fear and uncertainties of the majority are exploited, this community will be put back in the hands of the extremists, the demagogues, the gunmen.' O'Neill is the only man who enjoys both the respect of the minority and the (sometimes grudging) acceptance of Unionists. The solution lies in his hands.

Irish News

Local election votes at 21; why not a new act?

Letter: A new electoral act should be drawn up by students and presented in parliament by the opposition that will enable voting in local elections by all people over the age of 21. Until this is done, Unionist MPs will continue to claim to be opposed to discrimination.

Courage needed to take stand on civil rights

Letter: All reasonable people in Northern Ireland should make their views in favour of civil rights known. This takes courage, but the Northern Ireland Liberal Party can provide a vehicle for such expression through the ballot box.

Leave Stormont to Unionist Party

Letter: The Nationalist Party should leave Stormont altogether. 'The civil rights movement has cut across both religious and political lines uniting a very wide section of the community.' The movement has done a great deal of good work, and efforts towards reform should be intensified. Opposition MPs should co-ordinate their efforts towards this end.

Longstone parade

Letter: A provocative Orange parade down the nationalist Longstone Road did take place.

Student marches

Letter: It should be pointed out that the newly-constituted civil rights body at Queen's University, the People's Democracy, has made provision that non-students may take part in its activities. If there is any trouble the blame will however undoubtedly fall on the students. There is also a danger of students falling victim to outside manipulation.

(Ian Brick)

Belfast Telegraph

Future marches: danger of students getting blame [Letter]

Freedom also for Czechs

Letter: Sinclair would have the support of the people of Northern Ireland if she spoke out for the freedom and civil rights of the Czechs.

News Letter

Dignified

Letter: Students are to be congratulated on their 'dignified' and 'disciplined' conduct while demonstrating.

Student tactics

Letter: The comparison made by some students between Northern Ireland and Nazi Germany is ridiculous.

Immature students

Letter: It is displeasing to see ratepayers' money spent on students who demonstrate.

IRA implicated

Letter: The Dungannon speeches, the attacks on the government, and other aspects of the civil rights movement reveal its associations with the IRA.

[see BT, 9 October, Right men at the helm]


'Tainted comments'

Letter: The Northern Ireland situation has been seriously misrepresented in the media. 'Every decent Ulsterman knows that this sort of trouble is geared by the Reds, hand-in-hand with trouble-makers who are always shooting off their mouths about some "injustice," supported by a lot of unemployed riff-raff living on government money.'

Belfast Telegraph

Vandals

Letter: There has been a great deal of sympathy shown for 'the people who were marching and rioting' in Derry but none for those 'whose windows were broken and goods looted by people who have no respect for law and order…If this is what those who march call civil rights it is time they went home and hid with shame.'

'Corruption'

Letter: Eyewitness reports of 'police aggression' in Derry make Stormont's denials 'unwholesome.' How can a British government associate itself with such behaviour?

A protest to the PM

Letter: The Unionist government is adopting an untenable position in 'attempting to justify a repulsive type of repressive legislation that is repugnant to anyone with any interest in the democratic process or with any sense of fair play.' The police acted like thugs in Derry; the Northern Ireland government labels itself inappropriately as British.

[NL, 16 October]

Parade bond

Letter: Those wishing to parade should supply a considerable amount of money as a guarantee against possible violence by marchers.

14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Top

15 October, 1968

Irish News

Derry debate: Nationalists to decide today

Leader: It is thought unlikely that the Nationalist parliamentary party will withdraw from its role as the official opposition at Stormont A meeting is being held to decide the party's tactics in the forthcoming debate on events in Derry. A People's Democracy march will be held tomorrow, as will Paisleyite counter-demonstrations. The PD identifies non-violence as of primary importance to the civil rights struggle Fitt says that many British MPs have been asked by their constituents to take immediate action over Northern Ireland.

News Letter

Stage set for bitter debate

Report: Nationalists are expected to attend the opening of Stormont, where heated debate on recent events in Derry is expected. The government will press ahead with its motion supporting the conduct of Craig who, along with O'Neill, is expected to make a major statement in the house of commons. The PD calls on church representatives to join its march. No official objections are expected to be made to the DCAC sit-down demonstration in Derry. Unionist members of Belfast city council express their support for Craig and the police. Newry urban council asks O'Neill to hold an impartial inquiry into the Derry riots.

Belfast Telegraph

Opposition boycott the Derry debate

Report: O'Neill calls at Stormont for a period of calm, feeling that the current build-up of tensions is threatening progress. 'The place for political arguments is in parliament, not in the streets. Disorder is the way, not to equal rights, but to an equal share of misery and despair.' He believes that a distorted picture of Northern Ireland has been created by recent events, and has decided to call a housing conference to consider ways in which house-building programmes can be accelerated. Violence will not promote change, which must be acceptable to people, and cannot be engendered by pressure from outside Northern Ireland. Further violence will cause a retreat into traditionally entrenched positions. He argues that the local government franchise cannot be considered in isolation from the wider examination of local government structures now in progress. Government wants to create 'a pattern of authorities designed not to favour one segment of opinion over another, but to secure the conditions for efficiency and the focusing of genuine local concern.' 'In the last resort change has to be acceptable change. Living happily together in a mixed community depends not upon legislation but upon a growth of trust and confidence. Neither internal violence nor attempts to engineer outside pressure is likely to promote such trust or encourage such confidence.' He feels that the RUC in Derry was rightly defending the law, and that allegations of government discrimination against minority areas are baseless. The NILP calls for a suspension of civil rights demonstrations for 30 days in order to allow a period of calm deliberation.

[IN, NL, 16 October]

McAteer-O'Neill in top talks

Report: McAteer meets with O'Neill at the prime minister's request.

Irish News

IRA threat of London action over Derry

Report: A caller claiming to represent the IRA contacts the press, threatening that the organisation will take action against buildings in London unless an inquiry is held into police brutality in Derry.

Heated exchanges at Dungannon council over house letting

Report: A Dungannon councillor warns that if the system for housing allocation used by the council is not changed, unconstitutional means may prove necessary to remedy the situation. 'Need is the criterion by which most councils allocate their houses, but I think in Dungannon religion counts as a important qualification.'

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast call for Derry inquiry

Report: Belfast Republican Labour councillor Paddy Kennedy gives notice of a motion he will put down condemning Craig and the RUC for their handling of the Derry situation on 5 October. Eileen Paisley gives notice of a motion praising these actions.

[IN, 16 October]

Newry call for Derry inquiry

Report: Newry UDC sends a letter to O'Neill calling for an impartial inquiry into events in Derry. Derry Nationalists will not attend a meeting of the city's Road Safety Committee at which police will be present, as a token of their disapproval of police actions on 5 October. The Belfast branch of the United Nations Association calls for action rather than words from government; however, it is acknowledged that no easy miracles can be expected in combating injustice. It also questions the legitimacy of the counter-demonstration as a tactic. Craig and the RUC receive further praise from Unionists.

Objection to sit-down unlikely

Report: Police objections to the proposed DCAC sit-down protest appear unlikely.

Support of churches sought on civil rights

Report: The PD calls on the churches to support the Christian principles of civil rights.

Irish News

'The new siege' of Derry

Report: The English catholic paper, the Tablet, criticises the 'Orange-protestant establishment' over the situation in Derry.

David Frost programme

Report: A recent television programme debating Derry was farcical, and was deliberately set up so as not to expose the real issues

Frost in the jungle

Comment: Television coverage of Ireland over the last week has been unprecedented in its scale, thanks to the issues raised in Derry. 'The strength of the civil rights idea lies in the fact that it deals with a moral question; its appeal, which cuts across the ice-age crevasses of political alignments is to the men of good-will, to the idealism of youth, to all those who feel that justice is indivisible and an injustice to one citizen is an injustice to all.' The local coverage was good, although it did highlight the neanderthal attitudes of many.

Need to unify Irish nation

Letter: The solution to the Derry situation and others like it as a 32-county Irish republic with a strong republican government.

Nationalists at Stormont

Letter: The Nationalist Party should not only withdraw from its role as official opposition, but should also boycott Stormont. The party cannot steer a middle course; it must either back civil rights to the hilt or refuse to do so.

(Kevin Agnew)

The Longstone parade

Letter: Faulkner did march with Orangemen down the catholic Longstone road, and boasted that he could do so at any time. 'Here in the Six Counties there is only a law for one section of the community - the unionists, and none for the nationalists.'

New low-ebb in the tarnished history of Unionism

Letter: Stormont Unionism 'affects to see, in every just and rational request made of it, either the same phoney IRA "eruption" or a threatened "popish plot".' The reputation of Unionism has hit a new low.

RUC in Derry

Letter: The RUC is far from the brave force that Unionists like to portray; this was proven by events in Divis Street a number of years ago when members were confronted by a crowd.

RUC and the 'B' Specials

Letter: The 'B' Specials comprise a sectarian force designed to protect Unionism; the RUC however has generally been held in high regard by catholics. This has been changed by the congratulations offered to the force by Unionists and Orange Lodges after Derry. The RUC should make clear that it does not wish to be a sectarian force.

Belfast Telegraph

Grant civil liberty in Derry and protest marches will be 'out'

Letter: Whatever may be said about nationalist and republican politicians and their shortcomings, 'those who marched [on 5 October] were not all politicians, but ordinary townsfolk. There were the parents of young children, living in condemned houses and festering tenements, homeless, jobless and hopeless..' When poor housing conditions and gerrymandering are eliminated, the civil rights marches will stop.

Students and basic rights

Letter: Those who argue that students who engage in protest against injustice should have their grants withdrawn and studies suspended are attacking freedom of speech.

'Catholic unionist'

Letter: John McAnerney has argued for a dissociation of the civil rights movement from nationalist and republican politics, but this is not to say that he is a unionist by political inclination.

(John McAnerney)

Protest from Australia

Letter: 'There would be no protest marches if there were nothing to protest about. Yet…Craig…has characteristically ignored this, and raised instead the old bogey of the IRA.' The correct response is not police repression, which is in any case never used against the Paisleyite faction, but the immediate righting of wrongs.

News Letter

Ulster's case

Letter: The Northern Ireland government will find it difficult to refute the truth of minority rule in Derry, police protection for Unionist marches and force employed against an anti-Unionist march.


Where blame really lies

Letter: Civil rights marchers deliberately chose to march along a provocative route; their organisation is neither non-political nor non-sectarian, and is demonstrated by the adhesion to it of people like Currie and Fitt.

[see BT, 7 October, 'Republican inspired']

Two horrible words

Letter: Those who march under the civil rights banner have demonstrated no Christian spirit or goodwill; their tactic is violence and provocation.

Happy Ballycastle

Letter: Protestants are not employed by the authorities in Ballycastle, but this is no bar to good community relations.

Civil rights in Eire

Letter: Civil rights agitation is simply a new tactic adopted by the IRA. There is discrimination against protestants in the Republic of Ireland, yet no marches are directed against this phenomenon.

Fanning embers

Letter: Civil rights leaders took the provocative step of attempting to march through a protestant area, so should not complain of the consequences of their breach of the law. Interfering Westminster MPs are 'fanning embers which would have died out with the growing prosperity of Ulster.'

Invite him here

Letter If Wilson is to interfere in Northern Ireland affairs through his meeting with O'Neill, should not O'Neill do the same with regard to Wilson and British problems?

Irish News

'Paisleyites treat City Hall as front office'

Report: The NILP candidate for the Pottinger by-election feels that Unionists on Belfast city council are afraid of the Paisleyites and consequently cannot govern effectively. When 'unauthorised individuals' decide on who can hold meetings, there is something wrong in the system; most people do not support extremism, and a vote for the NILP will be a vote for moderation.

News Letter

Premier, party and people

Editorial: O'Neill should continue to steer a centre course: 'if there is any weakness in today's situation it stems from failure of the Unionist Party as a whole to exhibit that degree of unanimity which the premier is entitled to demand…Too few at the top have subscribed to the principles of moderation.' The party must now decide 'what minority grievances are justified and, if any, how and when are they to be met?…A great deal of frustration can be removed on all sides in Northern Ireland if the way ahead is clearly defined.'

Belfast Telegraph

Changing season

Editorial: Events over the past ten days have probably served to strengthen rather than weaken the power of moderates. O'Neill's opponents should note that there are more people for O'Neill than against. The prime minister will not act to placate the extremists on either side; a revision of the timetable for local government reform would appear to be the best and most logical way forward.

Backing for reform

Leader: A survey of the attitudes of young people commissioned by the Belfast Telegraph indicates an encouraging level of support for the government's reformist policies. Greatest emphasis is given to the attraction of new industry to Northern Ireland, though housing is also deemed important. Reform of the local franchise is a less pressing concern. A majority do not believe that legislation against discrimination is necessary.

Support for O'Neill - but liberal approach not fast enough

Feature: [Some results of the survey on the attitudes of youth commissioned by the Belfast Telegraph.]

Appeal to the students

Report: QUB Unionist Association appeals for students to exercise maximum restraint on their forthcoming march.

Findings show problem to be social: Bradford

Report: Bradford claims that the findings of the Belfast Telegraph-commissioned survey demonstrate that Northern Ireland's problems are social rather than political in nature. Concern does not focus on the franchise, but on housing and jobs. Recent protest has been inspired 'by a political minority' not representative of overall catholic opinion. Currie feels that the findings would have been different had the survey been conducted after the 5 October. Both Currie and McElroy argue that O'Neill's has been the politics of gesture rather than that of action.

News Letter

Moderator's peace plan for Ulster

Report: Withers calls for a period of calm, involving a careful analysis of grievances; where something is found to be wrong, it must be set to rights. Conway welcomes recent statements by the protestant churches calling for an examination of conscience over recent events. He goes on: 'I beg those who are in a position to determine government policy not to make the mistake of seeing recent happenings in purely political terms. The immediate causes of these events are social. They grow out of the frustration of ordinary people who want houses and a fair chance of a job and equitable representation.' He feels that immediate action would have widespread support across the communities. The Six-County Regional Executive of the Republican Clubs blames the 'inflammatory statements' of leading Unionists for a number of sectarian incidents in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph

RUC doing top class job: Unionists

Report: Windsor Unionist Association expresses its support for O'Neill, Craig, and the RUC.

Bangor Unionists [sic] Association

Report: Bangor Unionist Association passes a resolution supportive of the stand taken recently by the Stormont cabinet.

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16 October, 1968

Irish News

Cool reception for O'Neill's Derry speech

Leader: The Nationalist Party decides to withdraw from its role as the official parliamentary opposition, and will take no part in the debate on events in Derry. O'Neill's appeal for restraint and his allusion to housing are received coolly by Nationalists, who feel that he is not offering enough, particularly on the issue of votes.

News Letter

Nationalists withdraw as official opposition [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Nationalists drop official opposition

Report: The Nationalist Party decides to end its official status as Stormont opposition, until such time as government demonstrates its sincerity in aiming to eliminate grievances. Restraint on all sides is called for. O'Neill's pledge on housing is considered insufficient, since it addresses only this one issue. The NILP calls for a 30-day suspension of all civil rights marches, during which time O'Neill should state the government's position.

Belfast Telegraph

Housing plan gets ministry priority

Report: There is no indication that the prime minister's call for calm and his pledge to accelerate the rate at which houses are built is having much impact on the bitter climate that now exists in Northern Ireland, following the Derry disturbances.

Irish News

O'Neill tells MPs their first duty is to restore peace

Report: O'Neill feels that the ban on the civil rights march was made in the best interests of peace and order. He repudiates the picture of Northern Ireland that has been painted since the demonstration Housing remains the government's most pressing commitment, and a conference is called where all housing authorities will meet with the minister of development and O'Neill himself. Local government reform will take time, and the franchise cannot be considered in isolation from it. 'Those who seek to impose change upon us by violence or other forms of coercion' should be warned that 'there is no course of action less likely to commend their cause to a majority of our people. In the last resort, change has to be acceptable change. Living happily together in a mixed community depends not upon legislation but upon a growth of trust and confidence. Neither internal violence nor attempts to engineer outside pressure is likely to promote such trust or encourage such confidence.' Community relations have been set back by events in Derry, and further violence may destroy all improvements that have taken place for years to come.

News Letter

Calm above all plea by premier

Leader: O'Neill calls for a period of calm, without which progress will be endangered. 'The place for political arguments is in parliament, not in the streets. Disorder is the way, not to equal rights, but to an equal share of misery and despair.' He feels that a distorted picture of Northern Ireland has been presented, but has called together a housing conference to consider ways in which the housing programme can be accelerated. 'I must warn those who seek to impose change upon us by violence or other forms of coercion that there is no course of action less likely to commend their cause to the majority of our people.' Change must be acceptable, and must not be engineered by outside pressure. Further violence will cause a retreat into traditionally entrenched positions. Opposition benches are empty during the debate, but for the presence of Murnaghan. Robert Porter says that those who genuinely believe in civil rights are being manipulated by agitators and republicans intent upon the state's destruction. He admits Derry's housing and unemployment problems, but urges that government is making real efforts to combat them. Murnaghan argues that anger and resentment have built up in view of the discrepancy between O'Neill's words and government's actions. Brooke commends the RUC's conduct in the face of provocation; he believes that there are genuine supporters of civil rights but that their organisation is under the influence of the IRA and communists.

[BT, 15 October]

Irish News

Derry and Stormont

Editorial: The Nationalists were wise to withdraw from the 'farce of official opposition.' 'The question now is not whether Mr O'Neill will institute reforms, but how soon?' World opinion is now well-informed about Northern Ireland. O'Neill has talked of housing, but 'it has never been disputed that houses are being built by local authorities'; rather, the real question is one of allocation. Additionally, it is significant that O'Neill did not promise the democratic reform of local government, which is the root cause of the other problems.

Belfast Telegraph

Facing the problem

Editorial: The absence of the Nationalist Party from Stormont is regrettable. Everyone is aware of the root causes of the current wave of protest; 'is there to be no Unionist member to rise above party loyalty and say how the peace of the Province can be advanced?' Unionists should be asking if the police response in Derry was not unduly heavy-handed. After all, it was the RUC's actions which were 'a prime cause of the world publicity that is now so resented.' The housing conference called by O'Neill is a welcome step, 'but what is to prevent the prime minister saying that the review of local government will be pushed forward?' The slow pace of reform lies at the bottom of nationalist frustrations. Change must not only be acceptable to the 'givers,' but also to those to whom it is being offered.

Belfast Telegraph

'Failure of moderate nationalists'

Report: A Belfast meeting is told that moderate nationalists, by eschewing civil disobedience, will not prevent but merely postpone its outbreak. By failing to 'capture the extreme wing,' they lose their ability to influence the extra-parliamentary opposition towards a more moderate course of action.

Irish News

McAteer is taking a break from politics

Report: Though the Nationalist Party has ended its role as official opposition party at Stormont, the fact that it will continue to attend parliament would seem to indicate that advocates of civil disobedience within its ranks are in a minority. Murnaghan has tabled a question in the commons on Craig's instructions to police over Derry. The DCAC demonstration will go ahead, with members of the Northern Ireland Society of Labour Lawyers acting as observers. Bailie claims that the departure of the Nationalists from their official opposition role is a blow to moderate politics; he hopes that it will not deflect O'Neill from his policies. Over 50 Labour MPs at Westminster demand a meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party to discuss Northern Ireland. Rose is to ask Wilson to remove the RUC from the control of the Northern Ireland ministry of home affairs.

Craig names 'rebel leaders'

Leader: A motion condemning the actions of the civil rights protesters in Derry and supportive of police handling of the situation is passed at Stormont, where no opposition members are present. Craig asserts that the march was a provocative display undertaken outside traditional nationalist areas. He argues that NICRA consists largely of members of the DHAC, the majority of these also belonging to the Connolly Association; of the Republican party, including members of the IRA and Sinn Féin; of the Young Socialists; and of the Communist Party. The police, he feels, did not use force until they were attacked, and he argues that most injuries were caused by missiles rather than police batons. The intention of some was clearly the destabilisation of the constitution through violence. Faulkner stresses the government's positive economic programme for Derry, and feels that damage has been done to Northern Ireland's economic prospects by recent political developments.

Unionist MP blames press for 'fanning Derry flames'

Report: Robert Porter is critical of those who 'imperilled' community relations in Derry and decries the actions of elements less interested in human rights than in attacking the Northern Ireland state. He goes on to criticise the media: 'members of the press, television and radio must accept a good deal of the responsibility for fanning the emotional flame lit that afternoon.' He suggests that not only rights, but also obligations, must be respected. He feels that genuine civil rights leaders organised an event they could not control, and became 'the tools of agitators and republicans.' He criticises Currie and Fitt for supposedly advocating violence. He acknowledges the problems associated with housing and unemployment in Derry. Murnaghan calls on Unionists to accept the existence of genuine minority frustration at the many government words, but lack of corresponding actions of recent years. Brooke praises the RUC's conduct under 'such appalling provocation,' and insists that the civil rights movement - even if not ostensibly - is in the hands of IRA and communist elements intent upon causing violence. He feels that violence was perpetrated not by Derry's inhabitants but by outsiders, and criticises the media's initial strong sympathy for something they did not at that stage understand.

[IN, NL, 17 October]

Irish News

NILP want parades to 'wait'

Report: The NILP sends a letter to O'Neill calling on all parties to ask for a suspension of civil rights marches for 30 days, a period during which O'Neill will meet Wilson, and the government will publish recommendations on citizens' rights. Bradford claims that the Unionist Party is firmly behind the government's stand on Derry.

News Letter

'Cool off for 30 days' suggests Labour [Report]

Irish News

Today's civil rights march re-routed

Report: Police re-route the planned People's Democracy march in Belfast, a decision which the body reluctantly accepts.

News Letter

Rights march on, with RUC protection

Report: The PD march, its organisers accepting a change to its proposed route of procession, will now go ahead with police co-operation.

Paisley meetings called off

Report: In view of the re-routing of the PD march, Paisley calls off the UCDC counter-demonstrations.

Belfast Telegraph

2,000 in protest march to City Hall

Report: The PD march in Belfast is passes off peacefully, with the Paisleyite counter-demonstration cancelled in light of its re-routing.

[IN, NL, 17 October]

Irish News

We are an autonomous body - CRA

Report: The CRA emphasises that it is not under the control of any other group or organisation, and restates the original aims of the Derry march, and the body's concern over the ban, police brutality, and the charging of some organisers in a special police court.

When Faulkner led Orangemen on Longstone Road

Letter: An Irish News article dating from 1955 proves that Faulkner led Orangemen down the nationalist Longstone Road.

Unemployment in Six Counties

Letter: Discrimination in housing is an issue that has received much coverage; but discrimination in employment deserves more attention than it has received.

The case for abstention

Letter: The Nationalist Party should boycott Stormont, and 'clear the way for a civil disobedience campaign which will have the support of all who oppose the Unionist dictatorship in the Six Counties.'

Belfast Telegraph

Call to PM for more leadership

[see IN, 14 October, Open letter to prime minister urges leadership]

'Baton festival in Northern Ireland'

Letter: Recent pictures and reports on events in Northern Ireland can only severely damage Northern Ireland's tourist market.

Letter from catholics

Letter: Problems do exist in Derry, and they should not be debated across the traditional party divide, but viewed by every political grouping as a moral issue. The alternative, a return to civil conflict, is too terrible to contemplate. The march of 5 October was making just demands and should not have been banned. The status quo should no longer be defended; a liberalising movement is necessary.

Ashamed of Frost affair

Letter: The bickering and shouting that was the substitute for debate on the recent UTV programme on Northern Ireland was shameful.

Mr Fitt answers critic

Letter: 'Apparent goodwill and polite, well-meaning gestures are not enough. The only lasting basis for communal goodwill rests upon social justice and welfare.' Fitt won his west Belfast seat on a civil rights platform, and is thus mandated to fight 'social injustice and discrimination'; he does not lead the civil rights movement, but is duty-bound to participate in civil rights marches. Craig and the government are the enemies of truth and justice.

(Gerry Fitt)

Love thy neighbour…

Letter: It should be accepted that there is no great conspiracy against the constitution; people should act fairly towards one another, and be seen to do so.

News Letter

Visitor writes to PM [Letter]

[see BT, 14 October, A protest to the PM]

No jurisdiction

Letter: Lynch has no right to interfere in Northern Ireland affairs. The police acted with some restraint in Derry.

The RCs never had it so good

Letter: Recent demonstrations and counter-demonstrations are beneath contempt, and the police have acted wisely. Catholics are in a better position then ever, but are being poisoned by communist trouble-makers.

Discrimination

Letter: Discrimination is not a problem in Northern Ireland; catholics enjoy their fair share in its economic life. Nationalist MPs are merely stirring up trouble. As for student demonstrators, 'if is for learning they have their grants, not smashing and causing inconvenience to the very people who are paying the grants.'

Rights in Spain

Letter: No-one condemns the denial to protestants in Spain of their civil rights, but Northern Ireland has had to 'endure a planned campaign of malicious slander, vilification and blackening no other country has to endure.' Absorption into an all-Ireland republic must be resisted.

Irish News

IRA denies part in museum fire, threat to London buildings

Report: The Irish Republican Publicity Bureau denies IRA responsibility for a fire at the British Museum, and makes clear the illegitimacy of the claim that the organisation is targeting London buildings.

News Letter

Ulster Office target for IRA [Report]

Irish News

Belfast Unionists will resist reform through unjustified fear

Report: Unionists, according to political observers, are likely to resist calls for the franchise in local government to be extended to all persons over the age of 21, in view of fears that their party would lose control of a number of local authorities However, many local authorities are 'so well gerrymandered' that this need not necessarily be the case; and even if control were to be lost, Unionism would still exercise ultimate control over local authorities from Stormont. If O'Neill were to introduce such reforms, he 'would definitely win the admiration of fair-minded people everywhere' The CRA says that it is not attempting to overthrow Stormont; 'The homeless and the unemployed, especially in Derry, were not so much concerned with the ending of partition as they were with the basic human needs of getting a decent home to live in and a job.' Unionists have really very little to fear from real reform; it would do more than any conciliatory speech to improve community relations.

News Letter

Unionists back Craig

Report: A meeting of the parliamentary Unionist Party backs Craig's decision with regard to the 5 October civil rights march. Craig presents evidence as to its composition. He also receives backing from the Derry and Foyle Unionist Association.

Irish News

Call for an independent inquiry

Report: A motion is to be put to Belfast city council criticising the actions of Craig and of the RUC in Derry, and calling for an independent inquiry into events there.

[NL, 15 October]

Delegation from Labour Lawyers will be there

Report: A delegation from the Society of Labour Lawyers will be at the forthcoming Derry protest.

Labour Lawyers shocked at denial of civil rights, police methods

Report: The Northern Ireland Society of Labour Lawyers calls for an inquiry by Callaghan into 'the causes underlying the present unrest in Northern Ireland relating to peace and order, local government franchise, housing, into the spending of public funds granted by the United Kingdom government to the Northern Ireland government and generally into how far the existing laws are administered so as to discriminate against certain sections of the community.' If the Stormont government does not implement any such recommendations, then it is the duty of the government at Westminster to do so There should be no waiting 'until civil war or disorder on a large scale actually breaks out.'

News Letter

'Riots must not delay progress'

Report: The Belfast branch of the United Nations Association condemns violence but asserts the need for government to defend the right to demonstrate, subject to considerations of law and order. In this light, the legitimacy of the tactic of counter-demonstration should be examined, since it is designed to curtail freedom of protest. Action must be taken rather than words spoken, and while no instant miracle solution to Northern Ireland's problems is to be expected, injustices must be addressed.

[IN, 18 October]

Dungannon housing allocation

Report: A proposal that time spent on the waiting list should play a part in deciding housing allocations is defeated on Dungannon UDC. The accusation that religion rather than need is the criterion by which houses are allocated is made by an opposition councillor.

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17 October, 1968

Irish News

Intervene in North - ILP to Wilson

Report: Irish Labour leader, Brendan Corish, has asked Wilson to intervene in Northern Ireland. The Council of Labour is to meet to discuss evidence of police brutality in Derry assembled by the Northern Ireland Society of Labour Lawyers.

People's Democracy is pleased with Mr Craig

Report: The PD march in Belfast is viewed as a success. The Paisleyite counter-demonstration was cancelled due to the re-routing of the PD march At the City Hall, marchers are met by opponents who, offered a megaphone to put their arguments, refuse to oblige. The PD programme encompasses 'one-man-one-vote; houses on need; jobs on merit; fair boundaries and repeal of the Special Powers Act.' The cross-community nature of the movement is stressed. Marches are to be considered a secondary activity for the PD; it will concentrate on fact-finding exercises. An inquiry into the Derry clashes is desired.

News Letter

Students' march peaceful

Report: The demand for free speech is also a part of the PD's programme.

[BT, 16 October]

Revolt on the campus

Editorial: 'Whether one agrees or disagrees with the objects of the [student] demonstration in Belfast yesterday, its comparative mildness does more to create support for its cause than a manning of the barricades.'

Irish News

Civil rights members picket school

Report: A Strabane civil rights group pickets the school at which the chairman of the local council, who refused to allow debate on events in Derry, is a teacher.

Belfast Telegraph

'Publicise local govt reform plan'

Report: An Andersonstown meeting is told that the government should publicise its plans for local government reform. The gathering is also told that there is no question of government trying to gerrymander new boundaries.

Nationalists boycott a road safety meeting

Report: Some nationalist members fail to attend a Derry Road Safety Committee meeting, as a gesture of protest against recent occurrences in the city. The Committee chairman expresses the feeling that road safety should not be a political issue.

Rally to seek 'rights' for Ulster

Report: British government action on Northern Ireland will be called for at a forthcoming London rally by the Movement for Colonial Freedom. Demands will include the call for a bill of rights and a commission of inquiry into police brutality

[IN, 18 October]

Lecture on prejudice

Report: A lecture dealing with the subject of prejudice will be held at Queen's University.

Irish News

A busy day for Mr Currie in England

Report: Currie is flying to England to speak at several meetings on civil rights.

INF strongly condemn police brutality

Report: The executive committee of the Irish National Foresters condemns police brutality in Derry and writes to Wilson and Lynch calling for their intervention.

'Exercise restraint' call

Report: A committee of the presbyterian church calls for restraint, and deplores the use of religious affiliation to promote political causes Religion should instead be applied in pursuit of justice, and attempts should be made to understand and remedy mutual grievances.

News Letter

Explore mutual fears - call [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Bishops and McAteer favour 'fears talks' moves

Report: A call by the Government Committee of the presbyterian church for round-table discussions on recent events receives a welcome from McAteer and from the catholic bishops. The resolution declares the presbyterian church 'ready to meet with others, and in particular with representatives of our Roman catholic fellow countrymen, to explore in Christian charity our mutual fears and grievances,' and calls for restraint and understanding. Government should address itself 'not just to individual incidents but to their causes, economic, social and political.'

[IN, NL, 18 October]

Votes for all says Unionist candidate

Report: Richard Ferguson, Unionist candidate for south Antrim, calls for one-man-one-vote in local elections. 'If there be injustice or inequality in Londonderry it must be put right, not because of the riot, not because of the possibility of intervention by the British government, but in order to preserve the integrity and good name of Northern Ireland.'

Rights walk 'deprived disabled'

Report: A Belfast Unionist Association is told that the student demonstration that took place in Belfast created conditions that made it impossible for '50 or 60 disabled people' to receive 'their regular hospital treatment.'

Support for Craig

Summary: Cromac Unionist Association expresses its support for Craig and the RUC.

BBC replies to critics of report on Ulster

Report: Chairman of the BBC's board of governors, Lord Hill, answers criticisms of the organisation's coverage of the Derry disturbances made by Westminster Unionist MPs. He admits factual error in some coverage, which however he sees as having been predominantly fair in character.

[NL, 18 October]

'No' to ultimatum

Leader: O'Neill welcomes the suggestion of a cooling-off period put forward by the NILP, but rejects the idea that his government should be handed any ultimatum. The DCAC march will go ahead as planned in Derry, and intervention from the authorities appears unlikely. Although the motion supportive of government received approval at Stormont, some Unionists did not look at underlying causes of unrest. Bessie Maconachie MP, for example, calls for one-man-one-vote in local elections. Voices for reform are however not believed to carry much influence with government. O'Neill denies the existence of a ban on free speech, arguing that civil rights marchers were free to process through many parts of Derry but that some 'decided to flout the law and to stage a highly provocative confrontation with the police.' The executive council of the Irish National Foresters condemns 'police brutality' in Derry.

[IN, NL, 18 October]

Irish News

Air of unrealism as Craig 'defends' on Derry

Report: No opposition members appear at Stormont, where the government passes a motion in condemnation of the actions of the civil rights protesters in Derry and in support of police measures. Craig argues that the march was provocative because it took place outside traditional nationalist areas. He argues that NICRA consists largely of members of the DHAC, the majority of these also belonging to the Connolly Association; of the Republican party, including members of the IRA and Sinn Féin; of the Young Socialists; and of the Communist Party. The police are said to have given the marchers 'considerable latitude' and they did not retaliate until they had 'endured physical attack.' The intention of some was clearly the destabilisation of the constitution through violence. Craig feels that the Nationalist and Republican Labour Parties must share in the responsibility for events in Derry. Edmund Warnock maintains that government has been somewhat insensitive towards the minority, and should have - and still should - institute an inquiry into the grievances expressed by the minority. No sacrifice of principle would be involved in such an investigation. Many of the minority have lost much faith in the democratic system; the government should act to remedy this. Faulkner stresses the government's positive economic programme for Derry, and feels that 'great harm' is done by 'irresponsible political action.' He believes that troublemakers capitalise on situations for their own political ends. Phelim O'Neill feels that nine out of every ten marches in Northern Ireland are provocative, and all should be banned.

News Letter

Root cause of Derry riots

Report: Craig points to the involvement of a revolutionary socialist group in the Derry civil rights march. Faulkner talks of the existence of trouble-making elements who wish to harness social problems to their own narrow political ends. Fitzsimmons says that community co-operation does not suit the aims of such agitators. Phelim O'Neill says that Craig was right to impose a partial ban on the Derry parade.

Gun a step nearer, warns Craig

Report: Craig criticises disruptive elements, who wish to overthrow the Northern Ireland state. He feels that Currie's speeches have incited unlawful activity and civil disobedience. Fitt has also been 'irresponsible and provocative.' He congratulates the RUC and says that many injuries were caused not by police actions but by stones and bottles thrown during the clashes. Police intervention prevented greater bloodshed; certain elements had planned a riot. The police were stoned by the demonstrators before they moved in to break up the crowd. Injuries were slight, according to the local hospital. Anderson claims that the route chosen for the march was deliberately provocative, and that police intervention prevented possible deaths. Craig emphasises that he was not banning free assembly; rather, he restricted marchers from taking a specific route. The involvement of subversive and IRA elements in the civil rights movements makes a nonsense of its claims to be non-sectarian and non political. John McQuade praises police handling of a riotous mob. Taylor claims that the sole object of the march was the creation of civil disorder.

[BT, 16 October]

Belfast Telegraph

Derry events opened eyes of sensible men -Phelim O'Neill

Report: Phelim O'Neill claims that both unionism and nationalism contain 'extreme elements…who have vested interest in anarchy.' Derry, he believes, has made people aware of the dangers posed by extremism. It is a shame that marchers expressing contrary opinions are not tolerated by either section of the Northern Ireland community, but since this is the case, fairness should be exercised in banning provocative marches on all sides. 'There is no road whatever to take except the road to reconciliation.' Faulkner denies the practice of discrimination in employment. A job and a house, rather than abstract civil rights, are what will make people happy. Warnock defends Craig's actions, but feels that Terence O'Neill has perhaps been overly timid in approaching reform. McQuade attacks Currie, Fitt and McAteer for using their positions to break the law, and argues that students engaging in sit-down demonstrations should have their grants withdrawn. He criticises the government policy of appeasement as futile. Maconachie calls for one-man-one-vote at the local government level. Anderson calls on Derry people to come together; he denies allegations of discrimination in employment and housing. Fitzsimmons talks of 'wreckers and agitators,' who he says are out to sabotage improving community relations.

Irish News

Mr Craig and his ban

Editorial: Craig in his speech at Stormont concentrated on the presence of various political groupings on the civil rights march, but ignored the reasons why people were protesting He seems to feel that every minority grievance should be resisted. Craig may try to contain the civil rights movement, but the grievances which it reflects will not go away. A 'bold and radical' strategy from Unionism is now required - and it must be administered swiftly.

Belfast Telegraph

Two voices

Editorial: A few Unionists did take the opportunity of the Stormont debate on recent events to examine their causes objectively, 'but they were voices arguing in a wilderness of self-righteousness.' Craig 'had a duty to attempt to analyse the root causes of the disorder rationally. Instead, he could see nothing except militancy in the Nationalist Party and a conspiracy by the Irish Workers['] Group…Mr Warnock struck a truer note when he again appealed to the prime minister for "greater magnanimity and generosity from an immensely strong government to a relatively weak opposition".' Community relations cannot be improved while such problems remain unaddressed. The government is not only ignoring the concerns of nationalists, but of a large section of moderate Unionist opinion.

Restoring the balance

Comment: 'The level of Roman catholic discontent is not so great in Northern Ireland as to provoke revolt or explosion, provided…that there are outlets to air grievances, and that something is done about them at a recognisable pace.' O'Neill's position may come under threat from his own extremists, but on the other hand, they may think twice about deposing him, realising that his fall might make British intervention all the more likely.

Workers' group 'now defunct'

Report: Rory MacShane refutes allegations made by Craig about his political activities and contends that they are part of an attempt to smear the name of the civil rights movement, 'which was responsible, well-conducted, non-violent and "commands considerable support from persons of all political persuasions".' McAnerney dismisses similar allegations made with reference to the membership of NICRA.

[IN, 18 October]

News Letter

Drop the minister

Letter: 'Regardless of the right[s] of the [Derry] demonstration as such, the nauseous assertions by Mr Craig come pretty near the Nazi technique of "the big lie well told".' His statements make it difficult for his government to claim a British allegiance. Craig should be dismissed; he cannot expect people to accept the police as 'a law unto themselves.'

An ill wind

Letter: Many of Unionism's opponents have supported O'Neill in his efforts to build a better Northern Ireland; now he must engage in this process.

Belfast Telegraph

Elections

Letter: Election figures for Derry provided by Taylor are inaccurate; the Nationalist Party secured the top poll.

[see IN, NL, 18 October]

No more marches

Letter: Civil rights issues have received an airing and further marches will promote the cause only of the extremists on both sides. Every 'legitimate institution' should be used 'to see that right is done.'

Houses built

Letter: Fitzsimmons' figures on Derry housing are rather misleading, in that they suggest a better record on the part of the corporation than is in fact the case.

Who are sponsors of Derry 'sit-down'?

Letter: One might legitimately ask who it was who elected the DCAC members. 'I agree that our city is in trouble and all is not well, but surely this is the time for all right-thinking citizens to come forward…who have no political bias nor [are] active members of any political party.' Politics has let Derry down; the corporation should be disbanded and a commissioner appointed in its place.

Why students sat down

Letter: QUB students on their march consistently acted with responsibility in re-routing their march to avoid Paisleyite demonstrators, and in sitting down rather than charging a police cordon that had been moved in to prevent a confrontation with Paisley's relocated counter-demonstration.

Queen's press ban was discourtesy to visitor

Letter: The ban on press attendance at the lecture given recently by O'Brien on civil disobedience should not have been imposed by the university.

Students and Captain Long

Letter: Students did not deny Long his freedom of speech at a recent Queen's University meeting. Irresponsible student behaviour, where it exists, is damaging to the civil rights movement; this however was not an instance of it.

News Letter

These students are 'just too well off'

Letter: 'Community relations have been set back half a century' by recent events, and the student protesters are the most disgusting of all, since students are living on tax-payers.'

Civil servants wait

Letter: Paisley and Cunningham were right to suspect efforts towards co-operation with Lynch. The police are also to be commended for their actions in Derry.

MP on her knees

Letter: Murnaghan could find better uses for her time than becoming involved in a sit-down protest 'against Ulster.'

MP's feelings

Letter: McAteer was irresponsible in leading a demonstration that he must have known would damage Derry's image and therefore they city's economic life.

Renewal campaign

Letter: 'The so-called civil rights march in Londonderry was organised by a front of Republican, Liberal, Nationalist and Communist elements to secure conditions suitable for a renewal of a campaign by the illegal IRA movement…It is sad that three British Labour MPs should by their attendance, have given them support.' British interference may be met by a backlash.

Liberal eye-wash

Letter: Who has stopped to consider those people whose property was damaged by looting during the Derry disturbances? Catholics receive a fair deal in Northern Ireland: they receive welfare benefits and are employed in the civil service and Post Office. The Northern Ireland government should produce statistics clarifying these facts, thus improving its image. O'Neill's policies deserve support.

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18 October, 1968

Irish News

Early Westminster debate on North expected - Fitt

Report: Fitt feels that a debate on Northern Ireland will take place at Westminster immediately after O'Neill has met Wilson. NICRA challenges Craig to produce evidence that it is under the control of subversive groups.

Democratic rights for North, call

Report: A call for British government action will be made at a London rally by the Movement for Colonial Freedom. The demands will include the call for a bill of rights for Northern Ireland, and a commission of inquiry into police brutality

News Letter

London rally speakers [Report]

Irish News

Call for a clear-cut step to redress wrongs

Report: A memorandum is drawn up by the Belfast branch of the United Nations Association, calling for the maintenance of the right to peaceful demonstration and questioning the wisdom of permitting counter-demonstrations. Violence is condemned, but the presence of injustice, it is claimed, but be recognised and its sources dealt with. Government must also 'act as well as talk in terms of social justice.'

[NL, 16 October]

Civil rights debate at CBPPU hall

Report: The Belfast Christian Brothers Past Pupils' Union Literary and Debating Society is to hold a debate on the motion 'that parliamentary democracy has failed to establish civil rights in Northern Ireland.'

Students told the facts by Mr Currie

Report: Currie, speaking at Manchester University, says that Derry has communicated the true situation in Northern Ireland to people in Britain. He expresses disappointment that Wilson has so far failed to take action, specifically on a Royal Commission and the extension of the Race Relations Act. Unionists are 'paying lip-service to British ideals of democracy.'

Craig was 'factually inaccurate, politically irresponsible'

Report: Craig has made allegations against student Rory MacShane, which MacShane refutes, arguing that Craig is attempting to smear the good name of the CRA.

[BT, 17 October]

Northern Ireland making the news in United States

Report: 'All in all, Northern Ireland is getting a very bad press in the United States.'

News Letter

Lord Hill replies to criticism

Report: The chairman of the BBC board of governors replies to criticism made by two Westminster Unionist MPs of the organisation's coverage of the Derry disturbances. Flaws in the coverage are admitted, but it is generally seen to have been fair.

[BT, 17 October]

Belfast Telegraph

Blunt report backs O'Neill

Comment: British press reaction to events in Derry is somewhat less frenetic at present, but the situation in Northern Ireland has not been forgotten. An Economist article praises O'Neill but warns that British public opinion will not stand for continuing intransigence from the hard-liners. Meanwhile, Fitt appears likely to raise Northern Ireland issues at Westminster.

Coverage by press 'did lot of damage'

Report: Magowan criticises what he sees as biased press coverage of recent events.

TV cameramen are 'roving vultures' says Unionist MP

Report: The Marquis of Hamilton criticises the media for its sensation-seeking - the consideration as news-worthy only of those stories relating to conflict. He feels that the achievements of Northern Ireland, especially in regard to improved community relations, deserve greater emphasis. The managing director of UTV defends the reporting of recent events.

'Derry neglected' charges denied

Report: Pounder, in a letter to the London Evening Standard, refutes allegations that the Northern Ireland government has neglected its responsibilities in Derry. He raises the government's housing and industrial record, and talks of the climate of improved community relations. 'All that interfering busybodies, well-intentioned or not, can achieve is to create discord amongst the people of Ulster.'

Outsiders 'cannot interfere'

Report: The Ulster Young Unionist Council chairman condemns any attempt at outside interference in Northern Ireland, and attacks the idea of an inquiry into events in Derry as ludicrous. He expresses disappointment at the call by Queen's University Young Unionists for an inquiry.

Meeting point

Editorial: Craig should not take the bait being dangled before him by imposing a ban on the legitimate DCAC demonstration in Derry simply because of the proposed counter-demonstration by the Loyal Citizens of Ulster. Derry would be better off with no demonstrations at all.

2 Derry rallies

Leader: A protest meeting is organised by a group calling itself the Loyal Citizens of Ulster, to coincide with the sit-down protest organised by the DCAC. The Derry Labour Party calls for a civil rights meeting free from disorder. Representatives of the Belfast Council of Churches meet with Craig to discuss recent events.

Irish News

O'Neill will not commit himself before seeing Wilson

Report: O'Neill writes to the NILP to say that, while he welcomes the idea of a cooling-off period, he will not commit his government to make any statement on the situation in Northern Ireland with regard to civil rights within a prescribed time limit. He feels that the law should have been adhered to, especially by MPs, who ought to be responsible citizens. He also replies to the Newry Trades Union Council, denying that there has been any kind of ban on free speech. He stresses that demonstrators were entitled to freedom of expression within the law. 'The responsibility for the disturbances which took place must rest firmly upon the shoulders of those who decided to flout the law and to stage a highly provocative confrontation with the police.'

News Letter

O'Neill rejects Boyd plea [Report]

[BT, 17 October]

PM waits for Wilson signal

Report: No date has yet been fixed for the proposed O'Neill-Wilson meeting. Rory MacShane, president-elect of the QUB Students' Representative Council, has denied allegations made by Craig about his political affiliations. Derry Labour Party has called for peaceful participation in the forthcoming Guildhall Square civil rights protest. A peaceful demonstration will show that it was not the civil rights marchers on 5 October who started trouble.

Belfast Telegraph

No date fixed for Ulster debate

Report: It has not yet been decided when a debate on Northern Ireland will be held at Westminster.

News Letter

Prime minister replies to his critics

Report: O'Neill argues, in response to criticism from all sides, that he cannot be expected to give a lead in a direction in which people are not prepared to follow.

Irish News

Mr Faulkner talks 'politics' at the accountants' dinner

Report: Faulkner says that while much is still to be done in Northern Ireland, a great deal has already been achieved. He accepts that more well-paid jobs and better housing are required, but he 'utterly and categorically' rejects allegations that the west of Northern Ireland and Derry in particular have been neglected by the government. Also, while Derry does have a serious housing shortage, the government is doing something about it. A third of its houses have been built since the war, and more are on the way.

Belfast Telegraph

Neglect in Derry denied

Report: Faulkner refutes allegations that housing and employment have been neglected by government in the west of Northern Ireland. He talks of the housing programme for Derry, and argues that progress in the city has been placed in jeopardy by the behaviour of 'certain elements.'

Porter explains 'one man one vote'

Report: Robert Porter tells a Birmingham University meeting that one-man-one-vote was not introduced in Britain as a democratic reform, but to give soldiers returning from war the vote. He denies discrimination and speaks of the government's housing record. Currie says that recent events have educated the British public as to the unacceptable situation in Northern Ireland; he is critical of Wilson's failure to intervene.

Policy of generosity 'given the go-ahead'

Report: Bailie says that the government can afford to extend its generosity to the underprivileged, and must do so if it is to restore the goodwill of Britain. He warns of the dangers inherent in a UDI mentality for the Northern Ireland constitution.

Next week - normality?

Comment: 'Alas, after a commons debate made hollow by absence of opposition, one is forced to the conclusion that the realistic attitudes of a few [Unionist MPs] are tragically outweighed by the obstinacy, and indeed, the eccentricity, of others,' who have attempted to blame the press for exacerbating the situation.

Irish News

Invitation to talks on 'mutual fears and grievances'

Report: The presbyterian church has invited political and religious leaders to meet 'to explore in Christian charity our mutual fears and grievances.' The sentiment is expressed by Rev Andrew Weir that 'we are concerned about the bad feeling in the community caused because people won't talk to each other. Often, instead, they talk at images of each other.'

News Letter

Churches meeting welcomed

[BT, 17 October]

Protests must stay within limits

Report: The QUB Christian Union is told that violent protest is only likely to spark a spiral of further violence. 'The Christian should not be a party to actions which compel the government to defend its legal authority with force.' He goes on to say that 'all reforms must take time. If they were justified they got there in the end.' He calls for the practise of tolerance.

Belfast Telegraph

There's a limit to protest, says Catherwood

Report: A meeting of the QUB Christian Union is told that legal protest should work through legal channels. Reforms take time, but 'most of them get there in the end.' A violent backlash is the inevitable result of any considerable challenge to law and order.

News Letter

Like Hallowe'en sans rhymers and fireworks

Comment: The absence of the Nationalist Party from Stormont is a blow for democracy; no real debate on events in Derry was conducted. Some Unionists are uneasy at the Nationalist absence. The press has been accused of an unhelpful response to the Derry events. Phelim O'Neill feels that recent events have demonstrated the necessity of a moderate course that would 'overcome this idiotic cleavage.'

Irish News

Union Jack is CRA flag

Letter: 'For those of us who have taken a justifiable pride in British democracy it is humiliating to see its proud emblem become a banner for reaction, intolerance and bigotry.' The CRA's demands are for the just entitlements of any British citizen, and the Association should proudly fly the Union Jack in recognition of these entitlements.

Men of the west support Derry

Letter: A civil rights rally will be held in Sligo.

Election figures [Letter]

News Letter

Derry vote figures [Letter]

[see BT, 17 October, Elections]

Minister of affrays

Letter: The call by Lisburn Young Unionists for the arrest of all those MPs present at the Derry demonstration on 5 October shows Unionism at a new low.

Who would not?

Letter: Why did Craig not take the actions necessary to secure safe passage for the civil rights marchers in Derry and Belfast instead of permitting threats and counter-demonstrations to affect his decision?

Belfast Telegraph

It's time to change local government franchise

Letter: Democratic principles apply to Stormont elections and in Britain; why should they not be extended to local government in Northern Ireland?

Apologists

Letter: Even if Stormont is unconcerned about justice, it should at least attempt a few basic constructive reforms, if only for the sake of Northern Ireland's image abroad.

PM playing a waiting game

Letter: O'Neill is naïve if he believes that gesture politics has improved community relations. He is obviously hoping that he can bide his time until a Conservative government is returned at Westminster. Sectarian protestant marches are permitted to pass through catholic areas but, when the situation is reversed, bans are imposed.

Remove injustice

Letter: Politicians are too readily viewing Derry events in political terms. A public inquiry should be held into allegations of injustice: if they are unfounded, all to the good; if not, then they should be addressed 'without political or religious bias.'

'Danger area' convention

Letter: Government claims that there exists in Northern Ireland a convention whereby catholics do not march through protestant areas, and vice versa. This is untrue, since protestant marches have in the past processed through catholic areas. Police protection has been afforded to such marches. This is a clear demonstration of deep government hypocrisy. The government always deflects criticism from its own difficulties by finding a bogeyman with which to scare the electorate.

American reaction

Letter: People in the USA have been shocked by events in Northern Ireland; it is difficult to credit that such events can still occur in a country that claims to be Christian.

The solution

Letter: Northern Ireland's problems could be solved by the dissolution of Stormont, with Northern Ireland representatives taking their seats at Westminster.

Backlash

Letter: 'The new organisation ironically named the People's Democracy is undoubtedly an insidious backlash of rabble-rousers who are determined to usurp and manipulate the existing students organisation which was making a serious if misguided attempt to rectify unjust political practices…Protest, students, by all means, but don't let your democratic principles be prostituted by political demagogues, who will discard you as soon as they become firmly entrenched and in control of your organisation.'

Live as a community

Letter: The press has given publicity to troublemakers like Fitt, Paisley, and marching hooligans. The great majority of people desire no trouble, and the housing problem can be largely rectified by the introduction of a fair points system.

News Letter

Marchers come first

Letter: The student marchers in Belfast were inconsiderate; ambulances were required in case of casualties from the demonstration, and could thus not be put to their normal use.

Spilt coffee

Letter: Bradford performed well in the recent TV debate on Northern Ireland. The same cannot however be said of his opponents.

Votes regretted

Letter: Fitt seems determined to disturb the peace in Northern Ireland. 'The courageous minister of home affairs ought to be backed up by a larger and less restrained force than our valiant police.'

'I am sick and tired of the demonstrators'

Letter: Students may well have required police protection had they followed their original route through a loyalist area, and not simply from Paisleyite elements. Queen's University is becoming 'a hot-bed for republicanism.'

No protest

Letter: Students' facilities at Queen's University have been constructed at the ratepayers' expense; it is insolent for the students to demonstrate for civil rights when their own selfishness has deprived children of playing space.

Withdraw grants

Letter: Students who involve themselves in silly demonstrations should have their grants withdrawn.

Blood boiled

Letter: Complaints are forever heard about protestant extremism. What about catholic extremists? The supposedly non-political, non-sectarian civil rights march had an avowedly political leadership, and was out to destroy the Northern Ireland government. Craig's stand against the demonstration was courageous.

Belfast Telegraph

Rebel uprising?

Letter: Craig's stated reasons for his 5 October ban have been substantiated by McCann's own recent words: 'What happened in Derry was not a riot but an uprising undertaken not by hooligans, but by rebels.' This is not the 'truth' that is being peddled by the press about Derry.

Red plot?

Letter: It would appear that there is a communist conspiracy to seize Northern Ireland.

14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Top

19 October, 1968

Irish News

Reforms rally in Derry to go ahead as planned

Leader: The civil rights rally in Derry's Guildhall Square will go ahead; a government ban has been imposed on a planed counter-demonstration by the 'Loyal Citizens of Ulster' on Derry's walls. The DCAC expects a peaceful meeting, with police co-operation. It is expected that speakers will concentrate on franchise and boundary reform in local elections. The Northern Ireland Society of Labour Lawyers is sending observers to the city to advise the DCAC on rights to peacefully demonstrate. The Derry Labour Party calls for peaceful demonstration as the most effective weapon against the government; the Loyal Citizens of Ulster issue a statement: 'all those who value their British heritage are asked to show their contempt for the coat-trailing of disloyal elements in Derry tomorrow by keeping off the streets and keeping window blinds down until 5 pm.'

News Letter

Counter protest in Derry banned [Leader]

Belfast Telegraph

400 sit down

Leader: There is a disappointing turn-out at the DCAC sit-down demonstration in Derry's Guildhall Square.

Rally advised to be calm

Report: The Northern Ireland Society of Labour Lawyers asks Derry demonstrators to remain calm for their sit-down protest. The DCAC is viewed as a responsible body; people should not allow themselves to be provoked.

Irish News

O'Neill hopes 'good sense' will prevail

Report: O'Neill hopes that no disturbances will result from the forthcoming Derry demonstration.

Answer from men who were there

Report: The Belfast and District Branch of the National Union of Journalists refutes suggestions that the press has distorted through its coverage the events in Derry on 5 October.

News Letter

Journalists reject allegations [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Derry events: newsmen hit back at critics

Report: Further, it is suggested that politicians are attempting 'to divert attention from their own inadequacies and shortcomings.'

Presbyterian leaders praise O'Neill's courage

Report: O'Neill receives a letter from the clerk of the presbyterian General Assembly expressing sympathy for the 'rather lonely and difficult position' that the prime minister faces. He is said to have shown courage in sticking to what may be unpopular reforms. Religion is seen as having been used as a political tool rather than a means of social improvement. Presbyterian leaders are ready to meet with those of other religious persuasions 'to explore in Christian charity out mutual fears and grievances.' Great restraint must now be exercised by all sides if progress is to be made.

[NL, 21 October]

Irish News

Let us all meet - church

Report: Church and political leaders are considering the invitation by the presbyterian church to discussions on the present situation. The church has expressed its hopes that O'Neill will be able to overcome practical political considerations to take any actions that are necessary.

Belfast Telegraph

Faulkner hits at religion and politics link

Report: Faulkner says that efforts are being made to attract industry to the northwest and that the false impression of conditions there given by the press must be combated.

News Letter

Outworn nonsense - minister [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Clashes set clock back - Pounder

Report: Pounder tells an English Conservative audience that community relations in Northern Ireland have been set back by events in Derry. Progress can be endangered by 'hostile propagandists of dubious motivation.' He is critical of 'interfering busybodies' and 'anti-Ulster propagandists.'

Retaliation by RUC last resort: PM

Report: O'Neill says that the RUC took strong action against Derry demonstrators only as a last resort, following an attack on members of the force.

News Letter

Nationalists back for Craig

Report: Nationalist MPs may attend Stormont when Craig is asked about his instructions to Derry police as to 5 October march. Bailie warns against the development of a UDI mentality among Unionists. They cannot ignore the British prime minister or public opinion. Church leaders from Belfast have met Craig and McAteer to discuss Derry. Pounder speaks of resentment in Northern Ireland at 'the emotional and inaccurate anti-Ulster outbursts which had received extensive press and television coverage.' He also argues that 'recent disturbances in Londonderry had been blatantly exploited by those whose traditional hostility to Ulster was well-known as an opportunity to smear, belittle and condemn the democratically elected parliament.' The chairman of the Ulster Young Unionist Council feels that most, if not all of those people involved in the Northern Ireland civil rights organisations are communists and republicans. McGowan condemns press coverage of Derry.

'Determined to banish Gerry Fitt'

Report: West Belfast Unionist Association commends Bradford on his recent television performance and extends its support to Craig for his handling of the Derry situation.

Irish News

Case of house that was let to an unwed protestant

Report: In Fermanagh County Council, the allegation is made that a house has been allocated to an unmarried protestant man, who subsequently allowed his sister and her family to move into the house in question, which he himself vacated, thus breaching the tenancy agreement. It is argued that more needy cases were passed over for the allocation. It is agreed that the matter will be investigated.

Religious discrimination: words of Henry Joy McCracken recalled

Letter: Henry Joy McCracken spoke out against inequity; 170 years later, the symptoms of the disease of which he spoke are still present. It is to be hoped that one day it will be possible to say that his sacrifice was not in vain.

Orangemen on the Longstone Road

Letter: It is true that Orangemen marched down the Longstone Road in 1955; and this was not the only incident of its kind.

Mr Wilson must take action

Letter: Wilson must intervene in Northern Ireland now, while media coverage remains at its height; if he does not, discrimination will continue for many years.

Belfast Telegraph

Goodwill needed - and charity!

Letter: Derry marks an important point of departure in Northern Ireland's history; the future will be decided both by the politicians on both sides of the divide as well as by the ordinary people. O'Neill must act now to build confidence: promises are no longer sufficient. He must have the courage to face down the right wing of his party. Derry's lamentable housing situation will not be remedied overnight, but the prime minister could demonstrate his good intentions by introducing democracy into local government. Opposition parties should be pressed to help O'Neill to right the wrongs of many years. They cannot simply use Derry as a stick with which to beat the Unionist Party. The situation is in no way helped by the extremists of whatever hue. Moderate people must therefore stand together and search out a solution to the state's problems.

Miss Betty Sinclair

Letter: Attacks on Betty Sinclair are unjustified given her brave stand for civil rights in Northern Ireland. The Belfast Trades Council is on record for its condemnation of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia; it should not be too much to ask for people to stand up for the cause of civil rights in Northern Ireland.

'Pill' march

Letter: If those heading the civil rights campaign are serious in their intention to secure human rights, then they should march in protest against the denial of rights that is the papal encyclical on birth control.

Irish News

Temptation resisted

Editorial: Craig was wise to ban the extreme protestant counter-demonstration in Derry. The civil rights demonstration is not intended to provoke. 'A continuance of the activities of this sort of protestant extremism constitutes a threat not only to Unionism in its more reasonable manifestation, but to the better community relations which they have proclaimed they so much desire.' There must be no compromise with such elements.

Belfast Telegraph

Ulster 'protestant supremacy state'

Report: A writer for the Spectator comments 'what we have got in Ulster is, in fact, the creation of a religious state based on the necessity of preserving protestant supremacy in a part of what is an overwhelmingly catholic island.'

Prejudice results from insecurity says professor

Report: A Scottish professor says that prejudice is caused mainly by insecurity: 'it gives great comfort to be able to hate somebody else when you are not sure about yourself.' He asserts that a belief exists outside Northern Ireland that there is 'a good deal of prejudice in the Province.' The most prejudiced elements are those who make the headlines. There are however In Northern Ireland many people who are not affected by such feelings.


Introduction     1968:   | June | July | August | September | October | November | December |
October 1968:   | 1-5 | 7-12 | 14-19 | 21-26 | 28-31 |
14 - 19 October:   | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Top |

CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


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