It was led by Gusty Spence , a former British soldier. A firebomb killed an elderly Protestant widow, Matilda Gould. A month later it shot three Catholic civilians as they left a pub, killing a young Catholic from the Republic, Peter Ward. In the mids, a non-violent civil rights campaign began in Northern Ireland. Although republicans and some members of the IRA then led by Cathal Goulding and pursuing a non-violent agenda helped to create and drive the movement, they did not control it and were not a dominant faction within it.
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On 20 June , civil rights activists including Austin Currie , a nationalist MP protested against housing discrimination by squatting in a house in Caledon. The local council had allocated the house to an unmarried year-old Protestant Emily Beattie, the secretary of a local UUP politician instead of either of two large Catholic families with children. The incident invigorated the civil rights movement. On 24 August , the civil rights movement held its first civil rights march, from Coalisland to Dungannon.
Many more marches were held over the following year. Loyalists especially members of the UPV attacked some of the marches and held counter-demonstrations in a bid to get the marches banned. More than people were injured, including a number of nationalist politicians. A few days later, a student civil rights group, People's Democracy , was formed in Belfast. On 1 January , People's Democracy began a four-day march from Belfast to Derry, which was repeatedly harassed and attacked by loyalists. At Burntollet Bridge the marchers were attacked by about loyalists, including some off-duty police officers, armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles in a planned ambush.
When the march reached Derry City it was again attacked. The marchers claimed that police did nothing to protect them and that some officers helped the attackers. In March and April , loyalists bombed water and electricity installations in Northern Ireland, blaming them on the dormant IRA and elements of the civil rights movement. Some attacks left much of Belfast without power and water. Loyalists hoped the bombings would force O'Neill to resign and bring an end to any concessions to nationalists. RUC officers entered the house of Samuel Devenny 42 , an uninvolved Catholic civilian, and ferociously beat him along with two of his teenage daughters and a family friend.
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He died of his injuries the next day. On 12 August, the loyalist Apprentice Boys of Derry were allowed to march along the edge of the Bogside. Taunts and missiles were exchanged between the loyalists and nationalist residents. After being bombarded with stones and petrol bombs from nationalists, the RUC, backed by loyalists, tried to storm the Bogside. The RUC used CS gas , armoured vehicles and water cannons, but were kept at bay by hundreds of nationalists.
In Belfast, loyalists responded by invading nationalist districts, burning houses and businesses. There were gun battles between nationalists and the RUC, and between nationalists and loyalists. A group of about 30 IRA members was involved in the fighting in Belfast. The Shorlands twice opened fire on a block of flats in a nationalist district, killing a nine-year-old boy, Patrick Rooney.
During the riots, on 13 August, Taoiseach Jack Lynch made a television address. He condemned the RUC and said that the Irish Government "can no longer stand by and see innocent people injured and perhaps worse". He called for a United Nations peacekeeping force to be deployed and said that Irish Army field hospitals were being set up at the border in County Donegal near Derry. Lynch added that Irish re-unification would be the only permanent solution. Some interpreted the speech as a threat of military intervention. The plan, Exercise Armageddon , was rejected and remained classified for thirty years.
On 14—15 August, British troops were deployed in Derry and Belfast to restore order,  but did not try to enter the Bogside, bringing a temporary end to the riots. A peace line was to be established to separate physically the Falls and the Shankill communities.
Two tribes: A divided Northern Ireland
Initially this would take the form of a temporary barbed wire fence which would be manned by the Army and the Police It was agreed that there should be no question of the peace line becoming permanent although it was acknowledged that the barriers might have to be strengthened in some locations. On 10 September the British Army started construction of the first "peace wall". It published its report on 12 October, recommending that the RUC become an unarmed force and the B Specials be disbanded.
That night, loyalists took to the streets of Belfast in protest at the report. He was the first RUC officer to be killed during the Troubles. Despite the British government's attempt to do "nothing that would suggest partiality to one section of the community" and the improvement of the relationship between the Army and the local population following the Army assistance with flood relief in August , the Falls Curfew and a situation that was described at the time as "an inflamed sectarian one, which is being deliberately exploited by the IRA and other extremists" meant that relations between the Catholic population and the British Army rapidly deteriorated.
From through an explosion of political violence occurred in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland: Conflict and peace | Peace Insight
The violence peaked in , when nearly people, just over half of them civilians, lost their lives, the worst year in the entire conflict. By the end of , 29 barricades were in place in Derry , blocking access to what was known as Free Derry ; 16 of these were impassable even to the British Army's one-ton armoured vehicles.
There are several reasons offered for why violence escalated in these years. The new IRA was willing to take on the role of "defenders of the Catholic community",  rather than seeking working-class ecumenical unity across both communities. Nationalists point to a number of events in these years to explain the upsurge in violence. One such incident was the Falls Curfew in July , when 3, troops imposed a curfew on the nationalist Lower Falls area of Belfast, firing more than 1, rounds of ammunition in gun battles with the Official IRA, and killing four people.
Another was the introduction of internment without trial in of initial detainees, none were Protestants. A third event, " Bloody Sunday ", was the shooting dead of thirteen unarmed male civilians by the British Army at a proscribed anti-internment rally in Derry on 30 January a fourteenth man died of his injuries some months later while more than fourteen [ quantify ] other civilians were wounded. The soldiers involved were members of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment , also known as "1 Para".
This was one of the most prominent events that occurred during the Northern Irish Conflict as it was recorded as the largest number of civilians killed in a single shooting incident during the Troubles, though more were killed overall in the Omagh bombing incident.
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Bloody Sunday greatly increased the hostility of Catholics and Irish nationalists towards the British military and government while significantly elevating tensions during the Northern Irish Conflict. As a result, the Provisional Irish Republican Army IRA gained more support, especially through rising numbers of recruits in the local areas. Following the introduction of internment there were numerous gun battles between the British army and both the Provisional and Official IRA.
The Provisional IRA, or "Provos", as they became known, sought to establish itself as the defender of the nationalist community. In , the Provisional IRA killed approximately members of the security forces, wounded others, and carried out approximately 1, bombings,  mostly against commercial targets which they considered "the artificial economy". Despite a temporary ceasefire in and talks with British officials, the Provisionals were determined to continue their campaign until the achievement of a united Ireland.
The UK government in London, believing the Northern Ireland administration incapable of containing the security situation, sought to take over the control of law and order there. As this was unacceptable to the Northern Ireland Government, the British government pushed through emergency legislation the Northern Ireland Temporary Provisions Act which suspended the unionist-controlled Stormont parliament and government, and introduced " direct rule " from London.
Direct rule was initially intended as a short-term measure; the medium-term strategy was to restore self-government to Northern Ireland on a basis that was acceptable to both unionists and nationalists. Agreement proved elusive, however, and the Troubles continued throughout the s, s, and the s within a context of political deadlock.
The existence of "no-go areas" in Belfast and Derry was a challenge to the authority of the British government in Northern Ireland, and the British Army demolished the barricades and re-established control over the areas in Operation Motorman on 31 July In June , following the publication of a British White Paper and a referendum in March on the status of Northern Ireland, a new parliamentary body, the Northern Ireland Assembly , was established.
igstamnaceacal.gq Elections to this were held on 28 June. In October , mainstream nationalist and unionist parties, along with the British and Irish governments, negotiated the Sunningdale Agreement , which was intended to produce a political settlement within Northern Ireland, but with a so-called "Irish dimension" involving the Republic.
The agreement provided for "power-sharing" — the creation of an executive containing both unionists and nationalists—and a "Council of Ireland" — a body made up of ministers from Northern Ireland and the Republic, designed to encourage cross-border co-operation. The similarities between the Sunningdale Agreement and the Belfast Agreement of has led some commentators to characterise the latter as "Sunningdale for slow learners". Unionists were split over Sunningdale, which was also opposed by the IRA, whose goal remained nothing short of an end to the existence of Northern Ireland as part of the UK.
Many unionists opposed the concept of power-sharing, arguing that it was not feasible to share power with those nationalists who sought the destruction of the state. Perhaps more significant, however, was the unionist opposition to the "Irish dimension" and the Council of Ireland, which was perceived as being an all-Ireland parliament-in-waiting.
Remarks by a young SDLP councillor, Hugh Logue , to an audience at Trinity College Dublin that Sunningdale was the tool "by which the Unionists will be trundled off to a united Ireland" also damaged chances of significant unionist support for the agreement. Ultimately, however, the Sunningdale Agreement was brought down by mass action on the part of loyalist paramilitaries primarily the Ulster Defence Association, at that time over 20, strong [ citation needed ] and workers, who formed the Ulster Workers' Council. They organised a general strike , the Ulster Workers' Council strike.
This severely curtailed business in Northern Ireland and cut off essential services such as water and electricity. Nationalists argue that the British Government did not do enough to break this strike and uphold the Sunningdale initiative. There is evidence that the strike was further encouraged by MI5 , a part of their campaign to 'disorientate' British prime minister Harold Wilson 's government. Three days into the UWC strike, on 17 May , two UVF teams from the Belfast and Mid-Ulster brigades  detonated three no-warning car bombs in Dublin's city centre during the Friday evening rush hour, resulting in 26 deaths and close to injuries.
Ninety minutes later, a fourth car bomb exploded in Monaghan , killing seven additional people. Nobody has ever been convicted for these attacks,   with the bombings being the deadliest attack in the Troubles' history. Harold Wilson had secretly met with the IRA in while leader of the opposition; his government in late and early again met with the IRA to negotiate a ceasefire. During the meetings the parties discussed the possibility of British withdrawal from an independent Northern Ireland. The failure of Sunningdale led to the serious consideration in London until November of independence.
Had the withdrawal occurred — which Wilson supported but others, including James Callaghan , opposed — the region would have become a separate Dominion of the British Commonwealth.
The British negotiations with an illegal organisation angered the Irish government.