some reform of the local government
franchise (the end of the company votes).
Thursday 28 November 1968
The Electoral Law Act
(Northern Ireland) became law and abolished university representation and
the business vote in Stormont elections. It also created four
new constituencies and a permanent Boundary Commission.
Saturday 30 November 1968
A Northern Ireland Civil
Rights Association (NICRA) march in Armagh was stopped by Royal
Ulster Constabulary (RUC) because of the presence of a Loyalist
counter demonstration led by Ian Paisley and Ronald Bunting.
The Loyalist crowd then took over the centre of Armagh. [Both
Paisley and Bunting were imprisoned in January 1969 for unlawful
assembly during this counter protest.]
Wednesday 4 December 1968
Following a civil rights
march in Dungannon there was a violent clash between Loyalists
and those who were taking part in the march.
Monday 9 December 1968
Terence O'Neill, then Northern
Ireland Prime Minister, made a television appeal for moderate
opinion in what became known as the 'Ulster stands at the Crossroads'
speech. The speech gained a lot of public support. The Derry Citizen's Action Committee (DCAC) called a halt to all
marches and protests for a period of one month.
Friday 20 December 1968
The People's Democracy (PD)
announced that its members would undertake a protest march from
Belfast to Derry beginning on 1 January 1969.
Wednesday 1 January 1969
People's Democracy March Began
Approximately 40 members
of People's Democracy (PD) began a four-day march from Belfast
across Northern Ireland to Derry. The Northern Ireland Civil
Rights Association (NICRA) and some Nationalists in Derry had
advised against the march. The march was modelled on Martin Luther
King's Selma to Montgomery march. The first day involved a walk
from Belfast to Antrim. [Over the next four days the number of
people on the march grew to a few hundred. The march was confronted
and attacked by Loyalist crowds on a number of occasions the most
serious attack occurring on 4 January 1969.]
Thursday 2 January 1969
The People's Democracy (PD) march continued,
on day two, from Antrim to Maghera.
Friday 3 January 1969
The third day of the People's Democracy
(PD) march took it from Maghera to Claudy.
Saturday 4 January 1969
The fourth, and final, day
of the People's Democracy (PD) march took the marchers from Claudy
to Derry. Seven miles from its destination, the People's Democracy
(PD) march was ambushed and attacked by a Loyalist mob at Burntollet
Bridge. The ambush had been planned in advance and around 200
Loyalists, including off-duty members of the 'B-Specials', used
sticks, iron bars, bottles and stones to attack the marchers,
13 of whom received hospital treatment. The marchers believed
that the 80 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers, who accompanied
the march, did little to protect them from the Loyalist crowd.
As the march entered Derry it was again attached at Irish Street,
a mainly Protestant area of the city. Finally the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) broke up the rally that was held in the centre
of the city as the march arrived. This action, and the subsequent
entry of the RUC into the Bogside area of the city, led to serious
Sunday 5 January 1969
Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, issued a statement on the events since 1 January 1969.
Monday 3 February 1969
Terence O'Neill, then Northern
Ireland Prime Minister, announced the dissolution of the Stormont
parliament and the holding of an election on 24 February 1969.
Monday 24 February 1969
An election to the Stormont
parliament was held. The main feature of this election was the
fragmentation of the Unionist party into 'Official Unionist' and
'Unofficial Unionist'. Of the 39 unionist candidates returned
in the election 27 were in support of the policies of Terence
O'Neill, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, while 12 were against
Friday 28 February 1969
Terence O'Neill was re-elected
as leader of the Unionist Parliamentary Party and thus was confirmed
as Northern Ireland Prime Minister.
Tuesday 11 March 1969
The Parliamentary Commissioner
Bill was introduced which would allow for the appointment of an
Ombudsman to investigate complaints against Stormont government
Thursday 17 (18?) April 1969
In a by-election to the Westminster
parliament Bernadette Devlin, standing as a Unity candidate in
Mid-Ulster, was elected and, at 21 years of age, became the youngest
woman ever to be elected as Member of Parliament (MP).
Saturday 19 April 1969
There was serious rioting
in the Bogside area of Derry following clashes between Northern
Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) marchers, and Loyalists
and members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). A number
of RUC officers entered the house of Samuel Devenny, who had not
been involved in the disturbances, and severely beat him with batons causing
internal injuries and a heart attack. He died on 16 July 1969
as a result of these injuries.
Tuesday 22 April 1969
Bernadette Devlin, Member
of Parliament (MP), made a controversial maiden speech in the
House of Commons.
Wednesday 23 April 1969
The Unionist Parliamentary
Party voted by 28 to 22 to introduce universal adult suffrage
in local government elections in Northern Ireland. The demand
for 'one man, one vote' had been one of the most powerful slogans
of the civil rights movement. James Chichester-Clarke, then Minister
of Agriculture, resigned in protest at the reform.
Monday 28 April 1969
As he was unable to regain
the confidence of the Unionist party Terence O'Neill, then Northern
Ireland Prime Minister, resigned to be replaced later by James
Thursday 1 May 1969
James Chichester-Clark was
elected as leader of the Unionist party and succeeded Terence
O'Neill as the Northern Ireland Prime Minister. Brian Faulkner
was appointed as Minister of Development. Chichester-Clark announced
that he would continue the reforms began by Terence O'Neill.
Tuesday 6 May 1969
Chichester-Clark, then Northern
Ireland Prime Minister, announced an amnesty for all offences
associated with demonstrations since 5 October 1968 and this resulted
in the release of, among others, Ian Paisley and Ronald Bunting.
Tuesday 24 June 1969
The Parliamentary Commissioner
Act (Northern Ireland) became law. The act provided for a Commissioner
to investigate complaints of maladministration against government
Tuesday 15 July 1969
Chichester-Clark, then Northern
Ireland Prime Minister, mobilised the 'B-Specials'.
Friday 8 August 1969
James Chichester-Clark, then
Northern Ireland Prime Minister, held a meeting with James Callaghan,
then British Home Secretary, in London. Callaghan agreed to an
increase in the number of security force personnel. It was also
decided to allow the annual Apprentice Boys parade to go ahead
Tuesday 12 August 1969
Battle of the Bogside Began
As the Apprentice Boys parade
passed close to the Bogside area serious rioting erupted. The
Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), using armoured cars and water
cannons, entered the Bogside, in an attempt to end the rioting.
The RUC were closely followed by a Loyalist crowd. The residents
of the Bogside forced the police and the Loyalists back out of
the area. The RUC used CS gas to again enter the Bogside area.
[What was to become known as the 'Battle of the Bogside' lasted
for two days.]
Wednesday 13 August 1969
Serious rioting spread across
Northern Ireland from Derry to other Catholic areas stretching
the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The rioting deteriorated
into sectarian conflict between Catholics and Protestants and
many people, the majority being Catholics, were forced from their
Jack Lynch, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), made a television
address in which he announced that 'field hospitals' would be
set up in border areas. He went on to say that: "... the
present situation is the inevitable outcome of the policies pursued
for decades by successive Stormont governments. It is clear also
that the Irish government can no longer stand by and see innocent
people injured and perhaps worse.'
Friday 29 August 1969
Following the visit to Northern
Ireland by James Callaghan, then British Home Secretary, a communiqué
on behalf of the Stormont and British governments was released.
This communiqué set out a number of further reforms mainly
in the area of government administration.
Friday 12 September 1969
The Cameron Report (Cmd 532)
into disturbances in Northern Ireland was published. The Cameron
inquiry had been set up on 15 January 1969.
Thursday 9 October 1969
James Callaghan, then British
Home Secretary, made a second visit to Northern Ireland between
9 and 10 October 1969. Following meetings between Callaghan and
the Stormont government, plans for further reforms were agreed
in a communiqué. The matters covered included: the establishment
of a central housing authority; reforms to the Royal Ulster Constabulary,
in light of the Hunt Report; reforms to the legal system; and
the issue of fair employment.
Friday 10 October 1969
The Hunt Report was published.
The Report recommends that: the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
should become an unarmed force; the Ulster Special Constabulary
(the 'B Specials') should be disbanded; a new RUC Reserve should
be set up; and a new locally recruited part-time force should
be established under the control of the British Army [this force
was to become the Ulster Defence Regiment, UDR]. Arthur Young
was appointed as Chief Constable of the RUC at the request of
Harold Wilson, the then British Prime Minister. Young was appointed
to oversee the reforms recommended in the Hunt Report. The publication
of the report sparked serious rioting by Loyalists in Belfast.
Tuesday 11 November 1969
The act establishing a Ministry
for Community Relations was passed.
Tuesday 25 November 1969
The Commissioner for Complaints
Act (Northern Ireland) became law. The act allowed for the establishment
of a Commissioner to deal with complaints against local councils
and public bodies.
The Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) became law. The main
provision of the act was to make the franchise in local government
elections in Northern Ireland the same as that in Britain.
Thursday 27 November 1969
A Commissioner for Complaints,
John Benn, was appointed to deal with matters related to local
government and public bodies.
Thursday 26 March 1970
The Police (Northern Ireland)
Act became law. The act provided for the disarmament of the Royal
Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the establishment of an RUC reserve
force. The Act established the Police Authority of Northern Ireland
(PANI) which was meant to contain representatives from across
the community. [To the current day none of the main Nationalist
parties have ever taken part in the PANI.]
Tuesday 21 April 1970
The Alliance Party of Northern
Ireland (APNI) was founded. The founders of the party were attempting
to appeal to Catholics and Protestant to unite in support of moderate
policies. [Oliver Napier became leader of the party in 1972.]
Thursday 30 April 1970
The 'B-Specials' (the Ulster
Special Constabulary) were officially disbanded. The USC had
been replaced by the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) on 1 April
Friday 29 May 1970
The Macrory Report Review
Body on Local Government in Northern Ireland (Cmd 546) dealing
with local government structures was published. The main recommendation
is the abolition of the old structure of local government and
its replacement with 26 new district councils. The new system
would also involve the creation of area boards to manage the health,
education, and library services in Northern Ireland. It was envisaged
that the control of the new system would rest with the Northern
Ireland government. [Following the introduction of direct rule
on 30 March 1972 much of the control of the main services passed
effectively to Westminster. Elected councillors only had responsibility
for a number of matters including refuse collection, public conveniences,
crematoria and cemeteries ('bins, bogs and burials' as it was
termed in Northern Ireland). The term 'the Macrory Gap was coined
to highlight the lack of local accountability on the part of those
controlling the centralised services.]
Thursday 23 July 1970
A ban on parades and public
processions until January 1971 was announced by the Stormont government.
Monday 10 August 1970
Reginald Maulding, then British
Home Secretary, threatened to impose direct rule on Northern Ireland
if the agreed reform measures were not carried out.
Friday 21 August 1970
The Social and Democratic
Labour Party (SDLP) was established. The first leader of the
party was Gerry Fitt and the deputy leader John Hume. Other prominent
members included, Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, Ivan Cooper, Paddy
O'Hanlon and Paddy Wilson. [The party effectively took over from
most of the various Nationalist and Labour party groupings and
became the main political voice of Nationalists in Northern Ireland until Sinn Fein began to contest elections in the early 1980s.]
Thursday 8 October 1970
The Social Democratic and
Labour Party (SDLP) proposed that a system of Proportional Representation
(PR) should be used in elections in Northern Ireland. [PR was
introduced on 30 May 1973 for local government elections.]
Sunday 11 October 1970
A claim of maladministration
in housing allocation against Dungannon Rural District Council
was upheld by the Commissioner for Complaints.
Thursday 29 October 1970
The Electoral Reform Society
called for the introduction of Proportional Representation (PR)
in elections in Northern Ireland.
Friday 30 October 1970
There were serious riots
in the Catholic Ardoyne area of Belfast which lasted for three
Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, met with
Reginald Maudling, then British Home Secretary, on matters related
to reforms and security.
Thursday 12 November 1970
The Northern Ireland Housing
Executive (NIHE) was formed. [The NIHE gradually took over control
of the building and allocation of public sector housing in Northern
Ireland. The responsibility for public sector housing had previously
rested with local government and the Northern Ireland Housing
Trust (NIHT). There had been many allegations of discrimination
in the provision and allocation of housing by the various local
government councils in Northern Ireland and this was the main
reason for setting up the Housing Executive.]
Thursday 19 November 1970
Figures were released by
the Commissioner for Complaints showing that there had been 970
complaints in the first ten months of his office, with 74 of them
Wednesday 20 January 1971
It was announced that an
independent commissioner would decide on the boundaries of the
new district council areas.
Thursday 25 February 1971
The Housing Executive (Northern
Ireland) Act became law. The Act provided for the establishment
for a central authority for public sector housing in Northern
Ireland and to also oversee the provision of grants for improvement
to the private sector. James Chichester-Clark, then Northern
Ireland Prime Minister, held a meeting with William Conway, then
Catholic Cardinal of Ireland; the first such meeting since 1921.
Thursday 4 March 1971
The first meeting of the
Northern Ireland Housing Executive was held at Stormont. [The
headquarters and regional offices of the NIHE were to be the target
of paramilitary attacks on many occasions during 'the Troubles'.]
Tuesday 23 March 1971
Brian Faulkner succeeds James Chichester-Clark as
Northern Ireland Prime Minister after defeating William Craig
in a Unionist Party leadership election. [Faulkner's tenure of
office was to prove very short.] The Local Government Boundaries (Northern Ireland) Act became
law. The Act provided for the appointment of a Boundaries Commissioner
to recommend the boundaries and names of district council and
Thursday 13 May 1971
The decision to appoint a
Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland was announced.
Friday 18 June 1971
Social Democratic and Labour
Party (SDLP) and Nationalist Members of Parliament (MPs) refuse
to attend the state opening of Stormont.
Wednesday 22 June 1971
A system of committees to
oversee control of key government departments was proposed by
Brian Faulkner, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister. This system
was seen as a way of providing a role for opposition parties at
Stormont. [The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) initially
welcomed the proposal but events were to result in the withdrawal
of the SDLP from Stormont.]
Friday 16 July 1971
The Social Democratic and
Labour Party (SDLP) withdrew from Stormont because no inquiry
had been announced into the shooting dead of Seamus Cusack and
Desmond Beattie in Derry on 8 July 1971.
Monday 9 August 1971
In a series of raids across Northern Ireland, 342 people were
arrested and taken to makeshift camps. There was an immediate
upsurge of violence and 17 people were killed during the next
48 hours. Of these 10 were Catholic civilians who were shot dead
by the British Army. Hugh Mullan (38) was the first Catholic
priest to be killed in the conflict when he was shot dead by the
British Army as he was giving the last rites to a wounded man.
Winston Donnell (22) became the first Ulster Defence Regiment
(UDR) solider to die in 'the Troubles' when he was shot by the
Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Clady, County Tyrone. [There
were more arrests in the following days and months. Internment
was to continue until 5 December 1975. During that time 1,981
people were detained; 1,874 were Catholic / Republican, while
107 were Protestant / Loyalist. Internment had been proposed
by Unionist politicians as the solution to the security situation
in Northern Ireland but was to lead to a very high level of violence
over the next few years and to increased support for the IRA. Even members of the security forces remarked on the drawbacks of internment.]
Tuesday 10 August 1971
During the 9 August 1971
and the early hours of the 10 August Northern Ireland experienced
the worst violence since August 1969. [Over the following days
thousands of people (estimated at 7,000), the majority of them Catholics,
were forced to flee their homes. Many Catholic 'refugees' moved
to the Republic of Ireland, and have never returned to Northern
Sunday 15 August 1971
The Social Democratic and
Labour Party (SDLP) announced that it was starting a campaign
of civil disobedience in response to the introduction of Internment.
The SDLP also withdrew their representatives from a number of
Sunday 22 August 1971
Approximately 130 non-Unionist
councillors announced their withdrawal from participation on district
councils across Northern Ireland in protest against Internment.
Sunday 26 September 1971
David Bleakley resigned as
Minister of Community Relations in protest over the introduction
of Internment and the lack of any new political initiatives by
the Northern Ireland government.
Monday 27 September 1971
There was a series of tripartite
talks, over two days, involving the prime ministers of Northern
Ireland, Britain, and the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) of
the Republic of Ireland, which took place at Chequers, England.
Thursday 30 September 1971
Ian Paisley and Desmond Boal
launched the [Ulster] Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Tuesday 5 October 1971
A new sitting of the Northern
Ireland parliament at Stormont began with the Social Democratic
and Labour Party (SDLP) absent. The SDLP met in an alternative
assembly at Strabane town hall.
Sunday 17 October 1971
It was estimated that approximately
16,000 households were withholding rent and rates for council
houses as part of the campaign of civil disobedience organised
by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The campaign
was in protest against Internment and had begun on 15 August 1971.
Tuesday 19 October 1971
A group of five Northern
Ireland Members of Parliament (MPs) began a 48 hour hunger strike
against Internment. The protest took place near to 10 Downing
Street in London. Among those taking part were John Hume, Austin
Currie, and Bernadette Devlin.
Friday 12 November 1971
It was announced that the
Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was to be given automatic weapons
to protect police stations.
Tuesday 16 November 1971
The report of the Compton
inquiry was published. Report of the enquiry into allegations
against the security forces of physical brutality in Northern
Ireland arising out of events on the 9th August, 1971. (November
1971; Cmnd. 4832). The report acknowledged that there had been
ill-treatment of internees (what was termed 'in-depth interrogation')
but rejected claims of systematic brutality or torture.
Friday 31 December 1971
Edmund Compton, then Northern
Ireland Ombudsman, was replaced by John Benn.
Sunday 2 January 1972
There was an anti-internment
rally in Belfast.
Tuesday 18 January 1972
Brian Faulkner, then Prime
Minister of Northern Ireland, banned all parades and marches in
Northern Ireland until the end of the year.
Saturday 22 January 1972
An anti-internment march
was held at Magilligan strand, County Derry, with several thousand
people taking part. As the march neared the internment camp it
was stopped by members of the Green Jackets and the Parachute
Regiment of the British Army, who used barbed wire to close off
the beach. When it appeared that the marchers were going to go
around the wire, the army then fired rubber bullets and CS gas
at close range into the crowd. A number of witnesses claimed
that the paratroopers (who had been bused from Belfast to police
the march) severely beat protesters and had to be physically restrained
by their own officers. John Hume accused the soldiers of "beating,
brutalising and terrorising the demonstrators".
There was also an anti-internment parade in Armagh, County Armagh.
Monday 24 January 1972
Frank Lagan, then Chief Superintendent
of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) notified Andrew MacLellan,
then Commander 8 Infantry Brigade, of his contact with the Civil
Rights Association, and informed him of their intention to hold
a non-violent demonstration protesting against Internment on 30
January 1972. He also asked that the march be allowed to take
place without military intervention. MacLellan agreed to recommend
this approach to General Ford, then Commander of Land Forces in
Northern Ireland. However Ford had placed Derek Wilford, Commander
of 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, in charge of the proposed
arrest operation. [The broad decision to carry out arrests was
probably discussed by the Northern Ireland Committee of the British
Cabinet. Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, confirmed
on 19 April 1972 that the plan was known to British government
Tuesday 25 January 1972
General Ford, then Commander
of Land Forces in Northern Ireland, put Andrew MacLellan, Commander
8 Infantry Brigade, in overall command of the operation to contain
the civil rights march planned for 30 January 1972.
Friday 28 January 1972
The Northern Ireland Civil
Rights Association (NICRA), in an effort to avoid a repeat of
the violence at Milligan Strand on 22 January 1972, placed "special
emphasis on the necessity for a peaceful incident-free day"
at the next NICRA march on 30 January 1972 (Irish News,
28 January 1972). [According to a Channel 4 documentary Secret
History: Bloody Sunday, broadcast on 22 January 1992, Ivan
Cooper, then a Member of Parliament at Stormont, who was involved
in the organisation of the march, had obtained assurances from
the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that its members would withdraw
from the area during the march.]
Sunday 30 January 1972
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march against internment
was meant to start at 2.00pm from the Creggan. The march left,
late (2.50pm approximately) , from Central Drive in the Creggan
Estate and took an indirect route towards the Bogside area of
the city. People joined the march along its entire route. At approximately
3.25pm The march passed the 'Bogside Inn' and turned up Westland
Street before going down William Street. Estimates of the number
of marchers at this point vary. Some observers put the number
as high as 20,000 whereas the Widgery Report estimated the number
at between 3,000 and 5,000. Around 3.45pm most of the marchers
followed the organisers instructions and turned right into Rossville
Street to hold a meeting at 'Free Derry Corner'. However a section
of the crowd continued along William Street to the British Army
barricade. A riot developed. (Confrontations between the Catholic
youth of Derry and the British Army had become a common feature
of life in the city and many observers reported that the rioting
was not particularly intense.)
At approximately 3.55pm, away from the riot and also out of sight
of the meeting, soldiers in a derelict building opened fire (shooting
5 rounds) and injured Damien Donaghy (15) and John Johnston (59).
Both were treated for injuries and were taken to hospital. John
Johnston died on 16 June 1972. Also around this time (about 3.55pm)
as the riot in William Street was breaking up, Paratroopers requested
permission to begin an arrest operation. By about 4.05pm most
people had moved to 'Free Derry Corner' to attend the meeting.
4.07pm (approximately) An order was given for a 'sub unit' (Support
Company) of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment to
move into William Street to begin an arrest operation directed
at any remaining rioters. The order authorising the arrest operation
specifically stated that the soldiers were "not to conduct
running battle down Rossville Street" (Official Brigade Log).
The soldiers of Support Company were under the command of Ted
Loden, then a Major in the Parachute Regiment (and were the only
soldiers to fire at the crowd from street level).
At approximately 4.10pm soldiers of the Support Company of the
1st Battalion Parachute Regiment began to open fire
on the marchers in the Rossville Street area. By about 4.40pm
the shooting ended with 13 people dead and a further 13 injured
[Most of the basic facts are agreed, however what remains in dispute
is whether or not the soldiers came under fire first. The soldiers
claimed to have come under sustained attack by gunfire and nailbomb.
None of the eyewitness accounts of those shot saw any gun or bomb
being used. No soldiers were injured in the operation, no guns
or bombs were recovered at the scene of the shooting.]
Monday 31 January 1972
Reginald Maudling, then British
Home Secretary, made a statement to the House of Commons on the
events of 'Bloody Sunday': "The Army returned the fire directed
at them with aimed shots and inflicted a number of casualties
on those who were attacking them with firearms and with bombs".
Maudling then went on to announce an inquiry into the circumstances
of the march.
Tuesday 1 February 1972
Edward Heath, then British
Prime Minister, announced the appointment of Lord Widgery, then
Lord Chief Justice, to undertake an inquiry into the 13 deaths
on 'Bloody Sunday'. The response of the people of Derry to this
choice of candidate, was for the most part one of scepticism and
a lack of confidence in his ability to be objective. Indeed a
number of groups in Derry initially called for non-participation
in the tribunal but many were persuaded later to given evidence
to the inquiry.
There was an Opposition adjournment debate in the House of Commons
on the subject of 'Bloody Sunday'. During the debate the then
Minister of State for Defence gave an official version of events
and went on to say: "We must also recognise that the IRA
is waging a war, not only of bullets and bombs but of words....
If the IRA is allowed to win this war I shudder to think what
will be the future of the people living in Northern Ireland."
The Ministry of Defence also issued a detailed account of the
British Army's version of events during 'Bloody Sunday' which
stated that: "Throughout the fighting that ensued, the Army
fired only at identified targets - at attacking gunmen and bombers.
At all times the soldiers obeyed their standing instructions to
fire only in self-defence or in defence of others threatened."
Harold Wilson, then leader of the Labour Party, said that a United
Ireland was the only solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
William Craig, then Home Affairs Minister, suggested that the
west bank area of Derry should be ceded to the Republic of Ireland.
Wednesday 2 February 1972
The funerals of 11 of the
dead of 'Bloody Sunday' took place in the Creggan area of Derry.
Tens of thousands attended the funeral including clergy, politicians
from North and South, and thousands of friends and neighbours.
Throughout the rest of Ireland prayer services were held to coincide
with the time of the funerals. In Dublin over 90 per cent of workers
stopped work in respect of those who had died, and approximately
30,000 - 100,000 people turned out to march to the British Embassy.
They carried 13 coffins and black flags. Later a crowd attacked
the Embassy with stones and bottles, then petrol bombs, and the
building was burnt to the ground.
Wednesday 22 March 1972
Brian Faulkner, then Prime
Minister of Northern Ireland, went to London to be informed of
the introduction of 'Direct Rule'.
Friday 24 March 1972
Edward Heath, then British
Prime Minister, announced that the Stormont Parliament was to
be prorogued, and 'Direct Rule' from Westminster imposed on Northern
Ireland on 30 March 1972. The announcement was greeted with outrage
from Brian Faulkner and Unionist politicians. Edward Heath, then
British Prime Minister, made that announcement. The main reason
for the suspension of Stormont was the refusal of Unionist government
to accept the loss of law and order powers to Westminster.
[The legislation responsible for direct rule was the Northern
Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act. Under the legislation
a new Northern Ireland Office (NIO) was established at Stormont
which was supervised by a new Secretary of State for Northern
Ireland, William Whitelaw.]
[Whitelaw eases internment, gives political status to prisoners
because of Billy McKee's hunger strike.]
Sunday 26 March 1972
William Whitelaw, was appointed
as the first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Thursday 30 March 1972
The legislation which introduced
direct rule, the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act,
was passed at Westminster.