CAIN Web Service

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

[KEY_EVENTS] [Key_Issues] [Conflict_Background]
CIVIL RIGHTS: [Menu] [Reading] [Summary] [Background] [Chronology] [Main_Pages] [Newspaper_Articles] [Sources]

Text: Alan Scott

Introduction     1968:   | June | July | August | September | October | November | December |
November 1968:   | 1-2 | 4-9 | 11-16 | 18-23 | 25-30 |
25 - 30 November:   | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top |

25 November, 1968

Belfast Telegraph

Derry-Stormont dash

Leader: Members of both Derry corporation and rural council are called to Stormont for talks. Derry Nationalists state that the proposed development commission should operate only for the minimum time required. It must also be 'visibly impartial.' One Unionist member speaks of Nationalist 'lying propaganda.'

Freedom to report

Editorial: Physical attacks on the press by anti-civil rights demonstrators are to be deplored.

Rowdy scenes in Ulster towns

Report: PD meetings take place in Dungannon and Omagh, where angry protestant protesters engage in aggressive behaviour. A PD branch is to be established in the latter town.

News Letter

Trouble spreads to two towns

Report: Clashes between Unionist extremists and PD supporters take place in Dungannon and Omagh. Derry remains quiet: the reform package is under consideration, but more demonstrations are expected. Paisley appeals to loyalists to stop civil rights marchers in Armagh on 30 November.

Irish News

Simultaneous rival meetings in Omagh

Report: Rival PD and Paisleyite meetings in Omagh pass without incident. Paisley supporters are critical of those they blame for destruction in Derry; Kevin Boyle supports their right to assemble freely, and criticises overrepresentation of Unionists on Omagh urban council.

Unionist extremists assail PD supporters

Report: A threatening crowd harasses PD supporters and members of the press in Dungannon. The PD accuses police of a failure to do their duty. A local PD branch is now being formed. A small number of violent incidents occur.

Belfast Telegraph

Loyalists in Derry to form group

Report: A Loyal Citizens' Committee is to be formed in Derry to promote the loyalist point of view and refute 'what are considered to be ill-founded allegations about the city.'

[BT, 19 November]

'Seize Armagh' call by Paisley

Report: 'A call for "every loyalist in Ulster" to assemble in Armagh on Saturday "to take control of the city" and prevent civil rights demonstrators from marching has been made by the Rev Ian Paisley.' A leaflet is distributed, bearing the heading 'A friendly warning.' It advises: 'Board up your windows, remove all women and children from the city…O'Neill must go.' Paisley sees 'a front movement for the IRA' in the civil rights campaign, and claims that arrangements have been made for 'hooligans' to cross the border to take part in full-scale civil riot. What happened in Derry cannot be allowed to happen again. He says that many Derry protestants now wish to join his free presbyterian church.

Irish News

Paisley threat to take over Armagh to stop rights march

Report: Paisley believes that those who wish to march hope to foment violence.

Belfast Telegraph

Armagh march: Craig seeks RUC view

Report: Craig will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the maintenance of order in Armagh. Reform is likely to be discussed at Stormont this week, though there has as yet been no official British government reaction to the programme.

News Letter

'I will oppose Bradford' - Bunting

Report: Bunting decides to oppose Bradford at the next Stormont election, following the latter's refusal, as Bunting sees it, to respect the British national anthem.

Belfast Telegraph

Bradford 'not worried by challenge'

Report: Bradford is unworried by Bunting's decision to challenge him at the polls, following the MP's refusal to stand when a section of a TV studio audience sang the British national anthem during a civil rights debate.

Derry workless plant trees

Report: At a demonstration by unemployed people in Derry, DCAC member Claude Wilton says that the fight for employment is part of the civil rights campaign.

News Letter

Lecturer criticises policy

Report: A university lecturer criticises government spending on the unemployed, feeling that it could be put to better use in public works schemes to build up Northern Ireland's infrastructure. The DUAC chairman, Gerry Mallett, refutes Burns' charge that the Derry unemployed are 'work-shy.'

[BT, 23 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Cambridge students' backing sought

Report: A civil rights march is held by students of Cambridge University. It is 'the first event organised by the Cambridge all-Ireland Action Committee since its formation a month ago and is part of its campaign to arouse public opinion in England for the Northern Ireland civil rights issue and ultimately in favour of an end to partition of the country.'

Irish News

Civil rights march in Cambridge today

Report: A civil rights march will today be held in Cambridge under the auspices of a Joint Action Committee on Northern Ireland, with the support of the Liberal Club and left-wing groups.

Support from Oxford students

Report: An Oxford student group supporting civil rights in Northern Ireland has distributed leaflets detailing the situation, and is organising a teach-in and raising funds.

Belfast Telegraph

Reform plans disappoint 'rights' group

Report: NICRA is disappointed by the government's reform programme, which it views as a surrender to the right wing of the Unionist Party. The government will only advise but not force local authorities to adopt a points system; the ombudsman has no power to investigate local government; the Derry area plan is the most radical of the government's moves, but applies only to one of a number of areas from which complaints of discrimination originate; the local government franchise must be altered and ward boundaries redrawn; the announcement on the Special Powers Act is merely a confidence trick designed to appease Wilson.

Irish News

CR Association rejects Stormont plan for reform [Report]

'Struggle to go on' pledge by Derry Citizens' Action body

Report: The DCAC welcomes the proposed housing points system and the ombudsman, whose powers should be extended to cover local government. The Derry commission is welcomed, though it must be competent and impartial. The abolition of the company vote is welcomed but the fight for civil rights will still go on while there remains a lack of democratic representation in Derry. Craig's assertion that nothing has changed with regard to the Special Powers Act makes confidence in the government difficult; the Act should simply be abolished. The restraint of Derry's citizens is commended.

News Letter

Action committee's qualified welcome

Report: Additionally, the Council of Labour for Ireland views the reforms as inadequate. Nothing less than the granting of one-man-one-vote will do. An inquiry should be conducted into the events of 5 October. Gormley describes the reform proposals as a smoke-screen designed to placate Wilson, and a surrender to the 'not an inch' group of Unionist backbenchers. The Derry area plan envisages, he adds, further religious segregation, and is thus a vehicle for continuing Unionist power. The re-shaping of local government is making no progress in the face of local power-political concerns; the hope of the government is obviously, he feels, that a friendly Conservative administration will soon be elected at Westminster. Non-Unionists must also, as rate- and taxpayers, receive their share of appointments. Wilson must keep up the political pressure.

[BT, 23 November]

Irish News

Contributes 'not one iota'

Report: PD member Eilis MacDermott says that the government's reform proposals in no way advance the cause of civil rights. The abolition of the company vote or suspension of the Special Powers Act are virtually useless. A hostile crowd attacks a car being used by the PD.

Belfast Telegraph

Changes for Ulster 'fall short'

Report: The council of Labour for Ireland sees the government's reform proposals as inadequate. Nothing less than the granting of one-man-one-vote will do, since this is the issue at the root of discontent.

Irish News

So-called reforms 'fall far short' [Report]

Reforms are smoke-screen, says Gormley

Report: Gormley sees no immediate positive reforms in the government's programme, and says that some Unionist backbenchers only yielded to granting them under threat from Wilson. He assets that the Derry area plan envisages more segregated housing, in order to perpetuate Unionist domination. He also feels that the redrawing of local government boundaries is making no progress because of local Unionist resistance. The government is waiting for a more favourable Conservative administration to take office in London. 'Housing and public appointments on merit must be insisted upon.'

Irish News

Government plan a 'smoke-screen' - MP [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Nationalists 'wary of reforms'

Report: South Down Nationalists feel that their party must press ahead with its campaign. Keogh asserts 'that anything in the nature of reforms which had the unanimous approval of the Unionist Party must be treated with the deepest suspicion.' He feels that the government is giving nothing away.

Irish News

The 'points' and tethered ombudsman

Report: Keogh says that local councils will be permitted to choose their own points system, and therefore will be able to continue with discrimination; the ombudsman is seen as farcical, in that the office will carry with it no power to investigate local government, where so many of the grievances are rooted; nor do the proposals allude to rampant discrimination, particularly in public appointments. Another speaker suggests that it is only British government pressure that has brought about any movement, and that which has been offered so far by way of reform is wholly inadequate. It is suggested by another speaker that the Unionist government is playing for time on the franchise issue, hoping for the return in London of a sympathetic Conservative administration.

Belfast Telegraph

NDP back civil rights

Report: The NDP conference backs the civil rights movement and calls for Craig's dismissal.

Irish News

Opposition unity is 'essential' to fight Unionism

Report: The NDP conference is told that in deciding on its programme of reforms, the government had to reconcile pressures from the civil rights movement, from British opinion and the necessity for implementing British standards, with other forces on the right wing of Unionism determined to maintain power and patronage. Party unity has, the conference is told, clearly been placed first by the Unionists. Most of the proposals are merely statements of aim, and even Craig and O'Neill are at odds over their interpretation of measures affecting the Special Powers Act, the former claiming no change and the latter that the Act is being placed in cold storage. If moderates in the Unionist Party do not triumph over the extremists, the future of Northern Ireland looks dim. The DCAC is praised for its dignity despite Craig's partisanship, which places police in an impossible position and brings the law into disrepute. Church attempts to intervene in Derry are welcome, as is the participation of the young in the demand for civil rights.

Craig is accused of insulting protestants

Report: Backing a motion demanding one-man-one-vote, repeal of the Special Powers Act, allocation of houses on need and jobs on merit, fair local government boundaries, freedom of speech and assembly, and the dismissal of Craig, a delegate to the NDP conference asserts that Craig is insulting the protestant religion in his assumption that ordinary protestants will tolerate only bigoted anti-catholic parades. Community relations have improved, but in spite of and not because of the Unionist Party, which promotes division in order to perpetuate its power. 'The greatest single casualty [of this tendency] is Ulster protestantism…for so thorough, successful and penetrating has been Unionism's brainwashing of the average Ulster protestant, that thousands of them really believe that it is reasonable, natural and, most important of all, respectable, to continue depriving their fellow-countrymen of basic civil rights…[Unionists] have bullied catholics, but they have exploited and twisted protestants and protestantism to their own shabby ends. As an Irishman and an Ulsterman I condemn utterly the manner in which Unionism has sought to corrupt the splendid traditions of Irish protestantism.' Another speaker praises the coming-together of catholics and protestants in the civil rights movement in order to build a better society, and fails to see why one-man-one-vote, a redrawing of local boundaries, and full powers to investigate local government for the ombudsman could not have been included in the government's programme, unless it was to maintain Unionist Party unity and power.

Call to change "Specials[']" functions

Report: A delegate at the NDP conference calls for the reorganisation of the USC along non-sectarian lines and a reshaping of the auxiliary force's duties. Another speaker criticises the highly bigoted make-up of the present USC.

Points system for house allocation call by NDP

Report: The NDP calls for a fair points system to be open to public scrutiny.

Belfast Telegraph

Faulkner criticised

Report: An NDP member criticises Faulkner's industrial policy, which he says encourages emigration, thus keeping north Tyrone in Unionist hands.

Irish News

Facts and figures of govt neglect [Report]

[IN, 26 November]

House allocations in Newry under fire

Report: In a letter to Newry urban council, the local PD branch demands allocation of houses not by individual councillors, as is the current practice, but according to a fair points system.

Proposals show that campaign 'has Stormont on the run'

Report: The Young Socialist Alliance condemns the government's reforms as wholly inadequate and urges that the campaign for civil rights continue until its full demands are met. One-man-one-vote is the most glaring omission from the programme; the unelected Derry commission is undemocratic and therefore unacceptable; Craig has admitted that there has been no change to the Special Powers Act, while the reforms do not even mention the Public Order Act.

Strongly supports civil rights movement here

Report: The London Party of Young Socialists calls for one-man-one-vote, and an end to discrimination in Northern Ireland; furthermore, any move towards a united Ireland is welcomed.

Belfast Telegraph

Professor not to pay tax in votes protest

Report: A QUB professor is withholding tax payments until Stormont grants one-man-one-vote. He argues that there cannot be British taxation without British standards of representation in Northern Ireland. He criticises Unionist backbenchers who, he says, do not grasp the implications of membership of the UK, and urges similar protest from other people.

[IN, NL, 26 November]

Irish News

Test of sincerity

Editorial: The greatest flaw in the government's reform proposals is the absence of one-man-one-vote which, as the DCAC points out, is 'the root cause of Derry's agony.' Even if one-man-one-vote is granted with the reorganisation of local government, it will be in the context of a new gerrymander designed to keep unionists in power. Pressure from Westminster and the civil rights movement, rather than inner conviction, brought about the Unionist change of heart. Wilson must continue to keep a watchful eye on Northern Ireland.

'A need for the re-shaping of the Unionist Party'

Report: Robert Porter says that Westminster has a right to intervene in Northern Ireland, though it is customary for this not to occur. He recognises problems in Derry and welcomes the development commission. A housing points system will remove much groundless criticism. The Unionist Party has nothing to fear from the appointment of an ombudsman.

Belfast Telegraph

'Christian duty to obey rulers'

Report: Decisions taken by rulers in the best interests of the community as a whole should be obeyed by Christians, says a presbyterian minister. 'Deliberate provocation, direct political action, religious interference, and unconstitutional pressure should be strongly resisted as the sure way to disorder and lawlessness.'

News Letter

Backing for O'Neill, Craig

Report: North Tyrone Unionist Association praises the work of the government and police, but especially the efforts of O'Neill and Craig

Belfast Telegraph

Grounds for optimism - senator

Report: Sen Jack Barnhill criticises political opponents, agitators and students, and says that civil disobedience can only harm community relations. Bitterness and raking over the past are futile.

Irish News

Unionist MP says he will not seek re-election

Report: North Tyrone Unionist Association adopts a resolution expressing confidence in government, police and especially in O'Neill and Craig. Sen Jack Barnhill condemns agitators and foolish students, as well as political opponents. Their attacks are unfair, and are setting back the advance of social and trading relations. Civil disobedience can only produce bad results.

Belfast Telegraph

MP criticises Eire radio reports

Report: Taylor feels that reports broadcast on a Republic of Ireland radio station concerning Northern Ireland are biased against Unionists.

Irish News

Taylor speaks of 'biased reports' by RTE [Report]

News Letter

Minister will be questioned on housing

Report: Gormley will ask Fitzsimmons at Stormont about the housing record and intentions of Derry RDC. Diamond will ask Craig about intimidation and about the UPV decision to hold a parade through Maghera regardless of any possible ban. O'Reilly's Bill for the introduction of an ombudsman will be brought before the house for a second reading. McAteer intends to return to Stormont for the first time since 5 October because 'things are on the move.'

Talks with Whitehall

Report: There will be talks between Stormont and Whitehall before the queen's speech is delivered at Stormont. It is not as yet known whether Wilson will settle for anything less than one-man-one-vote.

Belfast Telegraph


Summary: A report appearing in the Belfast Telegraph on 23 November regarding housing in Enniskillen is subject to correction.

Help for Ulster students

Report: The National Union of Students offers its support to Northern Ireland students who have been subject to pressure from police because of their political views.

[IN, 26 November]

Irish News

Time cannot make the wrong of partition right

Letter: Wilson is not interested in removing discrimination against catholics and protestants, the life-blood of Unionism, from Northern Ireland. Partition must be ended, and history proves that it is action, not words, that will end injustice.

A confidence trick

Letter: The government is trying to sell a confidence trick to the people.

News Letter

Orthodox vote

Letter: The violent suppression of protest, the Special Powers Act, and the 'Orange-Unionist' stranglehold on Northern Ireland are all objectionable. The protestant churches never raised their voices against 'blatant and cynical social injustice and intimidation.'

Belfast Telegraph

A call for more positive reforms

Letter: Reform measures are to be welcomed, but they are disturbingly vague; if the section dealing with the Special Powers Act means nothing, as Craig suggests, then what of the rest of the package? 'As Mr Hume has pointed out, the emphasis has already shifted from a mere concern for jobs and houses, to a demand for real control in local government, particularly in Londonderry. The lack of movement on franchise reform, and the limited powers given to the ombudsman, demonstrate that there has been no real change in the Unionist Party.'

[see IN, 23 November, No real change]

Measure for measure

Letter: Craig must not 'make a scarecrow of the law.'

Women not represented

Letter: Women must have representation on the DCAC; after all, they bear most of the burden of unemployment and poor housing.

Dockers' march

Letter: Derry dockers marching against discrimination display hypocrisy; their profession in the city is 100% catholic.

RUC 'almost handcuffed'

Letter: Police have been held back from taking justified action against demonstrators. They have stood up well in the face of provocation.

The late show that lost its way

Letter: A recent TV show demonstrates the difficulties inherent in rational debate on politics in Northern Ireland. A confrontational atmosphere that produces haranguing is less likely to inform the public than to create more bitterness.

News Letter


Letter: If the Nationalist Party is to adopt a policy that includes non-payment of rent and rates, should it not also advocate a refusal to accept financial handouts from Stormont?

Belfast Telegraph

The students' heritage

Letter: Students dissatisfied with the course of action adopted by the PD should attend its meetings, so that they might have an influence over its decisions. Civil rights are no threat to the constitution; rather, they are a contribution towards the betterment of society. People can be proud of their heritage, but this should not be an obstacle to changing those aspects of society that need to be changed.

Proud of students

Letter: Student troublemakers form only a small minority; people should be proud of the great majority of Queen's students.

25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top

26 November, 1968

Belfast Telegraph

600-job factory for Derry

Leader: Faulkner announces a new factory for Derry, but warns that it may become more difficult to attract firms to the area in light of recent trouble. He tells of his efforts to dispel a false image of the city, where there is little labour unrest or political trouble in industry.

[IN, NL, 27 November]

Moment of truth

Editorial: Time should be given over in parliament to debate the government's reform programme. Now is the time for magnanimity on all sides. The Unionist Party must be prepared to embrace moderate opinion that crosses the religious divide.

Irish News

Back to Stormont

Editorial: Street demonstrations and other forms of extra-parliamentary agitation have been more effective in securing progress than the years of Nationalist official opposition at Stormont. 'The Nationalist Party should give thought to this when they come [sic] to make a decision about an [official] opposition role. They should remember the appalling affronts offered to Mr McAteer on so many occasions, and the total rejection of his warnings and counsels of moderation before the Derry outbreaks.'

Belfast Telegraph

Stormont will move soon on new commission

Report: O'Neill tells Diamond that the government's reforms will be implemented as soon as possible, and before the next election.

O'Neill-Wilson talks probe

Report: Wilson is to be asked at Westminster what communication he has received from O'Neill since the talks between the two.

Diamond-Craig skirmish

Report: Craig tells Diamond that he cannot comment on the proposed UPV parade through Maghera until an application has been officially lodged. Diamond feels that those who comply with the law should have the right to march anywhere in Northern Ireland.

News Letter

Craig prepares for Armagh

Report: Craig will take 'whatever steps are required' to deal with the situation in Armagh on 30 November.

Belfast Telegraph

Mr Craig 'essential in cabinet'

Report: A Derry Unionist Association passes a motion supportive of Craig and O'Neill, and deems Craig's continued presence in the cabinet to be essential. The RUC is praised, and loyalist forbearance in face of provocation called for.

[NL, 27 November]

More support for Craig

Report: The general committee of the Apprentice Boys of Derry passes a vote of confidence in Craig.

News Letter

Apprentice Boys' support [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

2,000 attend loyalist meeting

Report: A 15-man Loyal Citizens' Committee is elected in Derry. It professes three aims:

1 - to promote the present and future welfare of the city

2 - to counter ill-founded and ill-intentioned statements concerning the city

3 - to assert loyalty to the Northern Ireland government and the British crown at all times.

It is not a splinter-group, and will work with local Unionists. Long is impressed by the peaceful intent of those in attendance and their acceptance of the government's efforts to extend fairness to all people. An English freelance photographer is slapped in the face after the meeting.

£500 deposit means open air 'rights' meeting

Report: NICRA will not meet in Armagh City Hall in view of the council's decision to demand a £500 deposit for the event. McAnerney says that the Association will not pay for damage caused by other people. An open-air meeting will be held instead, something which is likely to increase the possibility of a clash involving Paisleyites. Sinclair sends a telegram to Wilson highlighting Craig's lack of provision for the protection of the march from counter-demonstrators. Diamond is to ask Craig in parliament about this issue.

Irish News

CR organisers granted use of Armagh City Hall

Report: Armagh City Council grants permission for a civil rights meeting to be held in the City Hall, though a £500 deposit will be required. 200 stewards who participated in the Coalisland-Dungannon march offer their services in Armagh.

News Letter

Rights meeting in civic hall

Report: Armagh council decides to grant permission for a civil rights meeting to be held in the City Hall on 30 November, on condition that a £500 deposit is paid.

Belfast Telegraph

Cambridge civil rights march

Report: A civil rights and anti-partition march by about 100 people in Cambridge passes off peacefully. The chairman of the organising all-Ireland Committee states that most of the committee's Irish support comes from protestants.

Irish News

Cambridge students march for minority

Report: A civil rights demonstration is staged by the Cambridge all-Ireland Committee.

News Letter

Demonstration by students [Report]

Irish News

CR wire [sic] Wilson about Paisley

Report: Sinclair, in a telegram to Wilson, points out Craig's failure to guarantee the safety of Armagh civil rights marches, in view of the threats expressed by Paisley. An Association spokesman says that government must not ban the march in face of threat.

Belfast Telegraph

'Rights' agitators get support pledge

Report: The CSJ backs continued civil rights agitation in view of its contention that government reforms are insufficient. British electoral standards and an end to discrimination are called for.

Irish News

Reform proposals fail on many counts: Campaign for Social Justice

Report: Also, the lack of movement on the question of the franchise and ward boundaries is criticised, as is inaction on the extension of the Race Relations Act. The issue of discrimination in employment has not been tackled; the points system proposed can be amended by local authorities to suit local Unionist interests; there has been no pledge of an inquiry into the events of 5 October; the Special Powers Act has not been abolished. The government's reforms have necessitated no great modifications to the CSJ's literature.

Belfast Telegraph

Connolly group

Summary: The Connolly Association passes a resolution, which it will forward to Wilson, welcoming Unionist recognition of the need for reform in Northern Ireland.

Irish News

QUB professor sends back his tax demand form

Report: A professor at Queen's University will withhold tax payments until Stormont grants one-man-one-vote. He believes British taxation in Northern Ireland unjustifiable while British standards of representation are denied its people. He urges others to engage in similar forms of protest.

News Letter

Vote protest

Summary: A QUB professor is refusing to pay tax in protest at the denial of one-man-one-vote.

[BT, 25 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Maiden City to get advice on 250-house plan

Report: A decision by Derry corporation to reject a Nationalist motion on a housing scheme draws shorts of 'political planning' from the public gallery.

Family threatens to move into Derry Guildhall

Report: A number of squatting Derry families are likely to have their plight raised by the local Nationalist Party.

Nationalists put points on commission

Report: Hegarty expresses Nationalist reservations about the proposed commission for Derry, though broadly welcoming it. It is considered that the commission should sit for no more than three years, unless absolutely necessary. Beatty says that a minimum of five years will be required.

[NL, 27 November]

Irish News

Derry council told that commission is to replace them

Report: The proposed Derry commission will replace both the corporation and RDC. Nationalist corporation members insist that the commission operate for as short a period as possible, and be seen to function with impartiality.

'Let commission be for three years only'

Leader: Nationalist members of Derry corporation assert that the commission must be visibly impartial. The Derry Labour Party welcomes the reforms that have been granted, but asserts that they are far from adequate. One-man-one-vote is a key requirement. O'Neill has sacrificed justice in Northern Ireland for the unity of the Unionist Party.

News Letter

Nationalist 'yes' to Derry plan

Report: Derry corporation will meet today to consider what is in effect a government plan to replace the corporation and RDC with a development commission. Nationalists welcome the commission, but want its term of office to be restricted to three years, after which time it ought to be replaced by a democratically-elected local government body.

Belfast Telegraph

'Framework for a better Derry'

Report: McAteer calls for 'watchful restraint' on all sides. Nationalist members of Derry corporation are anxious that a commission should sit for only three years, unless it is absolutely necessary that this period be extended. They insist that it should then be replaced by a democratically-elected body. They are puzzled by the lack of detail forthcoming on the commission's composition and functions.

Derry Labour urges 'vote' referendum

Report: Derry Labour Party calls for a referendum on the one-man-one-vote principle; it asserts that the ombudsman should be given power over local government matters, but welcomes the decision in favour of a housing points system. The Derry commission is welcomed, though the lack of public representation is regrettable. The government's position on special powers is perplexing, with Craig apparently viewing the matter differently than O'Neill. It is felt that O'Neill was only able to push through the reforms that he did by acceding to the hard-liners' calls for no change to the franchise.

Irish News

Strabane workless 'concern'

Report: Faulkner is criticised by a member of the NDP over his alleged policy of industrial discrimination against areas west of the Bann, a policy supposedly designed to maintain local Unionist power.

[IN, BT, 25 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Why the students have taken to the streets

Feature: There is general agreement at QUB on the justice of the civil rights cause, though this agreement breaks down over the methods that should be employed to attain the common goal. The PD has considerable backing at the university, and its most striking feature is that it has no leaders or rules as such, but is a democratic body. A small number of Unionists are regular participants in marches, and though the Queen's Unionist Association has not declared for civil rights, most of its members are prepared to admit in private the need for one-man-one-vote, and the Association has called for an inquiry into the events of 5 October in Derry. The involvement of outsiders in the PD worries some, and trouble on some marches has damaged the image of students. 800 signatures have been collected on a petition that acknowledges the cause of civil rights but deplores the actions of irresponsible people.

Irish News

NUS to 'protect' members

Report: The National Union of Students expresses concern at alleged pressure placed on some Northern Ireland students by police because of their political views.

[BT, 25 November]

News Letter

Student body move to see Craig

Report: 'The executive committee of the Queen's Students' Union is to seek a meeting this week with…Craig, regarding the alleged intimidation of students by members of the RUC special branch.' The NUS pledges to take steps to protect Northern Ireland students from such intimidation under the Special Powers Act, though no more than ten complaints have been received.

Belfast Telegraph

Singing of anthem 'hit Ulster image'

Report: A Derry Young Unionist says that the behaviour of some Unionists on a Republic of Ireland television programme has further damaged Northern Ireland's image.

Irish News

New birth, or miscarriage?

Comment: The week's television has continued to serve up Northern Ireland politics. Unionist reforms were less than inspiring. Television scenes depicting the bad behaviour of one particular studio audience were disgraceful.

News Letter

MP on a 'political gimmick'

Report: Bradford decries the use by a television audience of the British national anthem following a civil rights debate as a 'political gimmick.'

Belfast Telegraph

Fight for CR must go on

Letter: The reforms announced by the government are not particularly constructive, and can mean very little if they enjoy the backing of hard-liners. Unionists have little time for democracy or British standards. The fight for civil rights must continue, and one-man-one-vote must be introduced.

Three things still needed

Letter: 'Recent civil rights developments are excellent,' but a universal local franchise, fair electoral boundaries and a central authority to make all local government appointments are still required. People cannot respect a constitution if it does not accord them equal rights.

One man, one vote

Letter: Wilson should take note of the Stormont government's hesitancy in the area of implementing one-man-one-vote, and should make sure that it is brought about.

Party unity came first

Letter: 'The fact that the prime minister puts unity of the party before real reforms casts doubts on the sincerity of his role as a liberal statesman.' The placation of extremist element is not conducive to real democracy.

More adult education!

Letter: 'If the hard-working middle class cretins who criticise the students could get their priorities correct they would protest against discrimination and lack of civil rights instead of the red herring of university image.'

Irish News

Queen's students congratulated

Letter: The Queen's University students who formed the PD are to be congratulated for involving themselves in the issues, rather than futilely debating them. 'If the hard-working, middle-class people who criticise the students could get their priorities correct they would protest against discrimination and lack of civil rights instead of the red herring of university image.'

Points system for houses: NDP conflict of view

Letter: The chairman of Strabane urban council has said that his council does not operate a points system; nor does it see any use in implementing such a system. Perhaps someone can explain this apparent discrepancy in stated NDP policy.

Belfast Telegraph

Failure to communicate

Letter: The evils of discrimination have arisen from poor inter-community understanding, and while some of the blame for this state of affairs can undoubtedly be attributed to Unionism, a large component of the problem is the catholic church's insistence on a separate education system for catholic children.

Hierarchy could give 'tremendous uplift' to community relations

Letter: Unionist Party unity on reform shows that the party can change. Many suspicious still remain in the community. The Armagh civil rights march is ill-judged in the current climate of tension. The catholic hierarchy could play its part in improving community relations by extending recognition to Stormont.

News Letter

They came north

Letter: The experience of a catholic who moved to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland because of the former's advantages, is that there have been no difficulties in securing a good education for the family and obtaining employment on the basis of merit alone.

Telegram to bishop

Letter: Bunting's sentiments are out of touch with those of ordinary people.

No credit given

Letter: Unionist critics of O'Neill give no credit to his government where credit is deserved, and do not even bother to refute allegations of discrimination.

Respect no longer

Letter: If the PD and civil rights marchers were sincere, they would march to the cenotaph in memory of those who died for democracy. Students are no longer respected.

Students eye-opener

Letter: 'I fully appreciate…that the vast majority of students are upright and law-abiding young folk from respectable homes, who have had the great advantage of a good upbringing, and who do not deny the ordinary public the very rudimentary civil right of passing along the queen's highway about their lawful business, by sitting down in the streets and grovelling in the gutter.'

No finer force

Letter: It is doubtful whether there is anywhere in the world a finer force than the RUC.


Letter: 'Ulster, I believe, is in the most serious crisis politically for 50 years because of compromise which always leads to disaster.'

25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top

27 November, 1968

News Letter

And so they go on

Editorial: 'Protest and counter-protest have threatened to become a way of life in Northern Ireland - at least, until the community as a whole makes it clear that it has had enough.' The whole scenario is dangerous, not to say expensive. 'The risk is increased when a rival faction decides that the protesters shall not pass, a form of behaviour reminiscent of the schoolyard rather than of adult politics.' The government should consider the Society of Labour Lawyers' proposal of a ban on all counter-demonstrations. A period of calm is necessary so that reforms can be considered and implemented. Persistent demonstrations will in any case only serve to reduce the impact of the demonstrators' message.

Revival in Derry

Editorial: Charges of neglect in Derry are disproved by the scale of new investment and social amenities brought to the city in recent years.

People's champion if lawman is an ass

Comment: Widespread Unionist power in Northern Ireland, coupled with the existence of a large non-Unionist minority, means that it is not enough that justice merely be done, but that is also be seen to be done. It will not do simply to replace Unionist 'juntas' in some areas with Nationalist 'juntas': 'what is needed is a system of evident justice, accepted by and respected by all, and nothing less will serve as an enduring basis for the state.' Redress through the legal process, while possible, is an overwhelming task for some. A ombudsman in Northern Ireland will provide additional legal safeguards, and there is no reason why in this respect Northern Ireland should not take a lead over Britain and give to the officer a set of wide-ranging powers.

Irish News

New era for Derry

Editorial: The Derry commission is welcome, if far from ideal. One-man-one-vote has not been granted; O'Neill is appeasing the extremists within his party. The commission must be impartial, not a mere continuation of Unionist rule under another name.

Let it be peaceful CR march in Armagh

Leader: Civil rights organisers urge a peaceful march in Armagh that will not give cause for complaint or provocation. They express their disappointment at Stormont's reform programme. Diamond, speaking at Stormont, calls on Craig to ensure the right to pursue peaceful aims within the law unmolested.

Belfast Telegraph

Primates' plea

Leader: The catholic and Church of Ireland primates of all-Ireland call for maximum restraint with regard to the coming civil rights march in Armagh. A group of Unionist businessmen in Armagh appeals to loyalists to stay off the streets during the civil rights march. 'The statement by Armagh business and professional men states they are convinced that the civil rights march is deliberately intended to provoke disorder, to encourage disobedience and to inflame sectarian animosities in the hitherto peaceful city.' Loyalists, the statement continues, should not assist those who wish to stir up trouble. Paisley says that UCDC members are being called to Armagh. Craig condemns demonstrations and counter-demonstrations alike at this time of tension.

[IN, 28 November]

Labour group warns of 'tension'

Report: The Labour and trade union delegation meeting with O'Neill, Craig and Fitzsimmons, says that increasing tensions in industry can be reduced by speeding the rate of reform. A statement says that one-man-one-vote cannot wait for the overhaul of local government. Paddy Devlin feels that Craig has encouraged counter-demonstrations.

£500 deposit for hall

Report: A former mayor of Limerick offers to pay the £500 deposit demanded by Armagh UDC for the use by NICRA of the City Hall for a meeting.

News Letter

Rights meeting in open air

Report: It is decided that the Armagh civil rights meeting originally planned to take place in the City Hall, will in fact be held in the open air in light of the large attendance expected. A number of offers to pay the £500 deposit for the use of the City Hall are turned down.

Irish News

Fitt to speak at Oxford civil rights rally

Report: Fitt is to speak at a civil rights rally in Oxford.

'British justice has different hue' in the North

Report: The English catholic paper, the Tablet, urges Westminster to press ahead in securing rights for the catholic minority in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

'Civil rights' should go on - Rose

Report: Rose says that the Northern Ireland government's 'minor concessions' are no reason to suggest an end to the civil rights campaign. He stresses that there is no need for violence, and feels that it is an inspiration that civil rights supporters sing 'We Shall Overcome' instead of traditional songs.

Speed reform in the Province, deputation asks premier

Report: The delegation of labour and trade union representatives meeting O'Neill emphasises the need for British standards for Northern Ireland. A government commitment to this idea would do much to soothe tensions. The principle is not referred to in the government's inadequate reform package. Violence and unconstitutional protest are to be deplored.

[IN, NL, 28 November]

News Letter

Council accepts its fate

Report: Doherty notes the lack of enthusiasm on the part of Unionist members of Derry corporation for the planned Derry commission. Nationalists assert that the commission should have a term of three years unless necessity dictates otherwise; it must then be replaced by a democratically-elected body. Beatty views a three-year stewardship as unrealistic. Hegarty says that the commission must not be made up of Unionists.

[BT, 26 November]

Irish News

Derry to have new 580-job year factory

Report: News of a new factory for Derry is broadly welcomed, though the Industry for Derry Committee challenges Anderson to produce evidence for his claim that one firm at least has decided not to come to Derry after the 5 October disturbances.

News Letter

600-job surprise for Derry

Report: Faulkner, in announcing a new factory for Derry, warns that further trouble may increase the difficulty to attracting firms to the area. He tells of his efforts to dispel a false image of the city, where there is little labour unrest or political trouble in industry.

[BT, 26 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Factory 'lost' to Derry: MP challenged

Report: The Industry for Derry Committee challenges a contention made by Albert Anderson MP that at least one firm has decided not to come to Derry because of the recent disturbances there.

[NL, 29 November]

Housing figures

Summary: The secretary of Fermanagh Unionist Association corrects previous figures he has given in relation to housing allocations in Enniskillen.

Apology sought

Summary: The Monaghan county manager seeks an apology from Brooke and West in relation to their allegation that protestants do not receive their fair share of jobs in the local or central administration of the Republic of Ireland.

Irish News

Monaghan reply to Brooke and West

Report: Also, allegations of discrimination made against the central government of the state can be dealt with by that institution.

Belfast Telegraph

Bishop replies to MP critics

Report: The catholic bishop of Clogher replies to criticism from West and Brooke, arguing that his own statement on the situation in Northern Ireland is not unique, and suggesting that the MPs may have something to hide or a fear of losing their position once justice is granted. Local protestants would be advised to start a civil rights movement, for without this it is difficult to see how the old orange-green divide will not be reinforced.

News Letter

RC bishop hits back at Brooke and West

Report: He also reiterates charges of housing discrimination in Fermanagh, and asserts that there is no discrimination against protestants in the Republic of Ireland. The Monaghan county manager demands an apology for the allegations, which he dismisses.

[IN, 28 November]

Ombudsman Bill again rejected

Report: O'Reilly's attempt to introduce an ombudsman with wide-ranging powers is rejected at Stormont.

Irish News

Opposition MPs press case for unrestricted ombudsman here

Report: Additionally, Carron feels that the introduction of a powerful ombudsman would do much to alter the climate of community relations.

News Letter

Public Defender Bill dropped

Report: Craig says at Stormont that one of the benefits of the office of ombudsman will be its exposure of frivolous complaints. He says that O'Reilly's proposal for an ombudsman goes well beyond what is envisaged by government, though consideration will be given to the establishment of other apparatus to investigate grievances at a local level. Genuine grievances will be investigated. He expresses hope that the government measure will help improve community relations. Murnaghan says that government generally does try to right wrongs, unless trying to cover for departmental mistakes. O'Reilly voluntarily withdraws his Bill. Isaac Hawthorne accepts that there is some discrimination in Northern Ireland, for example, against protestants in his own constituency. The establishment of investigative machinery will remove trivial and often imaginary problems from the house. Maconachie argues for a widening of the scope of the ombudsman's powers.

Belfast Telegraph

MPs table vote motion

Report: Nationalist MPs table a motion calling for the immediate introduction of one-man-one-vote.

'BBC must show warts and all'

Report: The BBC controller for Northern Ireland regrets the narrow-mindedness of Northern Ireland people, and says that BBC coverage of events since 5 October has been fair.

Irish News

BBC controller in NI deplores touchiness and 'closed mind'

Report: He also stresses that, despite complaints to the contrary, the BBC does screen a fair share of the positive as well as the negative developments in Northern Ireland.

News Letter

Lecture on BBC by NI chief

Report: The Northern Ireland controller of the BBC asserts that, whatever critics might have to say, the organisation's coverage of Northern Ireland affairs reflects life there accurately.

Confidence in Mr Craig

Report: A Derry Unionist Association commends Craig and O'Neill for the preservation of order in Northern Ireland. Craig's presence in the cabinet is deemed 'essential' in these critical times.

[BT, 26 November]

Belfast Telegraph

MP backs 'package deal' move

Report: A Unionist MP, Kennedy, contends that Unionists, despite their agreement to reform, have nothing to be ashamed of. Current agitation is designed to keep the pot boiling.

[NL, 28 November]

'Political jungle faces Province'

Report: Elder says provocative opposition tactics scare no-one. Unionism has nothing to be ashamed of and progress in Northern Ireland is undeniable. Craig has been strongly criticised, but his action may have prevented a massacre on 5 October.

Orangemen back Craig

Report: Co Londonderry Orange lodge states its support for Craig and the government in their handling of recent events, and approves of the steps taken to contain violence and disruption.

Anarchy is no remedy, says MP

Report: Anderson feels that government must not give in to pressure-groups. Improvements can be made in Northern Ireland, but these are for the democratically-elected government to decide.

Derry shouts and the world hears

Feature: Events since 5 October have been played out in Derry, at Stormont and at Whitehall, events that were 'fathered by history and born of circumstances.' [There follows an account of events from the lead-up to 5 October until its immediate aftermath.]

The students who want revolution

Feature: The small and enigmatic Revolutionary Socialist Students' Federation is blamed for the widely-condemned treatment of O'Neill at a recent prize distribution ceremony at Queen's University. The university authorities have so far taken no firm action in the hope that the situation will blow over, and their hope seems justified. Meanwhile, the SRC has clarified its support for civil rights, while condemning violence. There is a fear among some staff and students that the PD is being manipulated by outside elements prepared to use violence. Angry public condemnation of students will not help matters, since a change to the grants system would only provide students with another cause to march for. 'People should think twice before angrily condemning student protesters out of hand. Though some of the debate is naive and superficial, much of it goes to the heart of the Northern Ireland problem. Many of the students are sincere in their stand for a fairer deal and many are genuinely worried about the methods of protest being used.'

Irish News

Acceptance of 'half a loaf'

Letter: The Nationalist Party should make a start to its campaign of civil disobedience instead of walking meekly back to Stormont for the sake of some inadequate reforms.

Belfast Telegraph

'Radical nationalism will go long way to answering community problem': students

Letter: Radical nationalism, of the variety espoused by the NDP, which involves co-operation with other groups in order to establish the rights of Northern Ireland citizens, can do much to help heal community divisions.

New catholic thinking

Letter: The recent TV debate on Northern Ireland showed disgraceful extremism on both sides. However, the Derry civil rights leaders claimed to be 'in favour of the constitutional position of Ulster remaining as it is until such time as a majority of people wish to change it.' This is symptomatic of a new type of catholic thinking, which recognises the economic benefits of UK membership. Moderate catholics and protestants can and should work together, a lesson that the Unionist Party should take to heart.

'Christianity' in Armagh

Letter: Scenes of confrontation in Armagh at Easter were scarcely worthy of a Christian festival. Is there now to be a repeat performance?

Support for PD

Letter: A small minority of extremists should not be permitted to discredit the PD, which espouses worthy goals that all people should share.

'Corner-boys' charge by MP

Letter: George Currie has charged that non-ratepayers are 'corner-boys' and should not have a stake in local government; Burns has termed the unemployed 'work-shy.' This is a demonstration of Unionist discrimination against the working class, a practice in which both orange and green Tories are engaged, while they try to divert the gaze of the people towards irrelevant issues such as the border. Members of the working class must see their common interest and unite to throw off their rulers.

(Michael Farrell)

25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top

28 November, 1968

Belfast Telegraph

All change

Editorial: Change is required not only in the protestant community in Northern Ireland. Catholics should recognise that their ills are not the fault of the entire protestant community. Many protestants are concerned about the issues raised by the civil rights movement, and their cause would be helped by greater catholic recognition of this fact.

Electoral Law Bill

Report: 'The Electoral Law Bill which will abolish the university seats, create four new constituencies and set up a permanent boundary commission has been given royal assent, it was announced in the senate and commons at Stormont today.'

Commission for Derry Bill is read

Report: A Bill that will make possible the establishment of the Derry commission receives a first reading in the commons.

[NL, 29 November]

Premier pledge by a catholic

Report: South Down Unionist Association expresses support for efforts to uncover and deal with the causes of current unrest, though one member says that street protests should not be allowed to blackmail the government.

[NL, 29 November]

O'Neill backed in west

Report: 'Full support for all the policies of prime minister Capt O'Neill came today in a statement from 40 leading figures in the constituency of Fermanagh and south Tyrone, including prominent members of Fermanagh Unionist Association. The Fermanagh Young Unionist Association passes a vote of confidence in O'Neill.

Strong west-Ulster backing for O'Neill

Report: The statement from the 40 leading citizens cites a speech of the Marquis of Hamilton in which he asserts the existence of a widespread moderation, embracing the need for progressive and enlightened thinking.

[NL, 29 November]

No approach yet to Craig on Armagh ban

Report: Craig says that police have not yet provided him with any reason to ban the proposed civil rights march in Armagh. Organisers of the march attack discrimination in Northern Ireland local authority employment, segregation in housing, gerrymandered wards and the company vote.

O'Neill warns of Hitler idea

Report: O'Neill advises against attributing to certain groups sets of general characteristics. The headmaster of the school at which he is speaking advocates an end to segregated education in the interests of improved community relations.

'3,000 RUC in Derry clash' claim wrong

Report: Mills questions figures published in the Observer detailing the number of police present in Derry on 5 October. If this statement was inaccurate, he argues, how many other of the so-called facts presented about Derry were wrong?

News Letter

More support for Craig

Report: Co Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge expresses its support for Craig.

Unionists should not be ashamed [Report]

Report: Kennedy contends that Unionists, though having agreed to introduce reforms, have nothing in their record of which they ought to be ashamed. He feels that the present agitation is designed to keep the pot boiling.

[BT, 27 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Paisley tent guarded

Report: A tent in which the free presbyterian church is holding services is guarded following vandalism.

[NL, 29 November]

Talks 'to remove distrust' suggested

Report: The Newman Society welcomes the growing recognition of the need to tackle injustice, though the end of injustice alone will not improve community relations. What is also needed is better understanding between the communities, and this can only be achieved through dialogue.

[IN, NL, 29 November]

News Letter

Reform - 'glad' says Wilson

Report: A brief reference made by Wilson to the Northern Ireland reforms in a speech is being viewed in Unionist circles as non-committal. Private indications are that the reforms are being welcomed by the British government, although there is some disappointment at the lack of movement on one-man-one-vote. A further Wilson-O'Neill meeting may occur within weeks. Opposition MPs at Stormont table a motion calling for the introduction of one-man-one-vote.

Irish News

Violent outbreaks 'due to intransigence of government'

Report: A joint NILP-ICTU delegation meets with O'Neill. The government's intransigent attitude towards reform is blamed for outbreaks of violence. The proposed points system is welcomed, but nevertheless is seen to leave some scope for abuse; the ombudsman is also welcome, as an acceptance of British standards, and the acknowledgement of the need to investigate local grievances is a step forward; the undemocratic nature of the Derry commission is a retrograde step, and special treatment for Derry is likely to generate resentment in other areas afflicted by the same problems. Tensions in the workplace are growing, such that human rights issues cannot be separated from the question of economic progress. Stephen McGonagle, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee of the ICTU, states that 'respect for authority and the necessary degree of co-operation [with it by the people] can be derived, only, from a sense that social justice is, in practice, being extended to all sections of the community.' The Unionist Party, with its monopoly position, has a duty, he adds, to treat the minority with respect. Paddy Devlin sees as vague the plan for a points scheme, as well as the government's words on the Special Powers Act. Its postponement of franchise reform until at least 1971 is deemed inadequate. He accuses government of favouring counter-demonstrators over civil rights marchers.

News Letter

Deputation member in clash with minister

Report: A joint deputation from the NILP and ICTU meets leading cabinet members to discuss reform. 'The deputation sought a declaration of intent on one-man-one-vote before the next local government elections and a declaration of acceptance of citizens' rights enjoyed in all other parts of the UK.' Stormont electoral law should mirror that in Britain. Local government boundaries must be subject to immediate and impartial review and the property qualification for local elections dropped. Increased representation of minority groups on government-appointed bodies is a further demand, as are measures to reduce discrimination in employment, particularly by public bodies and local authorities. Trade union law should be harmonised with that of Britain. Desired above all is an admission by government of the necessity that British standards be applied to Northern Ireland. This would help reduce tensions and improve community relations. Violence is to be deplored, but frustration resulting from 'legitimate and deeply-felt grievances must find an outlet somewhere.' Government intransigence towards reform is seen as the reason for recent outbreaks of violence. The proposed points system, while welcome, leaves some scope for abuse by local authorities; the ombudsman, as an instance of the application of British standards, is a welcome step, as indeed is the acknowledgement of the need to investigate local grievances. The Derry commission is undemocratic and is therefore a retrograde step. Favourable treatment for Derry alone is also considered likely to generate resentment in other areas afflicted by similar difficulties. The pronouncements on the Special Powers Act are practically meaningless, especially when taking into account Craig's dismissive remarks. Paddy Devlin feels that the government favours counter-demonstrations, which are 'almost willed into existence' by Craig. McGonagle expresses fears about growing tensions in the workplace, and says that respect for and co-operation with authority can only come with social justice for all. Government should treat constitutionally expressed minority opinions with respect.

Irish News

Another meeting in secrecy

Report: For the second time this week, Derry RDC is to meet without official notification of or invitation to the press.

News Letter

Not told of meetings

Report: Also, the council 'is understood to have made strong representations to the government that it should be excluded from the proposed commission, and requested that the commission be confined to the city alone.'

Belfast Telegraph

Derry rural council wants to stay in control

Report: Derry RDC votes to retain control over its own affairs at least until the next local election, though it volunteers 100% co-operation with the proposed commission. A Unionist member feels that the commission will not solve all the area's problems.

[IN, NL, 29 November]

Derry warning on new overlord

Report: The DCAC states that the commission planned for the city must be capable of withstanding careful scrutiny. The committee is to send a representative to an Oxford civil rights demonstration, and urges Derry people to attend the planned NICRA demonstration in Armagh.

[IN, 29 November]

Irish News

Derry commission is Unionist ruse - Diamond

Leader: Diamond charges that the Derry commission is an elaborate scheme designed to maintain Unionist control of Derry. It is 'worse than any gerrymander' and 'a denial of [the] democratic rights of the majority in Derry city to administer their own affairs.' The government, he says, is reluctant to apply British standards to Northern Ireland despite its supposedly proud attachment to them. The civil rights campaign will continue, and bitterness increase, while the government continues to withhold full civil rights. 'Mr Diamond deplored that a statutory points system for the allocation of houses based on need had not been introduced, and the ombudsman had been rendered futile by the limitation of his powers by refusing to allow him to deal with local authority grievances. The Special Powers provisions were also to continue with some minor amendments. But the main content of this infamous Act would remain.' Murnaghan welcomes the government's efforts to expedite the Derry area plan, though she feels that progress on the franchise has still to be made. Jobs and houses, however, are no less important to her than votes. Boyd hopes the commission will be representative, and that there will be progress on the franchise; O'Connor, in welcoming the commission, makes much the same points. Fitzsimmons says that calm is needed; progress is more important than political considerations.

News Letter

New Bill to establish Derry commission [Report]

Armagh stands by for trouble

Leader: Tension and fear of violent confrontation on 30 November are growing in Armagh. Paisley has warned of a greater loyalist challenge than that offered in Derry. His Northern Ireland supporters will be augmented by a boatload of Scottish Protestant Volunteers. A group of prominent local men issues a statement calling for loyalist restraint in the face of a march 'deliberately intended to provoke disorder…encourage civil disobedience and…inflame sectarian animosity in a hitherto peaceful city.' The catholic and Church of Ireland primates of all-Ireland call for tolerance, restraint and self-discipline. Craig says police will take necessary steps to preserve peace and deplores the disruptive nature of demonstrations as well as counter-demonstrations. He wishes to see a period of calm. Currie says that marches will go on until one-man-one-vote is conceded. The RUC pledges to protect the civil rights marchers. The Armagh civil rights committee condemns gerrymandering, a lack of jobs on merit, and housing segregation in the locality.

Irish News

Armagh take-over threat query for Craig at Stormont

Report: Craig deplores demonstrations as well as counter-demonstrations, seeing them as a cause of disruption in the community. Diamond argues that those who meet legal requirements should have the freedom to march. A number of opposition MPs say that marches will stop when civil rights demands are met.

Armagh jobs discrimination exposed

Report: The Armagh civil rights committee points out discrimination in local authority employment and gerrymandering in the area. The urban council's housing record is praised but segregation condemned.

Armagh march support from PD branch

Report: The PD at Queen's university expresses its support for the Armagh civil rights march.

Churches join in peace plea

Report: The catholic and Church of Ireland primates of all-Ireland, in a joint statement, call on all people to exercise Christian charity, mutual respect and tolerance. Restraint and self-discipline are desirable from those who will be present in Armagh on 30 November.

[BT, 27 November]

Civil Rights Association backs plea by church leaders

Report: NICRA welcomes the call by the two primates of all-Ireland for discipline and restraint in Armagh. Demonstrations have so far been dignified and disciplined, says the Association, and have resisted the urge to respond to provocation; now, demonstrators must refrain from offering any provocation of their own.

Belfast Telegraph

Christmas reprieve for squatters

Report: Two squatting Derry families are permitted a temporary reprieve from eviction.

Athlete praises marches

Report: A Ballymena athlete commends young people who protest for what they believe in, though she distinguishes an element in the marches that she believes is attempting to take advantage of the young people's sincerity for its own ends.

[NL, 29 November]

Baptist who is calling for Ulster reforms

Report: [Profile of the chairman of the Ulster Constitution Reform Committee.]

Irish News

The bishop of Clogher answers West and Brooke

Report: The catholic bishop of Clogher responds to the criticisms made by West and Brooke. He states that his own view of the present situation in Northern Ireland is not unique, and asserts that the MPs may have something to hide, or perhaps fear the loss of their positions of power if justice is granted. Local protestants should start a civil rights movement, since if they do not, it is difficult to envisage how the orange-green divide will not be deepened. He reiterates charges of housing discrimination in Fermanagh, and asserts that there is 'no discrimination against protestants in the Republic.'

[NL, BT, 27 November]

Belfast Telegraph

MPs reply to bishop

Report: Brooke and West assert that they do not wish to become embroiled in controversy with the catholic bishop of Clogher, but welcome his recognition of the good work done in housing in Fermanagh.

A second ban . . . and the storm clouds roll back

Feature: [Summary of civil rights developments, 9-23 October.]

Irish News

End of social injustices a help in creating united community

Letter: Partition is not likely to end in the near future. Social justice for all will create improved community relations and enable closer co-operation and understanding between the two Irish states. The civil rights campaign has achieved so much more than anti-partition politics ever did, and has even succeeded in attracting protestant support.

Continuing protest until citizens' rights are granted

Letter: A cooling-off period would allow a return to normality in Northern Ireland, but this may not be advisable, since it would allow people to forget about grievances until the next upsurge of protest.

[BT, 29 November]

Truth in a caption

Letter: A photograph reproduced in 'your evening contemporary' [the Belfast Telegraph?] on 5 October and then again on 27 November carried a different caption on each occasion. The latter read, 'a demonstrator is tackled by three policemen,' while the former took a less truthful approach: 'a demonstrator grapples with the police.'

Mr Taylor and Telefis-Eireann

Letter: Taylor's accusation of bias in the Republic of Ireland's media is interesting, in that Taylor has himself on those very media found it inconvenient to reveal to his audience the less palatable aspects of Unionism, with regard in particular to the religious breakdown of local authority employment.


Letter: An ombudsman might need an ombudswoman to keep him company.

Belfast Telegraph

Professor Huxley's action comes in for criticism

Letter: The QUB professor championing non-payment of rates is acting irresponsibly at a time when the government is trying to calm tensions by addressing social rather than political problems. It has the support of the majority of the people, and 'anyone who advocates civil disobedience is…acting like the spoilt child who insists on the game being played according to his rules or not at all.'

[NL, 5 December]

Where does fault lie?

Letter: The QUB professor's irresponsible advocacy of civil disobedience may indicate who is really behind the student demonstrations.

CR badge 'sectarian'

Letter: The Gaelic-inspired emblem adopted by the DCAC shows that 'the claim of the nationalist element is well-staked.' Perhaps the sectarian colours of orange and purple should be adopted in order to balance this tendency.

News Letter

Views on the BBC

Letter: The BBC is exhibiting bias by providing undue airtime to views not shared by the majority of the people of Northern Ireland.

'We shall overcome'

Letter: The singing of the civil rights anthem, 'We Shall Overcome,' was justified in the USA, but not in Northern Ireland.

Beloved Ulster

Letter: Harmonious community relations are desirable, but 'it makes me sick when I read about the lies and slurs which these so-called civil rights leaders are reputedly making against our progressive Province.' All should rally round the government, since a regime run by Fitt, McAteer and Currie is undesirable.

Tin pan

Letter: Republicans demand for themselves in Northern Ireland rights that are not accorded to protestants in the Republic of Ireland, where there has been, and remains, discrimination.


Letter: Burns' comment on the work-shy disposition of Derry people is shown to be accurate by the walk-out of workers in order to take part in protest marches in the city.

25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top

29 November, 1968

Irish News

Republican Clubs ban decision

Report: Judges will today pass a verdict on the legality of Craig's ban on Republican Clubs.

Belfast Telegraph

Craig ban for Lords

Leader: Craig's use of the Special Powers Act to ban organisations bearing the name of Republican Club will now be appealed in the House of Lords.

[IN, NL, 30 November]

Craig speech causes storm

Report: A speech by Craig to west Belfast Unionists causes opposition MPs to question whether the minister's attitudes are representative of government policy. His expression of no great enthusiasm for the ombudsman proposal engenders speculation on a cabinet split; his comments on democracy in catholic countries lead Fitt to the conclusion that Craig is trying to stir up sectarianism. Murnaghan calls for his resignation. A debate on Northern Ireland will take place soon in the House of Lords at Westminster.

I am a man prepared to stand my ground - Craig

Report: At a Unionist rally, strongly attended by Paisley supporters, Taylor says that anti-partitionists are using civil rights to gain their ends. Craig remarks, 'there is all this nonsense about civil rights. There are our old traditional enemies exploiting the situation. The civil rights movement is bogus and is made up of ill-informed radicals and people who see in unrest a chance to renew the campaign of violence.' He speaks of a lower standard of democracy in catholic countries, and sees little merit in an ombudsman for Northern Ireland, except that the office will expose unfounded allegations for what they are. A points system for housing will make it plain to see that there is no discrimination. Faulkner cites economic progress in Northern Ireland, and is critical of those who have only become involved in politics because of the recent controversy.

Irish News

Unionist unity image destroyed at Ulster Hall 'loyalist rally' [Report]

News Letter

Craig hits out at 'bogus' civil rights

Leader: Craig views calls for civil rights as 'nonsense' exploited by traditional enemies of Unionism. Civil rights campaigners are 'ill-informed radicals' or people wishing to promote violence through unrest. The only benefit of the office of ombudsman is its ability to expose unfounded allegations against the state. He approves of a points system for housing because he believes it will demonstrate that there is no discrimination. He also asserts that 'the Roman catholic citizens of Northern Ireland have never been hampered or hindered in the pursuit of their religion, or been denied any basic rights,' and that 'a great majority of…houses has been allocated fairly and properly.' The few exceptions to this rule have been used for political ends. He praises the police. The meeting is attended by some vocal Paisleyites and hard-core Unionists who wish to see 'O'Neill out.'

'We are the people' says McRoberts

Report: Faulkner talks of economic progress in Northern Ireland, and criticises those who have become involved in politics only recently.

Belfast Telegraph

Ground rules

Editorial: Craig's sectarian speech has gone too far, and makes a nonsense of government calls for harmony in the community. 'The civil rights movement, it appears, is bogus. It is made up of "ill-informed radicals and people who see in unrest a chance to renew the campaign of violence." But if this is so, why has the government gone so far to meet the movement's demands?' If Craig cannot come to terms with the change of climate in Northern Ireland, then he must resign.

Irish News

Witness summons calls Craig to Derry

Report: Craig is issued with a summons to give evidence in a Derry court in the defence of two of the organisers of the 5 October civil rights march.

Not asked to ban march yet - Craig

Report: Craig states that police have made no approach to him regarding a possible ban on the Armagh civil rights march

News Letter

Police considering march routes

Report: Police are considering the proposed routes of the civil rights demonstration and counter-demonstrations in Armagh. Three counter-demonstrations are proposed by Bunting, who says that republicans will be kept out of protestant areas. A UCDC meeting will also be held in order to block the proposed civil rights march route.

Belfast Telegraph

Calling a halt

Editorial: Restraint and obedience to the law are necessary with regard to the coming events in Armagh. However, it is time that more was done about the threat posed to peaceful marchers by simultaneous counter-demonstrations. There is no automatic right to march anywhere at any time, but once police have approved of a given route it is the government's duty to see that the marchers are unmolested. This is known as the right of peaceful protest in any democratic country, but what is not acceptable is the right to thwart that protest by a provocative counter-demonstration.

Irish News

Another pattern of discrimination

Editorial: The discrimination uncovered in Armagh by the local civil rights committee comes as no surprise. It is representative of the situation in other Unionist-controlled local authorities. If there is to be a commission for Derry, why not one also for Armagh and for every other area affected by injustice? If Unionists want an end to demonstrations, then they should grant the full measure of justice demanded by the minority.

We have been here before

Comment: Calls during the 1940s for the suspension of Belfast corporation in view of its incompetence were resisted, and promises of reform made but never acted upon. This may be an indication of what can be expected from the Derry commission.

Belfast Telegraph

'Change your routes' plea to marchers

Report: Police ask rival groups to amend their proposed march routes through Armagh. Paisley says the three marches associated with Bunting, by 'the Apprentices and fellow crafts, the Tubal Cain group of Purplemen and Masters and the Knights of Freedom,' are not the responsibility of the UCDC. Murnaghan and McElroy condemn as traitors those who oppose progress and reform with violence.

Rally at City Hall

Report: The PD plans a public meeting at Belfast City Hall which, among other things, will stress solidarity with Armagh demonstrators.

Unemployed may march in Newry

Report: Newry PD discusses a possible march by the unemployed. Among the resolutions adopted are calls to press for a points system in housing allocation and the repeal of the Special Powers and Public Order Acts. The branch will also take part in the Armagh civil rights demonstration.

News Letter

Maeve Kyle praises marchers

Report: An athlete praises the sincerity of young people who protest for their beliefs. She does however distinguish an element among protesters that she believes is trying to make use of this sincerity for its own ends.

[BT, 28 November]

Irish News

The four 'musts' for commission

Report: The DCAC demands that the Derry commission be strong, well-qualified, impartial, and ready to begin work immediately, work that however must be subject to careful scrutiny. A Committee representative will attend a civil rights demonstration in Oxford, while attendance at the Armagh march is encouraged.

[BT, 28 November]

Cases relating to incidents again adjourned

Report: Cases relating to the loyalist attack on the Strabane-Derry civil rights marchers are again adjourned.

News Letter

Rights scene case adjourned [Report]

Challenge for MP

Report: The Industry for Derry Committee challenges Anderson to substantiate his claim that at least one firm has been put off coming to Derry by the disturbances there.

[BT, 27 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist offer to 'rights' body

Report: The chairman of the Derry Loyalists' Committee is to seek co-operation from the DCAC in improving community relations and tackling isolated boycotting. The committee will meet to consider its campaign, including steps to improve relations and end trading hostility.

News Letter

Guard on gospel tent

Report: A tent in which Paisley is holding gospel events is guarded following vandalism.

[BT, 28 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Stop protests - help society, pupils told

Report: A school prize distribution is told that protesters do not know what they are for or against, and should spend their energies more constructively.

News Letter

Votes of confidence

Summary: A south Londonderry Unionist Association passes a vote of confidence in local MP James Chichester-Clark and in Craig.

Support from RC Unionist

Report: South Down Unionist Association expresses its support for O'Neill and his government in their efforts to deal with the cause of unrest.

[BT, 28 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Chaos from more rallies - minister

Report: Fitzsimmons calls on moderates to exercise a restraining influence, feeling that further disorder can promote only chaos. A period of calm is needed for the implementation of the government's reforms. There is a limit beyond which even legitimate protest should not go.

Irish News

Minister's plea for 'moderating influence' [Report]

News Letter

Come into open call to RCs [Report]

The minister in a new political storm-centre

Comment: Fitzsimmons, as minister of development, faces a considerable task in appointing a Derry development commission and guiding the creation of a points system for housing allocation. His decision will certainly come in for some fierce scrutiny. Diamond is fairly isolated in his failure to welcome the plan; Murnaghan is more in tune with wider feeling when she voices the opinion that the urgent need in Derry is for houses and jobs. Many Unionist backbenchers are of the opinion that, while the right to parade is fundamental, calls such as Currie's for continued pressure on government until demands for one-man-one-vote are met can only damage community relations. The government has initiated reform and pledged to investigate grievances, so why must protest continue?

Belfast Telegraph

Catholics must play their part - Unionist MP

Report: Robert Porter says that the government reform plan evinces a Unionist willingness to change; catholics must be prepared likewise to embrace change in their own stance.

'Churches share blame for strife'

Report: The Church of Ireland Gazette says of the churches' responsibility for the present problems in Northern Ireland, 'we have at best generalised and platitudinised, and we cannot shirk our share of the blame or wash our hands of the consequences. The hatred that exists is, partly at least, the result of our neglect to preach Christian love.'

News Letter

Churches to blame [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Women can aid torn community - moderator

Report: Withers says that there are wrongs to be righted in Northern Ireland; 'by this time the point of protests has been taken, or else our rulers are blind.' The great mass of moderate opinion, for so long inarticulate, must now be heard, and women have an important part to play in the process of reconciliation. People must stand up not only for their own rights but also for those of others.

More support for O'Neill

Report: Dundonald Unionist Association passes a vote of confidence in O'Neill and the cabinet in their efforts to foster improved community relations.

News Letter

Prominent constituents pledge support for Capt O'Neill

Report: Prominent figures in the political constituency of Fermanagh and south Tyrone declare full support for O'Neill.

[BT, 28 November]

Message from the west

Editorial: The declaration of support for O'Neill from a wide and influential body of moderates in co Fermanagh is welcome. The government's reforms are in keeping with this progressive spirit: 'they are concerned solely with the advancement of community relations within Northern Ireland and stand apart from constitutional issues. That being so, they command and deserve the widest measure of support.'

Wilson-O'Neill talks question

Report: Wilson, asked to make a statement on the outcome of the Downing Street talks with O'Neill, says that the British government was informed of the reform measures that would be announced on 22 November by the Northern Ireland government.

Belfast Telegraph

Mr Wilson and the pace of reform

Comment: Wilson and his cabinet are pleased at the Northern Ireland government's reform package, but would have liked to see more. Many Labour MPs view the franchise question as vital. Another prime ministerial meeting is not expected however until January 1969, at the earliest. Meanwhile, MPs may reduce pressure on Stormont slightly in order to allow the political temperature to cool somewhat.

Votes Act: MP's move

Report: A Labour MP gives notice of a proposed amendment to a piece of Westminster legislation so that it will affect local government in Northern Ireland.

News Letter

Derry Bill first reading

Report: The Bill designed to pave the way for the establishment of the Derry commission receives its first reading at Stormont. 'There was some surprise in Unionist circles last night over the action of Londonderry Rural Council in passing a resolution to "hold firm" until 1970 when its term of office expires. The members also refused to welcome the commission, though they agreed to co-operate with it.'

[BT, 28 November]

Belfast Telegraph

RDC to have no powers

Report: The desire of Derry RDC to remain in existence at least until 1970 looks set to be ignored by government, which is going ahead with plans for the Derry commission.

Irish News

Derry RDC say[s] 'no' to handing over to commission

Report: One Unionist member of Derry RDC comments that the commission represents a denial of civil rights, since it will not be an elected body. Another feels that the decision in its favour is making the people of the area second-class citizens.

News Letter

The council that won't lie down [Report]

[BT, 28 November]

Irish News

The Newman Society - social justice in the community

Report: The Newman Society says that legislation alone cannot hope to heal community divisions, but it can lay a strong basis for such a process of reconciliation to begin. People of goodwill must work together. 'We believe it to be the case that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland demand social justice, and legislators must realise their responsibilities in respect of the contribution they can make and heed the call.'

News Letter

Warning to legislators [Report]

[BT, 28 November]

Belfast Telegraph

Time for progress, not politics

Comment: O'Reilly is unlikely to see government grant the demands of his party for its own Ombudsman Bill, since the government does not intend to empower the ombudsman with jurisdiction over the investigation of local government grievances. Diamond has attacked the government's Derry commission as 'worse than any gerrymander - a skilful scheme to ensure permanent Unionist control.' Other opposition MPs have welcomed the commission, on the condition that it be impartial. Progress must now, as Fitzsimmons and Murnaghan point out, be placed before political considerations.

Socialist attack on 'reforms'

Report: McCann says that the government's reforms are designed merely to take the steam out of the civil rights campaign, which is threatening the basis of the state. He feels that the Nationalist Party has been fooled by this move. The Derry commission is unacceptable because it is undemocratic. Of the DCAC's aim of unity between civil rights supporters, he says, 'any unity which involves the separate interests of different classes being subsumed under a central slogan like "one-man-one-vote," serves only to keep in check the demands and activities of those most denied social and civil rights.'

Irish News

Campaign for civil rights should be intensified - McCann

Report: McCann also asserts that the abolition of the company vote is a 'derisory' gesture, and while the points system for housing allocation is welcome, it should have been instituted a long time ago: Unionists deserve no thanks for the changes. All that seems to be meant by the government's words on special powers 'is that they [the powers] will not be used until the next time they are used.'

Need for caution and reserve over Stormont's 'reforms' package

Letter: The CSJ's analysis of the government's reform programme was pertinent, and Craig's view of the proposals on the Special Powers Act most revealing of the government's true intent. It is significant that the reforms had to be 'explained' to the Unionist Party, an obvious indication that little was really to be conceded, though Wilson had to be convinced of the contrary. The proposals are vague, and a points system could easily be manipulated by Unionists; 'the Derry area plan would clearly seem to be the forerunner of a gigantic gerrymander'; the denial of one-man-one-vote is scandalous. Nationalists must not too readily accept Unionist reforms, since this would provide the government with the excuse it needs for dithering. Pressure must be kept up both in Northern Ireland and in Britain until the principles of one-man-one-vote and fair electoral boundaries are conceded.

Belfast Telegraph

Threat to link with UK: Derry should pause and reflect!

Letter: Hume has clearly stated that the civil rights movement is not against the Union. 'The vast majority of us [catholics] do not want to force you [protestants] out of the Union you cherish and a very great number of us would not even want to talk you out of it either. These are hard facts - mostly hard economic facts.' A failure to meet civil rights demands will serve only to weaken the Union.

Case of a 1926 strike [Letter]

[see IN, 28 November, Continuing protest until citizens' rights are granted]

A social revolution

Letter: It is time that the government stood up to Paisley: it banned the 5 October civil rights march because the Apprentice Boys had arranged their own parade first; Armagh presents the same situation in reverse, and in this case the Paisleyite march should be banned. There can only be harmonious community relations when there is complete equality of treatment.

'United we cannot lose!'

Letter: The people of Northern Ireland must sort out their internal problems without interference from London or Dublin. Civil rights can be secured in this context. 'I am sure that over two-thirds of the catholic people are in no hurry with the removal of the border. I would not like unity of Ireland under force of arms or our protestant people coerced against their will. Let all republicans or others of their way of thinking go down South and put their house in order first!'

Fermanagh MPs challenged

Letter: Allegations of discrimination against protestants in co Monaghan made by West and Brooke are unfounded. Good community relations and opportunities for protestants exist in that county.

News Letter

Views on BBC

Letter: The BBC tries to be as fair as possible in its presentation of different political views, and has received praise for this fact.

Miss Sinclair - on the road to a new Damascus

Letter: Sinclair, preaching the virtues of what she chooses to call 'normal politics' in Northern Ireland, should go to Moscow or Prague and demand for people living there rights which exist in Northern Ireland. 'Failing this, might I suggest that she lead a crusade to establish the right of students - Roman catholic and protestant - to go to the university of their choice in Dublin.'

Belfast Telegraph

More scenes . . . but a diversion helps O'Neill

Feature: [Synopsis of civil rights developments, 26 October-3 November.]

Catholics have 2-1 majority in Derry votes for parliament

Report: The Catholic Registration Association releases figures demonstrating that catholic voters in parliamentary elections for Derry outnumber other voters by a ratio of 2:1.

Irish News

Catholic vote in Derry now over double all others

Report: The right to vote, says one speaker at the meeting of the Catholic Registration Association, should be accorded to all adult citizens.

Needy families in Tempo wait for new houses

Report: Enniskillen rural council has built 11 houses in 40 years in the small community of Tempo. Though the population is at least 75% catholic in composition, only two of these houses, and those substandard, have been allocated to catholic families.

25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top

30 November, 1968

Irish News

All quiet, but tense in city of Armagh

Leader: Armagh is quiet but tense as today's civil rights march draws near. Organisers have not re-routed the procession, nor have they been asked by police to do so, and are making every effort to ensure that civil rights demonstrators remain under control. The two primates of all-Ireland reiterate their call for restraint, and are supported in this by the Armagh civil rights committee. The right of counter-demonstrators to express their point of view is acknowledged, and local people are urged not to respond to provocation. McAnerney stresses the peaceful and non-provocative intent of the mach, which is demonstrating for British rights, which surely none can find offensive. Craig's recent speech is condemned by NICRA as 'totally irresponsible' and unbecoming of a minister; the Association urges restraint in Armagh. Non-violent agitation will go on until civil rights are granted. The cabinet is accused by the executive of the Republican Clubs of stirring sectarian strife in an attempt to destroy the civil rights movement; restraint is called for in Armagh.

News Letter

Barricades up in Armagh

Leader: Paisley supporters take up position in Armagh in the early hours of the morning. A member of the PD says that the group will march through Shaftesbury Square in Belfast in order to draw Paisley back from Armagh, but Paisley asserts, 'I am sure the people of Sandy Row will defend the square.' Civil rights supporters are expected to come from all parts of Northern Ireland, while Paisley expects support from Belfast and Scotland. Armagh people see a clash as inevitable. The civil rights support is likely to be made up of 'republicans from Eire as well as Ulster nationalists.' Feeling in Armagh is that a re-routing decision might help avoid a clash between rival marchers.

Peaceful day plea by Craig

Report: Craig feels that the police can maintain control in Armagh with co-operation from both sides. 'Revolutionary street riots,' he asserts, will not serve to enhance the well-being of the people. People should heed the government's pledge to investigate grievances. He says that his recent pronouncements do not mean that he is out of line with cabinet policy. MPs will table questions at Stormont relating to the controversial speech. Craig professes to be in favour of the government's reform programme, but objects to 'the talk that there is something rotten in the state of Northern Ireland.' Murnaghan calls for his resignation.

Belfast Telegraph

I agree with reforms - Craig

Report: Craig says that he agrees with the government's reforms, and feels that an ombudsman will reveal the falsity of many allegations. He calls on all sides in Armagh to obey the police. 'Revolutionary street riots' will not serve the cause of progress, and people should take comfort from the government's promise to investigate and remedy real grievances. The DCAC accuses him of fomenting sectarianism to vindicate his own position. The Derry Loyalists' Committee expects violence from civil rights supporters.

8,000 marchers halted near Paisley crowd

Leader: The Armagh civil rights march is prevented from proceeding along its chosen route by police when a crowd of 1,000 Paisleyites refuses to move from its path. Paisleyites, some of them armed, shout insults and sing party songs. A local civil rights leader stresses non-violence. A Paisleyite threatens the media, warning some pressmen to stop photographing events. Bunting has cancelled his parades following a ban under the Public Order Act, but Paisley's UCDC meeting goes ahead. A Belfast Telegraph reporter's camera is seized and the film removed by Paisleyites.

Unionist candidate is attacked by mob

Report: Unionist candidate for west Belfast Brian McRoberts is surrounded by a Paisleyite mob in Armagh, and escapes only with police help. Paisley accuses him of being provocative. A supporter asserts, 'we will crack some skulls today.'

Belfast Telegraph

Action in the streets - the PM's view

Report: O'Neill 'said in London that the trouble with action in the streets - however sincere the motives of those involved - "is that its results are often unpredictable and uncontrol[l]able.' He says that the government will press ahead with implementing the commission, agreeing that Derry has its problems; however, the economic hopes for the city are rising. The governor of the Irish Society praises O'Neill's wisdom and statesmanship.

Irish News

O'Neill admits Derry has some 'squalid conditions of life'

Report: He also hopes that possible investors in Derry have not been put off the city by recent trouble there, but adds that prospects are good so long as calmness can prevail. He concludes his speech with the words, 'let us lift Derry out of the turbulence of politics for a time; let us concentrate all our energies upon houses for its people, jobs for its people, a decent, fulfilled honourable life for its people - and for all its people.'

News Letter

O'Neill hopeful on Derry

Report: O'Neill says that action in the streets can lead to unpredictable and uncontrollable results. He is not pessimistic about Derry provided that conditions there can be allowed to return to normal. Undoubtedly, the city has its problems, like other cities in the UK, but the government's efforts, he says, are leading to an improved situation.


Summary: 'Pottinger Unionist Association has passed a vote of confidence in…Craig, and appealed to him to continue his stand against "those who are opposed to the constitution of Northern Ireland".'

Dundonald backs PM

Report: Dundonald Unionist Association passes unanimously a resolution reading, 'this branch declares its complete support for the prime minister Capt O'Neill and his cabinet in his efforts to foster better relations between all sections of the community irrespective of class or creed.'

'Vulgar riotings deplored'

Report: While deploring demonstrations and riots, Withers recognises, the 'sad history behind these manifestations of anger.' He urges, 'we must dedicate ourselves to the breaking down of these natural barriers between rival groups in our society, and in seeking the full integration of every citizen into a full civil life, enjoying full rights and privileges and demanding a free acceptance of responsibility.'

Belfast Telegraph

Stormont 'not trusted' while Craig remains

Report: The chairman of the Northern Ireland Federation of Young Liberals says that the government's reforms can be seen as a first instalment of change. Proportional representation should never have been abolished in Northern Ireland. The government cannot be trusted while Craig remains a part of it. The conference is adjourned to allow delegates to join the Armagh march.

Irish News

Craig attacked over speech

Report: The DCAC accuses Craig of sectarianism and provocation. The sentiments he has expressed will be rejected, it adds, by all right-thinking people, but he and any government of which he remains a part must bear the responsibility for any consequences of the inflammatory remarks.

News Letter

Citizens['] Action condemns speech [Report]

Words to remember today

Editorial: Craig's recent remarks in a speech to Unionists were ill-advised and unhelpful in the present situation. They were also damaging to the claim of unanimity advanced by the cabinet. 'He has publicly proclaimed a bias [against catholics] which can only be damaging to the government and to Ulster.' Today's possible confrontation in Armagh is reason enough to contemplate the words of the primates and to forget those of Craig.

Irish News

Craig speech alarms both Nationalists and Unionists

Report: Unionist circles are viewing with alarm the speech made by Craig in which he made an attack on the catholic church. It is felt that the minister has made a 'fatal blunder' which may damage irreparably community relations in Northern Ireland. Fitt feels that the remarks were calculated to inflame sectarian passions at this already difficult time, and that they will be rejected by the majority of people. Currie concurs with these sentiments, and says that the civil rights campaign must not be permitted to degenerate into a sectarian squabble.

Towards dialogue

Editorial: The Newman Society's call for dialogue to achieve reconciliation is welcome: 'it is right to make its call when the need for social justice which weighs most heavily on the minority, has taken the place of political agitation.' Discussions of justice are however labelled by government as political agitation. The civil rights movement has had to force Stormont to listen to its case. 'Men of goodwill on each side of the political and religious fence can co-operate without any watering down of their respective allegiances.'

People's Democracy meeting at City Hall today

Report: The PD will hold a meeting in Belfast and express solidarity with marchers in Armagh.

News Letter

PD meeting at City Hall [Report]

Belfast Telegraph

Extra police on duty

Report: The PD hands out leaflets in Belfast, while a minor loyalist demonstration takes place elsewhere in the city.

[IN, NL, 2 December]

The good sense of students will win

Report: The QUB vice-chancellor says that the great majority of students disapprove of the irresponsible action of the small minority. Tough action, advocated by some, is not being taken because it is believed that good sense will win out. 'We can condemn the irresponsible and inconsiderable actions of the few without the repression of the many.'

Irish News

400,000 students back North's CR movement

Report: The NUS conference passes a motion of support for the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, while stressing the need for non-violence. Some concern is felt at the implications for students of the Special Powers Act. Many people in Britain, it is claimed, are ignorant of the current situation in Northern Ireland and of the working of the Special Powers Act. There have been no more than ten complaints of police pressure exerted upon students, but this is still a cause for concern.

Faulkner talks to PD men

Report: Faulkner, speaking in Newry, briefly talks to local PD members. A local councillor expresses the suspicion felt by people in south Down that certain forces are working against employment prospects there, and asserts that government must undertake a concerted drive to allay such fears.

Belfast Telegraph

Call for one-man one-vote

Report: The chairman of the Oxford Campaign for Social Justice in Northern Ireland calls on the Northern Ireland government, if it believes in British justice, to introduce one-man-one-vote.

Irish News

Craig's order may be challenged in Lords

Report: The case of Craig's ban on organisations called 'Republican Clubs' is now to be heard by the house of lords.

News Letter

Ban on Republican Clubs to go to house of lords [Report]

[BT, 29 November]

Irish News

The parable of the Orange Grove

Letter: 'In a certain Orange Grove, many miles north of the Boyne, there was a Party and a Victim. Many moons ago certain members of the Party fell upon the Victim and took from him his suit, shirt, shoes and socks, and then taunted him with being a wretched naked rascal. From time to time the Victim murmured but each time he was beaten. And it came to pass one day that a great Crowd assembled on a height nearby, a Crowd in numbers 50 times that of the Party. Seeing which the Victim began to cry out in a loud voice for his clothes. Whereupon certain members of the Party fell upon him, beat him with sticks and poured icy cold water upon him. Now the Chief of the Crowd…was exceeding wroth when he saw this. He cried out "many strange tales have I heard in my own Country, but this I have been able to view with mine own eyes even though from a distance. Why do you so treat this Victim who is kin to me as also to you? Give him back his goods or it shall be the worse for you." Now the Captain of the Party was a good man, but he had a policy which was to allow his fringe men to commit certain small crimes, in the hope that they would retain him as Captain, thus he could prevent them committing great crimes. When he heard the words of the Chief he conferred with the Party. Then he came to the Victim and gave back his shoes, socks, shirt and coat. The Victim thanked him for these but asked also for his trousers. The Captain said unto him "I shall meditate for several summers on the disposition of thy trousers." Whereupon the Victim cried out in a loud voice. Hearing which the Chief of the Crowd was very wroth and he said "give this Victim also his trousers." After a short time the Captain did as commanded. Now the Victim, being fully clothed, felt equal. He became friendly with many members of the Party and they all worked together in harmony in the Orange Grove from thenceforth.'

Belfast Telegraph

Speech condemned

Letter: Craig should resign following his sectarian speech that was clearly designed to embarrass O'Neill. Politics in Northern Ireland must be raised to a higher plane.

Irish News

House allocation in Strabane

Letter: Families in Strabane are housed in the order of their application. A points system may be useful in determining cases of special need, but the current system is not discriminatory.

News Letter

Points system not favoured in Newtownards

Report: Newtownards borough council disapproves of a housing points, system, citing the lack of discretion it affords to councillors. Such a system was tried in the past, but did not meet with the body's approval.

Belfast Telegraph

Charges rejected

Summary: Two members of Clones Urban Council, one a representative of Sinn Féin, the other of the Protestant Association, reject allegations of anti-protestant discrimination in co Monaghan.

Introduction     1968:   | June | July | August | September | October | November | December |
November 1968:   | 1-2 | 4-9 | 11-16 | 18-23 | 25-30 |
25 - 30 November:   | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | Top |

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

go to the top of this page go to the top of this page
Last modified :