People's Democracy March

Category : Wars and Conflict

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People's Democracy March

As the civil rights movement gathered momentum in late 1968, the number of disturbances also increased. On 9 December 1968, the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O'Neill, went on television warning that, "Ulster is at a crossroads" and appealing for an end to the growing disorder. He attempted to reassure civil rights supporters by promising to implement a programme of genuine change. O'Neill also appealed to them to call off their street protests to allow an atmosphere for change to develop.

Eddie McAteer of the Nationalist Party and Cardinal Conway welcomed the speech. Encouraged by public reaction, O'Neill sacked William Craig, Minister of Home Affairs, from his cabinet. The civil rights movement announced a suspension of marches until 11 January 1969.

The accompanying image shows RUC men erect barriers on a street in Northern Ireland during the riots.
© RTÉ Stills Library 0130/073



People's Democracy March

Category: Wars and Conflict

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