Previewing the "Petticoat Election"


About this Item

The election for Mid Ulster's Westminster seat saw the first straight contest between two women in Northern Ireland politics and was labelled "the petticoat election" by the media.

  • Title
    The Petticoat Election
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Mike Burns (Reporter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    This Week
  • Clip title
    Previewing the "Petticoat Election"
  • Extended description

    In this clip, Mike Burns speaks to the two candidates Anna Forrest and Bernadette Devlin, who outline their policies in the run up to polling day.

    Mrs. Anna Forrest is the 43 year old widow of the man whose death caused the by-election, the former Unionist MP, George Forrest.

    A newcomer to the political platform, she says she stands for "prosperity and for peace, for equality and for harmony, and for human decency and Christian charity amongst all people".

    Forrest also talks about the impact of violence in Northern Ireland on agriculture and industry. She points the finger firmly at the civil rights demonstrators and the People's Democracy movement as the roots of the problem.

    Fr. James McGee spoke to Mike Burns about why he is supporting Bernadette Devlin and believes there is smear campaign to associate her with communism.

    Bernadette Devlin also speaks to Burns about the charges of communism that are being made against her and how these charges are affecting her campaign. Devlin believes that the smear campaign is having a limited affect. Devlin says "the only way forward for Ireland is in a socialist republic". Devlin anticipates that she will win the seat at Westminster.

  • Information

    A RTÉ News Radio report by Mike Burns featuring interviews with by-election candidates, Bernadette Devlin and Anna Forrest.
    This report was broadcast as part of the ‘This Week’ programme on 13 April 1969.

    ‘This Week’ was a RTÉ Radio production featuring daily news and analysis of the week’s top stories, with interviews, comment, opinion and the voices of the newsmakers. ‘This Week’ was presented by Mike Burns and Sean Duignan.

    The accompanying image shows Don McManus from RTÉ News interviewing Bernadette Devlin on the day of the election.

  • Local keywords
    Northern Ireland 1969, Bernadette Devlin, Stormont, Election, Mike Burns, Anna Forrest, George Forrest, People's Democracy, Fr. James McGee, Westminster
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Wars and Conflict
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)