Throughout 1969, tension increased across the sectarian and political divides.
Marches and demonstrations often ended in violent clashes. Explosions at power and water plants led to British troops guarding key installations. The IRA was originally held responsible, but it later emerged that these acts were carried out by Loyalist extremists.
Although violence took place throughout Ulster, it was Derry that became the flash point on a number of occasions. Nights of rioting in April and again in July were only a taste of what was to come in August 1969. These months would also see the first deaths of the Troubles. The following RTÉ reports give a sense of how Northern Ireland was slipping into violent conflict.
The accompanying photograph shows a general view of the Bogside in Derry on 7 May 1969.
The photographer was Peter Dorney.
© RTÉ Stills Library 2142/026
An Easter 1916 commemoration parade defies a police order not to display the tricolour over the last 400 yards of the route in Derry city centre.
News headlines from the 'This Week' radio programme give an indication of increased tension in Northern Ireland
John Hume and Ivan Cooper, discuss what they think started the violence and the need to politically address the grievances of those demonstrating.
Police and protesters are still on the streets in the Bogside area after a night of rioting in Derry.
Bernadette Devlin, Ivan Cooper and residents of the Bogside complain to RTÉ about the behaviour of the RUC the previous night.
Robert Porter, Minister for Home Affairs, answers some of the accusations made against the police and defends the original decision to ban the march.
On the Monday following a weekend of riots, appeals to keep off the streets are not being heeded.
Explosions at the Silent Valley reservoir and at another pipe link crossing the Clady river, threaten the water supply to Belfast.
More than half the houses in Belfast are without water as a result of an explosion at a water supply area.
Seán Duignan reports on a bomb left at a church in Saintfield, Belfast. The parish priest defused it by cutting a wire connected to the device.
Plans for future civil rights demonstrations are being planned throughout Northern Ireland this afternoon. With demonstrations deteriorating into violent clashes, the civil rights movement is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to continue this form of protest.
A RTÉ News report on a clash between police and youths in Derry
On the weekend of the 12 July commemorations, hundreds of youths in Derry clash with the police.
Donal Kelly reports on the scenes of destruction in Derry after the rioting of the previous night.
Eddie Barrett reports from Dungiven, Co. Derry, where elderly farmer Francis McCloskey was struck by RUC batons in a mêlée near the Orange Hall. He died 24 hours later in hospital.
Twelve people, including one policeman, were injured in last night’s disturbances. Donal Kelly reports on sectarian taunting by Catholic youths in the Bogside.
Samuel Devenney had been beaten by police officers at his home in William Street, Derry on 19 April 1969. He died from his injuries on 17 July and his funeral was covered by journalists from around the world.