06: Growing Tension

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.