Civil Rights Movement Faces Dilemma


About this Item

Plans for future civil rights demonstrations are being planned throughout Northern Ireland this afternoon. 

  • Title
    Future Civil Rights Marches Questioned
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Barry Linnane (Reporter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    This Week
  • Clip title
    Civil Rights Movement Faces Dilemma
  • Extended description

    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.

    Were the marches now alienating people from supporting the movement?

    Nell McCafferty, Sean Keane, Ivan Cooper, Eamonn Melaugh and citizens of the Bogside give their views.

    Barry Linnane, in Derry, reports on the views of Nell McCafferty, Secretary of the Derry Labour Party, who is in favour of de-escalating the marching in favour an alternative approach.

    Sean Keane provides a Republican viewpoint and believes the marches, sit-downs and protest meetings should continue to demonstrate opposition to Stormont. Keane also argues that the fight for civil rights should be for both Protestants and Catholics.

    Keane’s viewpoint gains little support from Ivan Cooper, MP for Derry, who feels street demonstrations should have ended long ago. Cooper says that there should be a process of inclusive education on civil rights issues for both Protestants and Catholics. He says the problem is that Protestants despise the civil rights movement and this hatred has grown stronger than even their hatred for the IRA. Cooper argues that continuing to march on the streets only serves to alienate Protestants further from the civil rights process.

    Eamonn Melaugh does not want to provide the RUC with another excuse to baton defenceless men and women, who are merely civil rights supporters. He is proposing that people abstain from attending a judicial court of law and views this as positive action of civil disobedience.

    People of the Bogside also express their views on the meaning of civil rights and how to best achieve them.

  • Information

    A report for the 'This Week' programme broadcast on 4 May 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 Seán Duignan.

    The accompanying image is from RTÉ News footage of acivil rights march in January 1969.

  • Local keywords
    Northern Ireland 1969, Growing Tension, Civil Rights Movement, Nell McCafferty, Sean Keane, Ivan Cooper, Eamonn Melaugh, Bogside, Derry, Londonderry, Barry Linnane, Derry Labour Party, Ivan Cooper
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland, Derry
  • 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)