Night of Shame for Belfast


About this Item

Kevin Healy reports on a night of violence that saw gunfire on Hooker Street where Protestants joined with the RUC in a fierce attack.

  • Title
    Violence Erupts in Belfast
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Kevin Healy (Reporter)
    Martin Wallace (Reporter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    RTÉ News
  • Clip title
    Night of Shame for Belfast
  • Extended description

    Houses, a public house and a bookmakers shop were set on fire. The shooting intensified as people ran for cover. As the trouble increased, men threw stones at the police from the roof of Divis Street flats, where the body of a man was found this morning.

    The shooting spread to the Falls area and Shankill and one of the worst areas affected was Percy Street, where there was long machine gun bursts between civilians and police.

    There were reports that the B-Specials were providing guns to Protestants in the Shankill and that police were driving the streets randomly shooting at anyone.

    The rioters turned to sniping throughout the night and the 'staccato burst of machine gun fire' could be heard until this morning.

    Kevin Healy describes how he was frightened by the scenes and how it reminded an American colleague of Harlem although it seemed easier to get guns here. Healy describes it as "a night of shame for Belfast".

    Martin Wallace describes the events of the previous night as "the worst flare up in the streets since the 1920s". Wallace believes that the Stormont government must take action to prevent a repetition. Wallace reports on the likelihood of British troops being deployed on the streets of Belfast. Curfews are also a possibility in the city.

  • Information

    A RTÉ News report following a night of violence in Belfast broadcast on 15 August 1969.

    The accompanying image is taken from RTÉ Television News footage from 15 August, 1969 and features people from Divis Street, Belfast giving their reactions to the night of violence.

  • Local keywords
    Northern Ireland 1969, August 1969, Belfast, Kevin Healy, Gun Fire, Hooker Street, RUC, Divis Street, Falls Road, Shankill Road, Percy Street, B-Specials, Martin Wallace, British Troops, Stormont
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland, Belfast
  • 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)