James Callaghan in Northern Ireland

EXHIBITION : NORTHERN IRELAND 1969

About this Item

James Callaghan, the British Home Secretary, comes to Northern Ireland on a three-day fact-finding mission. Callaghan was greeted by dignitaries, Mr. Chichester-Clarke, Lord Gray, Mr. Oliver Wright, and Lt. Gen. Sir Ian Freeland.

  • Title
    Home Secretary Visits Northern Ireland
  • 1st Broadcast
    29/08/1969
  • Contributor
    Rodney Rice (Reporter)
  • Clip Duration
    00:13:43
  • Material Type
    Video
  • Series title
    Seven Days
  • Clip title
    James Callaghan in Northern Ireland
  • Extended description

    James Callaghan, the British Home Secretary, comes to Northern Ireland on a three-day fact-finding mission. Callaghan was greeted by dignitaries, Mr. Chichester-Clarke, Lord Gray, Mr. Oliver Wright, and Lt. Gen. Sir Ian Freeland.

    Rodney Rice reports on the Home Secretary's meeting with Protestant church leaders, a visit to a refugee centre in Belfast and to the Shankill and Falls Roads.

    It is estimated that there are approximately 5,000 people who have been made homeless as a result of the riots and some of these are being cared for at the refugee centre. Callaghan spoke to the organisers of the centre about their work and the services offered by the centre. However, he did not meet the refugees who were in the next room, ready to tell their stories.

    Catholics at the refugee centre speak to RTÉ while residents of the Falls and Shankill make their views known. One man describes the Northern Ireland government as a "puppet government under a false form of democracy". He also talks about his attitude to Ian Paisley who he believes "preaches hatred about the Roman Catholic community". He does not trust the RUC who he believes to be aligned with Mr. Paisley. Another woman describes Paisley as "not right in the head".

    A woman on the Shankill Road talks about what she told Callaghan about her experiences of the riots. At the Falls Road, one man talks about telling Callaghan of the underhand tactics of the RUC.

    The following day Mr Callaghan has meetings with Cardinal Conway and Ian Paisley. In Derry, thousands turn out and Mr Callaghan is met by John Hume and Ivan Cooper. As crowds gathered around Mr. Callaghan, some cheered and some shouted for the abolition of Stormont and the release of prisoners held under the special powers act. A steward, Vinnie Coyle, struggles to create a path through the crowds. Mr Callaghan is forced to take refuge in a house, where he had talks with the Derry Citizens Defence Committee. MP's Hume and Cooper talked to the crowds to encourage them to disperse so that Callaghan could pass. However, the people didn't disperse and Callaghan addressed them from upstairs window.

  • Information

    A ‘Seven Days’ report by Rodney Rice on the visit of the British Home Secretary, James Callaghan, to Northern Ireland.
    This report was broadcast on 29 August 1969.

    'Seven Days' began broadcasting on 26 September 1966 and was RTÉ television's flagship current affairs programme for ten years. The programme's young production team was made up of producer Lelia Doolan, directors Eoghan Harris and Dick Hill, and reporters John O'Donoghue, Brian Cleeve and Brian Farrell.

    Muiris Mac Conghail became producer of '7 Days' in 1967 when the programme was merged with another current affairs programme, 'Division'.

  • Local keywords
    Northern Ireland 1969, August 1969, British Home Secretary, James Callaghan, Chichester-Clark, Lord Gray, Oliver Wright, Ian Freeland, Rodney Rice, Refugee Centre, Falls Road, Shankill Road, Belfast, John Hume, Ivan Cooper, Vinnie Coyle, Derry Citizens Defence Committee
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland, Belfast
  • Topic
    Wars and Conflict
  • Publisher Broadcaster
    RTÉ
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ
  • Production year
    1969
  • Country of production
    Ireland
  • Original identifier
    P53900069
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
    part/extract
  • Item colour
    Black and White
  • Item sound
    Mono
  • Aspect ratio
    4:3
  • Language used
    English (eng)
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