Growing concerns over the polarisation of the Protestant and Catholic communities in Derry.

The River Foyle runs the centre of Derry. The east bank of the Foyle, known as the Waterside is a predominately Protestant area while the west bank of the Foyle is mainly Roman Catholic.

Craigavon Bridge is the only bridge connecting these two banks and many Protestants and Catholics have crossed that bridge to live in the comparative security of people from their own background.

The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Dr Robert Eames is gravely concerned about the polarisation of the two communities that has taken place since the rise of the Troubles in 1968 and 1969.

A lot of people are moving across the river to be more aligned with perhaps what they would look on as their traditional background, and we're getting a complete polarisation of the city.

The church, teachers, educationists, social workers and politicians are worried there will come a point where people are be totally polarised. Mayor of Derry councillor Hugh O'Doherty has noticed,

It’s been a gradual thing, if the trend continues it could become even more serious.

He does not blame intimidation for people wishing to move. While they are afraid,

It’s a fear of isolation really.

While Derry needs more bridges, Hugh O'Doherty does not think this would solve the problem. He is unwilling offer on the spot solutions as he feels they need to be discussed by the parties involved. At this point, he feels it important to draw attention to what is happening.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 June 1977. The reporter is Seán Ó hÉalaí.