British soldiers are protecting Catholic families in Belfast following intimidation.

Tensions in Belfast have increased in recent days, with Catholic families living in predominantly Protestant areas subjected to intimidation. British troops are now maintaining a presence in residential areas to ensure the safety of Catholics who are under threat of attack.

Thomas Meli and his family are preparing to leave their home on Ainsworth Avenue. Recent attacks on them and the family business a fish and chip shop by groups of men means they no longer feel safe here,

My children and my parents have suffered.

As social worker Father Seán Lowry explains, families living on the fringes of Protestant areas, or isolated Catholic families in mainly unionist neighbourhoods are coming under pressure to vacate their homes.

In his role of director of the Co-ordinating Centre for Relief, he has received many calls for emergency assistance from families who have been informed that they must move out of their homes by 12 July.

It's very widespread, we’re getting calls for help from all over the city.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 July 1972. The reporter is John McAleese.