Sinn Féin vice-president Gerry Adams ousts Gerry Fitt to become MP for West Belfast In the General Election

On 9 June 1983 a General Election was held in Northern Ireland. Within an hour of the count starting at the City Hall in Belfast, it was clear Sinn Féin vice-president Gerry Adams was going to become the next Member of Parliament (MP) for West Belfast, possibly by a landslide. When the result was finally announced,

It may not quite have been a landslide but it was certainly beyond all doubt.

In his acceptance speech, Gerry Adams referenced the death of a British soldier who died in a bomb blast in West Belfast earlier that day,

That was the responsibility of the British Government he said, the soldier shouldn't have been on the streets of Belfast.

After the speeches, in an effort to prevent scuffles between Sinn Féin supporters and loyalists, the newly elected Westminster representative and his party workers were escorted from Belfast City Hall by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). This tactic paid off,

The groups managed to exchange nothing more than a few insults and catcalls.

The out-going MP Gerry Fitt who has served West Belfast since 1966 leaves City Hall through a maze of reporters, all keen for him to comment on the election results.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 June 1983.