1968: The Long March is a special one-off documentary presented by Miriam O'Callaghan to mark the 50th anniversary of Civil Rights protests in Northern Ireland.

The documentary focuses on three specific marches which occurred between the spring of 1968 to the summer of 1969; in August, from Coalisland to Dungannon; in October in Derry and January of 1969 – the Martin Luther King inspired 'Long March' that ended in serious violence in Burntollet.

MOC-with-civil-rights-activist-and-chief-executive-of-STEP-South-Tyrone-Empowerment-Programme-Bernadette-McAlliskey
Miriam with civil rights activist and chief executive of South Tyrone Empowerment Programme, Bernadette McAlliskey

Over the course of one year, those protests went from being a local issue about housing and voting rights in Derry to becoming a national crisis which gained global attention.

Miriam-OCallaghan-with-Eamonn-McCann-in-Derry
Miriam with Eamonn McCann in Derry

Ultimately, the events of 1968 led to a complete breakdown in law and order, the arrival of British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland, and the outbreak of ‘The Troubles’.

Looking at these historical events on a global scale, Miriam looks to the civil rights movement in America, the student protests in Paris and the anti-Vietnam protests that happened across the world.

Miriam-OCallaghan-with-Selma-Residents
Miriam O'Callaghan with Selma Residents

Throughout the doc, we will hear from Eamonn McCann, Bernadette McAliskey (Devlin), Kerry Kennedy (daughter of Robert F Kennedy), Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, and those who were right at the heart of protests in both America and Northern Ireland.

Miriam-OCallaghan-with-Kerry-Kennedy
Miriam with Kerry Kennedy

1968: The Long March airs on RTÉ One on Tuesday, 14th August at 21.35