Troubles 50

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Police under attack during the civil rights demonstration in the Bogside area of Derry city. Photograph: Express Newspapers/Getty

To some, Billy McVeigh was the best rioter in Derry. “I would never take that claim,” he emphasises, “but people insist on saying it. “It was becaus(...)

How The Irish Times reported the day’s events the following morning.

For the second night in a row Derry is in flames and chaos reigns. The average age of Bogsiders involved in the fighting is reported to have risen as (...)

Bernadette McAliskey (centre) in Derry during the Battle of the Bogside. Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty

A focus on nationalism rather than internationalism will “sooner or later” take Ireland towards fascism, the veteran activist Bernadette McAliskey has(...)

Jeanette Warke wonders what the Troubles were all about – ‘Some say it was about a united Ireland. There’s no united Ireland.’ Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

In 1969, I was 25 and I had two children and was living at 16 Mountjoy Street. It was near where I was reared. We had a great childhood growing up in (...)

Civil rights campaigner Dermie McClenaghan. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

It is difficult to talk about the Battle of the Bogside without talking about what had happened prior to it. People’s Democracy was a group of studen(...)

The front page of The Irish Times  of August 13th, 1969, reporting on the previous day’s events

Derry is in flames following several hours of bitter street fighting between local residents and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). More than 100 po(...)

Author Malachi O’Doherty researched the Legion of Mary’s humanitarian role in Belfast having served as secretary of his school’s praesidium. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

The death toll during rioting in Belfast in August 1969 could have been significantly higher had it not been for the intervention of voluntary workers(...)

Con Rooney pictured at the Divis Tower, part of the Belfast estate where  the Divis Flats stood. His brother  Patrick was shot dead in their home in the flats on August 14th 1969 aged 9. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

Eight-year-old Con Rooney was terrified. “You could see the flames and hear the crackling and the sky was lit up orange, and you think it’s the end of(...)

Nine-year-old Patrick Rooney was  the first child to be killed in the Troubles in Belfast in 1969. Pictured are his  brother Con Rooney and mother Alice  at there home in Belfast. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the opening days of the Troubles. Here Susan McKay starts a week-long series of articles where she looks backs(...)

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