Northern Ireland in the 1960s and it's relations with the ROI

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  • Created by: Faolan
  • Created on: 10-05-15 12:39

Improving the economy

  • £900 million of investment and the creation of 5 economic zones to update existing industries and attract new ones
  • Modernisation of the road and and railway networks 
  • Co-op ration with the Dublin based Irish trade union Congress. Their support was important for economic development
  • The establishment of an economic council for under Brian Faulkner to drive forward the modernisation of the economy 
  • The creation of a ministry of development to drive economic revival
  • The establishment of a new city called Craigavon
  • The development of a new university in coleraine
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  • Multinational firms such as Michelin, Du Pont and DCI opened factories in NI
  • The construction of a motorway system begun 
  • An oil refinery was opened in Belfast
  • A new airport was under development 
  • Links with the Republic of Ireland resulted in the signing of an agreement on the supply of electricity from the south
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  • Over 35,000 new jobs were created during 1960s but at the same time 20,000 were lost due to thw ailing traditional industries such as lined manufactur
  • Between 1963 and and 69 the government had to five money to shipbuilders H&W to keep it afloat
  • Unemployment averaged between 7 and 8 % 
  • Several companies refused grants to open factories slowest of the rive Bank seeing the area as too remote 
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O'Neills Political Policies

  • Hand of friendship wit Dublin
  • On January 1965 the first face to face meeting between Irelands leader since 1925 took place at stormont when O'Niell met with Taoiseach Sean Lemass .
  • In 1967 he met with Lemass' successor, Jack Lynch
  •  Hand of friendship with Nationalists
  • Visited Cardinal William Conway, Archbishop of Armagh and spiritual leader of NI catholics
  • Offered official condolences on the death of Pope John XXII
  • Visited Catholic school and hospitals
  • Increased the financial support provided for catholics hospitals
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Unionist reactions to O'Niells policies

  • There was both support and opposition within the Union community for O'Niells attempts to change Northern Ireland.
  • O'Niell never really had support from his own cabinet-OUP- O'Niell never told his cabinet about the meeting with Sean Lemass 
  • Brian Faulkner condemned O'Niells failure to inform his cabinet 
  • There was also strong objection from the moderator of the free Presbyterian Church, Reverend Ian Paisley. He also rejected any link with the south especially because of Articles II and III of its constitution laid claim to the whole of Ireland
  • Paisleys support grew throughout the decade as many unionists grew to fear O'Niells policies.
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Violence and Discrimination

  • TENSIONS increased in 1966 with the commemorations for the 5th anniversary of the easter rising amd the battle of the Somme. Rioting broke out. 
  • Two Irish  Catholics dies in may and June 1966, the result of a series of gun attacks by the UVF. O'Niell responded by banning the organisation. 
  • As the situation worsened O'Niell bad support within his part was weakening. In 1966 he revealed a plot by his party backbencher to remove him.
  • Ther was also growing opposition from deputy Pm Brian Faulknet and and agricultural Minister Harry west
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Nationalists reactions-satisfaction

  • Catholic leader, political and religious reacted warmly to O'Niells attempts to hold out the hand of friendship.
  • The visit of Lemass to stormont was followed by the nationalist part to take its role of official opposition in stormont for the first time in its history 
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Nationalists reactions- Dissapointment

  • There was outrage at the decision to name the new city linking portadown and Lurgan after NI first Pm- Craigavon
  • They felt economic policies favoured the Protestant east at the expense of the Catholic west 
  • Unemployment was higher west of the Bann
  • Despite significant cross somme it protest, a new university was built in coleraine rather than the mainly nationalist city derry. Nis second city 
  • No significant attempts were made to increase catholic membership of various health and educational bodies
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NICRA- Origins

  • Was established In 1967
  • Took inspiration from ...
  • US were Martin Luther Kings campaign had employed non-violent methods of of civil disobedience to achieve it aims
  • At the same time there were other sources of encouragement to the perios following the NICRA establishment following the  notably french student demonstration that took place in France during 1968
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  • Achieve one man one vote. This would allow all people over the age of 18 to vote. 
  • Ensure the fair allocation of council housing
  • End gerrymandering 
  • Prevent discrimination  in the allocation of government jobs of which there was wide spread evidence 
  • Remove the operation  of the special powers act which allowed the government to arrest and detain people without holding a trial!
  • Disband the B specials
  • Establish a police ombudsman 
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Support and reaction

  • Catholics who had benefited From the introduction of free education in the late 1940s 
  • They had seen the growing self confidence of catholics elsewhere in the world.
  • Liberal protestants who sympathised with some of NICRAs demands and who believed making NI a fairer place would undermine demands for a united Ireland
  • Other group including communists academics and trade unionists
  • However unionists felt that NICRA was just a front for the IRA 
  • Others felt it would undermine  the position of protestant and the existence of NI
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NICRA events

  • Marching for houses- NICRA 'S first March was held on 24 August 1968 between Coalisland and Dungannon. This followed the decision of Dungannon council deciding to give a council house to a single protestant 19 year old woman over a Catholic woman with a large family. The even passed off without an incident.
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NICRA Events

Violence in Derry

  • In order to highlight inequalities in Londonderry 's corporations housing policy a March was arranged for 5th October 1968.
  • In response the Apprentice Boys organisation threatened to hold a rival March. The government responded by banning the holding of any March however, NICRA rejected this ban. 
  • Although the crowd that turned up on 5th October was relatively small, it was accompanied by RTE which meant televised pictures beamed across the world showing the heavy handed tactics used by the police to break up the rally.
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NICRA events

Further NICRA going ahead with marches made the situation worse quite often violence

  • NICRA was going ahead with banned marches
  • Marches were seen as provocative, especially when they went through protestant areas
  • NICRAS marches Coming into contact with Unionist counter demonstration
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Five Point Reform Programme

As a result of unrest a reform programme was announced on 22 November. It included 5 main proposals, all of which were to be in place by the end of 1971.

  • The allocation of council housing on a points system. 
  • The replacement of Londonderry corporation by a development commission 
  • The removal of part of special power acts 1922
  • Local government reforms, including the ending of extra votes for business owners
  • The appointment of an ombudsman to investigate complaints.
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Calm before storm

In short term protests and counter protests continued. O'Niell appeared on television to stress the starkness of the situation. He asked NICRA leaders to restore calm- "ulster at crossroads speech"  there was additional problems to deal with also

  • The reforms had caused dismay among those Unionists who opposed concessions to the threat of violence and who now felt that their position was under threat 
  • O'Niell faced further opposition from within his own party with home affairs minister William Craig condemning his television speech and arguing that he was acting under pressure from the British government Craig was sacked.
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A more radical movement emerges

The People's Democracy- NICRA stopped marching, it's decisions were ignored by the recently formed People's Democracy.

  • One man one vote
  • Fair boundaries 
  • Houses on need
  • Jobs on merit
  • Free speech
  • Repeal of the special powers act

Unhappy with the limited nature of O'Niells 5 point reform programme. They announced they were holding a March between Belfast and Derry

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Ambush at Burntollent

Ambush at Burntollent bridge- Much of the march went through protestant areas, the  police enforced  different routes to avoid confrontation. But on the third day the marchers were the target of an ambush at Burntollent Bridge, an attack that police did little to stop. Tensions were further raised in Derry when police rampaged through nationalist areas

Reactions- NICRA now started to march again. The first March was held in Newry and again violence resulted. O'Niell established the Cameron commission to investigate the increasing violence. Two cabinet members resigned. O'Niell was too weak to control this situation.  People called for his resignation. O'Neill called a genral elections to prove he had public support.

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The Cross Roads Election

The election took place on 24th February 1969 however the result was not what O'Niell had wanted.

  • There was a reduction in Unionist support and divisions of loyalty among the OUP elected
  • There was little or no evidence of the support from catholic voters 
  • O'Niell who had never had to face a challenger in his own constituency, polled only 1400 votes more than his opponent Ian P
  • O'Niell struggled on for 2 months, but with his party now hopelessly divided and further polictal deterioration O'Niell resigned.
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A New Leader

O'Niell was succeeded by his cousin Major James Chichester Clarke. He had resigned from government less than a week earlier in protest at O'Niells decision to introduce one man, one vote in time for the next council elections. 

Then Chichester Clarke had argued that the timing of the measure was wrong- he said he would continue with O'Niells reforms

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