Friday, October 26, 2018

33 Vintage Photos Showing the Hostilities in Northern Ireland During the 1970s

The Troubles is the common name for the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that spilled over at various times into the Republic of Ireland, mainland UK and mainland Europe. The Troubles began in the late 1960s and are deemed by many to have ended with the Belfast "Good Friday" Agreement of 1998, although there has been sporadic violence since then.

It was a complex conflict with multiple armed and political actors. It included an armed insurgency against the state by elements of the Catholic or nationalist population, principally waged by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) , though it also included other republican factions, with the aim of creating a united independent Ireland.

Arrayed against the IRA were a range of state forces –the Royal Ulster Constabulary or RUC, the regular British Army and a locally recruited Army unit, the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

Another angle of the conflict was sectarian or communal violence between the majority unionist or loyalist Protestant population and the minority Catholic or nationalist one. This was manifested in inter-communal rioting, house burning and expulsion of minorities from rival areas as well as lethal violence including shooting and bombing.

Arising from the loyalist community were a number of paramilitary groups, notably the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Loyalist violence’s stated aim was to halt republican violence against the state but in practice their main target was Catholic civilians. Though not the principle focus of their campaign, republicans also killed significant numbers of Protestant civilians.

The IRA called a ceasefire in 1994, followed shortly afterwards by the loyalist groups, leading to multi-party talks about the future of Northern Ireland. The conflict was formally ended with the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

Armed British soldiers impose a curfew on the Falls Road in Belfast, July 1970.

British soldiers impose a curfew on the Falls Road in Belfast, July 1970.

Armed British soldiers impose a curfew on the Falls Road in Belfast, July 1970. 

A crowd of demonstrators passing British soldiers in Leeson St. in the Falls Road area of Belfast, July 1970.

Boy throwing stones at British soldiers in Northern Ireland, 1971.

A British soldier arrests a demonstrator in Derry on Bloody Sunday 1972.

Armed British troops take up defensive positions on the Falls Road, 4th July 1970. 5 Catholics were killed, 60 injured and many homes devastated when the British Army imposed a curfew in the Falls Road.

A commandeered bus is driven backwards through a picket of women who want the violence to end during riots on the Falls Road, Belfast, 3rd July 1970.

Armed British soldiers restrain a young civilian in the streets of Belfast, 3rd July 1970.

Children mocking an Army patrol in Belfast, July 1970.

Civil rights marchers in Belfast demonstrating against British policy in Northern Ireland, 10th July 1970.

A British soldier searching a Belfast teenager, 1971.

An armed British soldier on patrol in Belfast, 24th March 1971.

A woman offers a cup of tea to a soldier manning a check point in a Belfast street, 20th April 1971.

British troops searching a civilian in Belfast, 12th August 1971. 

A car explodes after troops carried out a controlled explosion of a suspected bomb in Belfast, 17th November 1971.

A young woman injured during a shooting incident in Belfast is carried out of a chemists shop by ambulance men, 28th November 1971.

Schoolboys giggling while a soldier searches them in a street in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, 7th December 1971.

Armed British soldiers on patrol in Lisbon Street, Belfast, during the Official IRAs unconditional ceasefire, 1972.

Firemen tend to a wounded victim of an Irish Republican Army car bomb explosion in Donegal Street, Belfast. The blast killed 6 people and injured 146, 1972. 

 Members of the Gordon Highlanders on patrol, 1973.

British soldiers man a checkpoint, Belfast, 1973.

The aftermath of a terrorist bombing, 1972.

A soldier fires off a baton round, Northern Ireland, 1972.

A British Army Humber Pig passes through a burning barricade, 1972.

On patrol in Little Patrick Street, Belfast, 1973.

Members of 321 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, detonate a device near the Irish border, 1975.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, man a watchtower in Crossmaglen, South Armagh, 1977.

Members of 321 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, with a defused 660lbs ammonium nitrate bomb, Omagh, 1974.

A British Army base in South Armagh, 1977.

An RUC officer and Royal Military Policeman stand guard by a bombed building, 1979.

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