WHEN CAPT. O'NEILL called the General Election for February 24th it was not to trounce the parliamentary opposition, but rather to assert the dominance of himself and his class within the Unionist party. The previous election had taken place in 1965 and another was not legally due until 1970. The Unionist party held 37 of the 52 seats on the dissolution, the remainder was divided as follows: 9 Nationalists, 2 Northern Ireland Labour, 2 Republican Labour, 1 Liberal and One National Democrat.
ON REACHING DERRY a large reception was held for the marchers outside the Guild Hall. Later that evening riots broke out between Derry youths and the police and during the night a large force of reportedly drunken R,U.C, men entered the Bogside area and indiscriminately smashed windows and assaulted bystanders, There was widespread protest at this apparently unprovoked attack on the Bogside by the R.U.C. and despite demands for an independent inquiry a special Police inquiry was set up under Inspector Bailie to investigate allegations concerned with the R,U.C.
ON OCTOBER THE 9TH students of Queen's University Belfast staged a sit down outside the Guildhall in Derry to protest against the police brutality of October the 5th. This was in effect the beginning of the Peoples' Democracy as a loosly-knit movement. The Government showed immediate concern by sending two senior Civil Servants to a mass meeting of the students. It was evident that the Government was not happy about the nonsectarian stance of the students.
ARE CATHOLICS really discriminated against in the North. If so, who carries out the policy, and how? What is the evidence to support the often repeated Catholic accusation that they get a raw deal in housing, jobs and political representation? Intra-communal discrimination is manifest in disparities of income; inequality of employment opportunities; different unemployment and emigration rates; allociation of housing and the share out of political representation.
ONCE UNIONISM had secured constitutional power and finally survived the threat of the Boundary Commission it rapidly extended its power over the Protestant population of the Six Counties. It utilised all its resources to crush all other organisations with any power and any manifestation of discontent among the Protestant working classes. It did this primarily by institutionalising sectarianism.
GLADSTONE REFERRED to Ireland in his private papers as " Ireland, Ireland island in the West, that coming storm." For the English, Ireland has been the source of intermittent gales for five centuries and now again Britain is watching the massing of clouds and the rumbling of thunder. Ireland has been the primary source of political discontent and trouble since the reign of Henry VII. It has been the area where the imperialism and exploitation of the growing power of Great Britain has been at its most marked and most savage.
What is probably a unique event in the annals of ecclesiastical diplomacy took place last month. Last month, without wanting to, George Otto Simms became the head of a Church. Perhaps only Pope John equalled this. Dr. Simms could, in charity, be called a modest, gentle, scholarly and timid man. He embodies the essence of Anglican spirituality. This spirit, like Dr. Simms, is fostered in a cloistered, academic atmosphere and thus is knowledgable, wise and lacking in social courage.
ON OCTOBER 11th, the second consultative assembly of the world's bishops meets in Rome. Once again the Synod will assemble under the presidency of Cardinal Conway, who will attempt to steer it safely through the troubled waters of episcopal discontent as he did so effectively last time. On that occasion the Curia hadarranged the agenda before the bishops Once again they have arranged the arrived.
THE BISHOP-ELECT of Kerry, Father Eamonn Casey, now just finishing his work at the Catholic Housing Aid Society in London, hasn't given his notice of elevation to the bishopric "much thought". "Until the day I finally hoist my sail and get out of her and arrive in Kerry I won't be able to sit down and even think about it for myself." He speaks between leaps and bounds-to the door, to the telephone, to the top of the stairs to shout down a request or, occasionally, a very polite command. "I don't want to rule but I have to.
ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL in the Republic has never known the same financial rewards, glamour, or the magnetic appeal enjoyed by the game in such countries as Britain, Spain and Italy. But if one team, through the years, has come close to achieving even a small measure of that appeal it is unquestionably Shamrock Rovers. Their successes have been consistent and considerable; their support is drawn from a wider spectrum than is represented by the partisan regulars who trek up to Glenmalure Park on Sunday afternoons.