Northern Ireland

The Rifles of the IRA

The Provisionals have graduated from the Thompson sub, to a gun that shoots down helicopters. By Kevin Myers

Belfast: The Short Strand

  • 1 December 1977
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A report by Kevin Myers on one of the poorest and most violent ghettos in Belfast.

WHERE COUNTY DOWN ends its dismal encounter with East Belfast, through the cramped and decaying streets of Ballymacarret at the rim of the River Lagan and County Antrim, lies the Short Strand, four hundred yards by four hundred yards of belliigerent Republicanism and poverty, surrounded on three sides by loyalist districts and on the fourth by the River Lagan. Its back to the East, the Strand faces Belfast city centre; which a large number of its residents have done their best to flatten.

The Guildford Four: And one law for the Irish

The appeal by an English girl and three Irishmen, currently being heard at the Old Bailey in London, 'says something most unpalatable about the attitudes of English courts to Irish people and their acquaintances'. John Shirley wrote the ITV documentary 18 Months to Balcombe Street, and is co-author of a Penguin on the English police, The Fall of Scotland Yard.


National Poll on Irish Unity

IN A NATIONAL opinion survey commmissioned by Magill and conducted by MRBI Ltd. (Market Research Bureau of Ireland Ltd.) on the attitudes to Irish unity, the recognition of a power-sharing arrangement in the North and the Catholic Church's position on a number of key related issues the following were the main findings:

Fianna Fail's Policy on the North

A central aim of Fainna Fail policy is to secure by peaceful means, the unity and independence of lreland as a democratic Republic. We totally reject the use of force as a means of achieving this aim.

A look at the Rev Ian Paisley

THE CHURCH of the Martyrs in Ravenhill Road, Belfast may possess some features of architectural interest. I didn't know, and cared less, as I tagged along at the end of the line of worshippers, endeavouring to look like a Protestant in need of spiritud guidance.

Aftermath of the Hunt report

EVERYBODY in the North awaited the Hunt Report during the uneasy lull between the two spates of killings in the last three months. The fate of the B Specials would determine which faction had gained from the tragic events of August. Furthermore the Civil Rights Association knew that whatever about their constitutional victories, which would only marginally affect the mass of Catholics, there would be no chance of keeping peace in Catholic areas so long as they lived in fear of the B Specials.

Was the August pogrom planned?

  • 1 October 1969
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BELFAST has had many organised pogroms bcfore August 1969 whose main aim has been to dispossess Catholics of their houses and jobs and to intimidate them to a point which will encourage emigration. The political advantages of a successful pogrom are obvious, one of the main fears of Protestants being the Catholic birthrate. Of course there are other political advantages for those who rally the people from the street corners by organising campaigns of looting, burning and intimidation.

The phenomenon of Paisleyism

THE ANSWER to Paisley's rise in public favour lies, of course, to a large extent in his personality. But while every fascist movement similar to Paisleyism needs the dynamism and attraction of an intelligent demagogue, its source lies fund~entally in the political forces which give rise to the movement which the demagogue dominates.