A tragically missed opportunity

The newly digitised public archives for the early years of the Troubles now available on a special CAIN-PRONI site are a gold mine. Straight away my heart aches at the what-might- have- been in the official papers about setting up a new university in 1964 –5. This was Derry’s great rebuff when the city lost out to a green field site on the banks of the Bann outside Coleraine. Often recalled as a unionist plot to keep down Catholics it was like most things, never as simple as that. But  read this for a remarkable piece of prophecy.  From my memory as a schoolboy at the time, I think (subject to correction) Roy Henderson was Town Clerk for Londonderry, here writing secretly to the Prime Minister Terence O’Neill.

Extracts

However, whatever the reasons may be, the fact is that theNationalists in Londonderry – particularly those who aremembers of the Corporation – appear to have joined wholeheartedly with the Unionists in presenting a united City and a united claim for the establishment of a University in Londonderry. If the claim is successful much good may ensue locally not only socially, economically and culturally butalso perhaps politically.

If on the other hand the claim fails I foresee very great difficulties for Londonderry -difficulties °which are bound to have repercussions throughout the Province.

If in addition the Joint Anti- Submarine School at H.M.S. Sea Eagle should wind up then I shudder in contemplation of the consequences. Those consequences could conceivably follow a pattern something like this :-

(a) Local Unionists and Nationalists work together to establish a University at Londonderry;

(b) The effort fails;

(c) Disillusioned Nationalist leaders either resign or are discarded by their disillusioned followers;

(d) Sinn Fein or other extreme elements take control of the local Nationalist people;

(e) Many Unionists become disillusioned and cynical also with results which can only be guessed at;

(f) Violence would not be an impossibility.

At the time, this case may have seemed overwrought in the fastness of Stormont Castle.  At any rate O’Neill  the great reformer completely ignored it.  Had we not adopted proper planning procedures just like GB? 

The Lockwood Committee of outside experts deciding on the case for a second university had no axe to grind (although some said they exceeded their brief by naming a location). Nobody in those days foresaw the massive expansion of university education we have today, of which this “Robbins” era project was only the first step.

The Cabinet papers show anxiety over the impact over closing Magee and signs of a search for a compromise. There is no hint of overt anti –nationalism in an era when unionists were more unguarded in their public comments about nationalists than they since became. (Though they do go no about the need for ” quiet and tranquil sites” – did they think that Derry’s leafy Northland road was anything else, or was this code for a Catholic town)?  But nor is there any sign of anybody Thinking Big.   

Londonderry Corporation however gerrymandered, was solidly in favour of expanding Magee.

Teddy Jones then Attorney General and City of Londonderry MP was caught in a bind between his constituents and ministerial collective responsibility. His letter to Cecil Bateman, soon to be head of the civil service,  recounts how over tea in the members’ dining room he fends of a delegation led by a certain John Hume with a pledge to try to make Magee a constituent part of the new institution. He also fears that unionist rebels might combine with nationalists and NI Labour to defeat the university for Coleraine plan – a threat not to be contemplated (though revealing that he shares such a political thought with a civil servant.)

Intriguingly Teddy hints at the hidden agenda of the “faceless men” – (so called by the renegade Bangor Unionist MP Robert Nixon). These were leaders of he local Unionist association who behind the scenes were discouraging fellow unionists from presenting a united front with Catholics. Indeed they existed. But the main point is that they failed in Derry at least.

The Unionist mayor Albert Anderson, (later to be a Home Affairs minister during the internment period) led a great united demo to Stomont along with John Hume. It was magnificent but it was to no avail – at least in the short run.

Would a University for Derry have made all the difference and forestalled the Troubles? Not by itself perhaps. but as part of a more prudential policy towards Catholic majority areas? Or would the university in Derry have been destroyed before it got properly off the ground?.

At the very least, the saga shows a unionist community unhesitatingly plumping for local solidarity over sectarian domination and leaves us with a lesson that still applies today.

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  • Framer

    Lockwood was an Englishman and heavily influenced by the new universities there like Sussex which would supposedly be able to house students in seaside guest-houses during the off-season. Here it was to be Portrush rather than Brighton.

    Teddy Jones however plainly put his career before his constituency. He failed to vote for a university in the city he represented. His letter tells all.

    Had Derry got its university from Lockwood the troubles could have been averted.

  • Dr Concitor

    The real tragedy was that the most potent leader in a generation to emerge from the unionists was Paisley who was determined to lead his people up a blind alley for 40 years.

  • How exactly would a university in Derry have fixed the problems of one man, one vote, gerrymandering, discrimination etc? As counter-factuals go, this is one of the more ridiculous.

  • Brian Walker

    garibaldi, Better informed people take it more seriously. They include John Hume. ,

    In any case I said:

    “Not by itself perhaps. but as part of a more prudential policy towards Catholic majority areas” – and more besides.

    in the event all of your agenda was substantially enacted for the public sector by 1971, but under pressure and by that time, too little to late.

  • lover not a fighter

    Its a pity that the Unionists that decided to place the university in Coleraine had not been better (or should that be more broadly) educated.

  • “They include John Hume.”

    Brian and Garibaldy, I don’t think equality within the UK was ever a Hume goal; for him, Unionists are merely a tradition on the island of Ireland.

    The more ‘adventurous’ socialists were already using rights language as a smokescreen to advance their revolutionary dream of a 32-county ‘Cuban-style’ Ireland prior to the university ruckus.

  • joeCanuck

    It was not just in Derry that anger was felt over the university going to Coleraine. I was at a demonstration in Strabane. Then they closed the railway. There was a definite belief that some people in the NorthWest were indeed an underclass.

  • Driftwood

    The joint anti-submarine base-HMS sea eagle reverted to Ebrington Barracks.
    A squaddies view of the early troubles in Derryhere:

    http://www.britains-smallwars.com/ni/AcrosstheSea.html

    Coleraine university must be among the lowest ranked in the UK, party central and totally useless degrees all round.

  • joeCanuck

    And as an irrelevant aside, Cecil Bateman’s son was my lab partner at Queens. He didn’t like to discuss politics, probably understandable given his Father’s position.

  • Joe, there were mixed feelings in Coleraine; perceptions of student debauchery appealed to some but not others 😉

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Heartbreaking?
    Hardly. But Ive shed all the tears Im gonna shed. And when I did it was for people I knew like (for example) a bin inspector and official of Crusaders FC with the old Belfast Corporation who was blown to pieces in North Street by an IRA terrorist bomb. Or by a guy who I played football with who was murdered outside the “new” Mackies factory as he left the factory with co-workers, some of whom pointed him out to the loyalist killers from Highfield.
    Whole books get written on “what ifs” and this one hardly measures up. As Mr Walker himself points out it was only part of something bigger. Closed railway stations west of Portadown and indeed south of Portadown (as has been pointed up), great new cities such as Antrim and “Craigavon”, the running sore of council house allocation and gerrymandering, the B specials, the murders of John Scullion and Peter Ward in 1966, Unionist and Orange domination, the very real existence of the Border, even the naming of the QE2 Bridge……while Mr Walker acknowledges that the Derry University thing was part of the bigger bigger, I dont even think it was a big issue (except for Derry people) …there were at least as many local and six county wide gripes to cause the eventual melt down in society and the violence. The only difference in the university case was the unifying factor within the city.
    For all of “Commander” Albert Andersons support for the Derry university….I …..just a few years younger than Mr Walker remember him as anything other than the blusterer who reguarly defended the record of the “old” Derry Council to all comers from the English media. And of course as a later junior Minister at Home Affairs for the briefest period. I dont think he even stood in the first Assembly Election in 1973.
    Not to mention “The Right Honourable” Attorney GEneral Edward Jones…..mostly before my time of course but wasnt he perceived as a liberal minded person.
    Relative of course…..what it shows is that there is no such thing as a liberal unionist.
    From O’Neill to Empey, we have been invited to believe they exist…..if they do, they are shown the door for someone more hardline.

    So what exactly are we supposed to be breaking our hearts about…..in this “tragically missed opportunity”.
    For some kind of unionists there will always be this kinda fascination with might have beens……but then no unionist (not even the Belfast Telegraphs favourite O’Neill) showed any political vision back then …..and more importantly none of any significance showed simple compassion.

    The crocodile tears for missed opportunities……is really a lament for the fragmentation and loss of unionist power….the point where it would always be 1965 (with concessions to modernity) and there would be “honey still for tea” in unionist Derry.
    A white South African might lament similar missed opportunities.

    The key of course is whether “we” and more importantly our children and grandchildren are in a better position than “we” were in 1965.
    For this 1965 schoolboy the answer is a resounding yes. So no crocodile tears from me about unionist stupidity, (lack of) vision or even decency in 1965.
    Other 1965 schoolboys might have a different answer.

    If the “we” is a great communal thing. Are “we” living in a better place that our parents and grandparents in 1965? I dont know the answer to that.
    There are after all two communities and a peace agreement built around the differences. Re-enforcing and maintaining it.
    Yet the tragedy is not Derrys university…..the tragedy is that the two people (innocent victims) that I mentionedin my opening paragraph died (for no good reason ?).
    They of course do get a mention in the CAIN archive and frankly they are worth more space than the people who killed them……or Albert Anderson……or “Teddy” Jones.

  • barnshee

    “Coleraine university must be among the lowest ranked in the UK, party central and totally useless degrees all round.”

    TypicaL of the hqalf arsed comment here

    Coleraine has not got a university.
    The university of Ulster has a campus there . It also has locations at

    Magee (Londonderry)
    Jordanstown
    York Street Belfast

    (There was also an attempt to open a campus up the Springfield Road)

    The University of Ulster and Queens lie about half way down the ” league table”

  • Brian,

    I don’t see the evidence for it. And here is why. Hume was peripheral to the launching of the civil rights campaign both in NI generally, and in Derry specifically. He only became involved in civil rights agitation after the campaign at got up and running, as I’m sure you know. As you point out, by the time the civil rights agenda was implemented, the genie was out of the bottle. Something for which the Stormont and London regimes bear responsibility. There was plenty of time between Duke Street and Bombay Street for British rights for British citizens to have been enacted.

    It was the Republican Clubs and Young Socialists along with independents like Eamonn Melaugh who launched the civil rights campaign in Derry. Their main focus was housing, with the university issue featuring very little. In this, they were part of a broader all-island campaign – even the Derry Housing Action Committee was a reflection of events south of the border. There is simply no reason at all to think that the civil rights campaign would have been affected one iota by a university. The university would have been one less thing to complain about certainly, but it was never a central issue for the civil rights campaign in Derry. One need only go back and look at the press reports (be it in the United Irishman or elsewhere) and public statements of civil rights activity of the time to see that.

    Perhaps people like Hume might have been less angry about the nature of the Stormont regime. But they weren’t the ones who drove the intitial civil rights agitation, and a large part of the reason for their involvement later was to counteract the influence of what they saw as dangerous left wing elements.

    On top of all that, let’s not forget that it was the Paisleyite reaction that led to the violence really kicking off. Again, I don’t see how that would have been affected by a university in Derry or otherwise.

    Hume is entitled to his opinion. But I don’t think there is much evidence to support that opinion in the government papers of the time, in the contemporary press reports, in the attitudes of those who launched the civil rights campaign in Derry and elsewhere, or in their opinions since. Throw in the fact that the initial social base of the civil rights campaign in Derry wasn’t the Catholic middle class but people who lacked quality housing, and I’m really very sceptical. But then again, that just might be an uninformed opinion.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Queens is getting worse on a daily basis.

  • joeCanuck

    In what way(s) FJH?
    There were just over 4000 students when I was there. Three times more now?

  • lamhdearg

    joe ten times as much drink taken.

  • Driftwood

    Surely it cannot have reached the depths of the ‘Poly’ or UUC? Both of which could be a model for Private Eye’s Neasden University (formerly North Circular Polyechnic).

  • John East Belfast

    Fitz

    “what it shows is that there is no such thing as a liberal unionist”.

    While you are on a role please tell me how I should distinguish the Liberal Nationalist/Republican ?

    Interesting that no such term even exists ?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Probably no such term exists because its generally understood by people who have studied History that modern Republicanism (in a global sense) owes something to the Enlightenment.therefore to label something as “liberal Republicanism” would be unnecessary.
    The adjective liberal is understood in the noun itself.
    A liberal unionist (certainly in the Norn Iron context) is an oxymoron.
    If we look to say Ulster Scots hero Davey Crocket…..played by John Wayne in “The Alamo”……he is given the line and I paraphrase of course that “there are words like Republic that give a man a lump in the throat….like watching his son taking his first step as a man”.

    As the Enlightenment had largely passed East Belfast prior to Ms Longs election, Im not surprised you dont know this but “The Alamo” movie does turn up occasionally on the movie channels. It is also about £7 at HMV.
    Alternatively some of our local universities and colleges provide reasonable (still) courses in History

  • Dr Concitor

    Queens is a member of the Russell Group, the top 20 research universities in the UK, along with the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, UCL etc

  • Reader

    fitzjameshorse1745: modern Republicanism (in a global sense) owes something to the Enlightenment.therefore to label something as “liberal Republicanism” would be unnecessary.
    The adjective liberal is understood in the noun itself.

    So, was the Teebane bomb planted by a liberal – i.e. by a “modern Republicanism (in a global sense)” – or by someone else entirely?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ah Joe Canuck….dont take me too seriously. QUB is a previously excellent institution (1970-1973) which is still fairly reasonable. Although it does over-estimate itself in amusing ways.
    The people who run the place dont actually seem to have much faith in the place, one memorably saying (in front of students, parents and academic staff) that climbing the league ladder would enable the University to attract a better standard of academic staff.

    But it has suffered over the years. The stone recently unveiled in semi secret by Elizabeth Windsor a few years back…is discretely tucked away in the Gift shop behind the QUB mouse pads and coffee mugs. No doubt she still thinks its in the main entrance.
    But QUB continues to re-invent itself. The student Sinn Féin group had an exhibition in the Lanyon Building to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hunger Strikes. And without any irony the University stages an exhibition on ITS role in the civil rights movement and a load of dinosaurs as old as me regale a conference on how they did it.
    Meanwhile the Uni is big on enviromental issues….although not overly caring about flooding on the Ormeau Road or Harp cans and curry littering the streets of the Holy Land where of course students annoy those still unfortunate enough to have a family home there.
    Not that the University cares as several lecturers own “buy to rent” property in south Belfast.
    Of course QUB has one of the worst records at providing official student accomodation.
    And the Uni is quite properly signed up to everything that is politically correct……..wimmins studies……..conflict resolution.
    Dont start me on Conflict Resolution…..anaemic lectures where History is not actually taught ..merely the ability to split the difference between two views.
    Of course the Conflict Resolution folks host people from Iraq, South Africa etc. Great stuff……and at a drop of a hat theyd fly to Jerusalem and Damascus to tell folks how to do resolve a conflict. Just dont ask anyone from QUB to resolve a conflict in Jeruslem Street or Damascus Street a half mile from QUB.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    wonderful. Im pleased for QUB.

  • 1962-1966 was so much better, fjh. We had the company of Eamonn McCann, Phil Coulter and Sean Armstrong, the latter two of Glee Club fame!!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Yes …..remind me how those careers ended.

  • Dr Concitor

    FJH, Point taken, but what about non-global Republicanism in deepest rural Ulster, places where the Enlightenment has barely touched, are they liberal too?

  • pippakin

    It always splits along ‘party’ lines!

    The fact is a Uni in Derry would (probably) have made little difference, there were gross inequalities and they had to be addressed.

    The IRA took advantage of the situation, but no one can condemn that. Unionists made it not only possible but inevitable, and the rest is, as they say, in so many different ways, history.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ah as a noted liberal unionist you perhaps didnt mean to be so selective in your choice of attrocity. You will perhaps have noted that I was much more even handed in my choice of attrocities in my post (4.45pm) when I referred to a friend murdered by an “IRA terrorist bomb”. You will know of course that the “R” is for Republican.
    As my own stance on terrorism is quite well known (actually I could have gone a step further and referred to Br Army murders also)…….Im sure you would take the opportunity of making your own stance on murder and terrorism more clear by making a more balanced statement as you unwittingly gave the impression of being partisan.

  • Brian Walker

    Garibaldi, fitz and others. Your fine displays of detail and passion are beside the point. The counterfactual, if that is what is, is that if the unionist gov had the imagination and judgement to locate the uni in Derry they might have come to other conclusions too. It would have taken much less in those days to satisfy the nationalist minority. Their elected reps were working Stormont as never before. Eddie McAteer was about to accept membership of the NI privy council.

    The university of Derry issue was one of those precursors of much bigger events and causes. But it was a really big political issue for NI as a whole at the time for reasons referred to in Jones’ letter. It was a negative factor in O’Neill’s reform agenda which illustrated both its limitations and the strains it imposed within the party especially in places like Derry where unionists were in a minority. We hayseeds used to refer to “government for Glengormley.”

    But Henderson was really prescient – far more than most.
    The fact remains that the speed of the slide from events in Derry in Oct 1968 took everybody on all sides by suprise

    The reform agenda was mainly conceded within months of October 5 demonstration which of course had quite different aims. At the same time the supposed unionist monolith fell apart never to be put together again. Sinister forces on both sides pricked up their ears and we were out to the races for 40 years.

    I prefer my counterfactual – shared by many like me who knew many of the participants in the early years- to your determinism. But each to his own.

  • Eamonn and Phil are still going strong(ish); sadly Sean stopped a loyalist bullet at the relatively young age of 31. Eamonn left for an early bath.

  • “It would have taken much less in those days to satisfy the nationalist minority.”

    Brian, that sounds terribly patronising. Nationalists strive for a United Ireland, not a better UK.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Dr Concitor……surely my reference to (global) republicanism and my own reference to IRA terrorist bomb in Belfast indicates that I see a great difference between the two.
    I submit that most Guardian readers…the true indicator of wisdom are “republican”

  • Apologies, fjh, I forgot to click the appropriate Reply.

  • I don’t think Brian it’s a matter of determinism so much as recognising that there were other groups with agency beyond the political elite (and there’s a strange word to use about NI politicians!). And we shouldn’t forget about that. I couldn’t agree more that it would have been better for the unionist party to embrace reform. But it didn’t, and nor did unionism as a whole. Therein lay a huge proportion of the problem.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Im not against the comfort zone of unionist nostalgia and wishful thinking. I just tend to prefer History.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ah yes….Irelands greatest living socialist, one of the leading members of the National Union of Journalists and Raytheon hero……all of which is on the Wikipedia bio.
    No mention of QUB.
    Shome mistake shurely.
    Im a couple of years too young to recall the actual circumstances of the early bath…….and of course many Sluggerites are several years too young.

    Not of course like me to be judgemental, I just find it odd that its not part of the bio.

  • anne warren

    To get back to the topic in hand. Siting the University outside (London)derry was an insult to the city and a deliberately missed opportunity to prevent any joint action by the two communities in NI to improve their city/life/economic and cultural status etc – which a University would have contributed to. As Brian Walker pointed out in his opening post it was a tragically missed opportunity.
    In reading some of the other documents dated 1968 that are posted on the http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/proni/list-year.html site, it is clear that the Unionist Party were so blinkered in their prejudice/sectarianism that they were prepared to sabotage any attempt to achieve civil rights and liberties for everybody in NI.
    The horrors their intransigeance led to means we are still paying the costs of years of human suffering and
    we are still living in a deeply divided society with no exit strategy

  • fjh and Dr C, I don’t suppose the Man from Drumalig, who gave us ‘the greatest happiness for the greatest number’, would be impressed by the ‘liberalism’ of any tribal faction in Belfast were he alive today – never mind Drumalig 🙂

    Perhaps modern Republicanism owes as much to the Reign of Terror as to the Enlightenment.

  • Blair

    Uncle Gerry is a product of the Enlightenment?

    LOL

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    “I prefer my Counterfactual….” yes I can see that.
    But while you seemingly knew some of these participants ….even as a 1965 schoolboy……its no inside track on broader issues. Surprisingly some of us of a similar vintage also knew some of “participants” in other contexts.

    but you really should know that many nationalists/republicans dont share this heart break analysis.
    Nationalists/Republicans have always managed to rely on unionist lack of vision……security force over reaction…….and hand wringing angst from liberal unionists.

    No doubt unionists can rely on similar from republicans/nationalists

  • Blair

    Pippakin,

    I can condemn it. I’m sure that nationalists perceived their inability to control the council in Londonderry etc as being a horrendous injustice, but it hardly warranted close to four thousand lives being lost.

    Indeed is it not a fact that what republicans did to this country for forty years was a hell of a lot worse than what unionists did to it for fifty?

  • pippakin

    Blair

    Possibly, but in such a case you would need to go back a lot further than fifty years. The ‘problem’ goes much deeper and will only be resolved when we all accept that there is guilt on all sides and that to progress we must let the past be the past.

  • Blair

    Pippakin,

    I accept that. It’s the rewriting of history that I find annoying. People lazily announcing that that the horror of not getting to make decisions on how the bins should be emptied in the Bogside was justification for thousands of deaths . Well that just doesn’t cut it with me.

  • pippakin

    Blair

    Agreed but it happens on both sides! i keep saying it is time to look to the future and I really believe that. There is nothing for anyone to gain from continually reliving the past.

  • Blair

    Pippakin,

    The past is what drives Irish republicans. It is no accident that dissident republicans are desperately trying to invite oppression onto the nationalist community. They are merely following the lead of those who went before them. The only difference is that the security forces and Prods aren’t biting. They’ve read their history books.

  • pippakin

    Blair

    Completely agree! of course the dissidents are doing just that! it is all they have and it is depressing how many are taken in by it, every time.

    It would help if the rest of us, remember we are the vast majority, refused to allow the dissidents the opportunity to distort history in such a way.

  • The Raven

    “what it shows is that there is no such thing as a liberal unionist.”

    You weren’t being very even-handed when you wrote that, intimately acquainted, as I am sure you are, with all of us.

  • The Raven

    ….not to mention that many of us – not all, not everyone, but many – end up cringing when this is brought up as a subject.

    We hear the “campus should have gone to Derry” argument and we cringe instead of rolling up the sleeves and joining-in. We cringe because 40+ years later, it comes up in conversation, and rather than talk about the University being a regional asset, rather than talk about travel-to-work areas which extend for 40-50 minute radii, rather than say “despite the fact it’s in Coleraine, people from all over come to it, some 60’s whinger inevitably gurns that it should have “gone up the road”.

    The kids that go there – from all over, let’s not forget – probably don’t know about the original proposal for it to go to Derry. And my guess is, that unless they come from Derry and you asked them “would you prefer to get a bus to Coleraine, or walk five minutes up the road from Prehen/Shantallow/where ever”, they probably don’t give a shit.

    It always seems to be the oul wans that bring this up from the past. It makes me think of civil servants who hate going past Lisburn in one direction, or Glengormley in the other because they get nosebleeds. This is a very small part of the world. There’s nothing like a post on the campus argument from 1968 to remind those of us under the age of 40 just how small it is.

    It hardly matters anyway. When the time comes to close a campus, you can be rest assured, it won’t be Magee that gets shut. But it’s a virtual world – let them have it, I say.

    Other than the comments that came after it, Brian – interesting post.

  • Modern Irish Republicanism as exemplified by Sinn Féin (and to a lesser extent, Fianna Fáil) has very little to do with Enlightenment Republicanism, and more to do with populist nationalism. The “Republic” in question in both cases is not a fresh future based on the social contract and individual rights, but rather a rewinding of the clock to the good old days of the Second Dáil. Enlightened they ain’t.

  • Clo

    Blair,

    “Indeed is it not a fact that what republicans did to this country for forty years was a hell of a lot worse than what unionists did to it for fifty?”

    Are you implying that Republicans were the only notable force at work during the troubles? Are you serious? Why can’t people swallow their pride and look at the conditions created by horrendous and corrupt politics which left this society open to paramilitarism from both sides at this crucial early point? Criticising the unionist government’s behaviour preceding the troubles should NOT offend anyones sensibilities.

    Also, “People lazily announcing that that the horror of not getting to make decisions on how the bins should be emptied in the Bogside was justification for thousands of deaths.”

    You have to be aware that the catholics of Derry and surrounding areas had it tougher than that at the time. I’m probably one of the younger commenters here, but my father and family lived in what could only be described as squaller during the sixties in Derry. No jobs, no basic housing (at one point, no house at all), no vote, no respect. Does this justify the provisional campaign? No. But did this environment (not to mention the partisan, paramilitary “police” force used to subjugate this community) create the conditions for paramilitarism? It most certainly did.

  • sliabhdubh

    I am sure the residents of the Holyland would like to see Queens moved,preferable to a country area where the can celeberate whatever they like in the neares field.To think that these drunken louts are our future.It does no matter where a university is as long as you go there to get educated.Through the years Derry has got a raw deal,bad housing high unemployment gerrymandering,they deserve a break.As for garibaldi,we all know he was referring to the Officals when he mentioned the Unitied Irishman,all their members had to join the C.R.A.,but John Hume and Gerry Fitt brought it to world media interest,a long with the R.U.C sergeant that struck Fitt and Paddy McClean with his baton.Garibaldi the workers party have little or no support,and it looks like ex comrades may for the next Southren goverenment.The workers party had and have the policies,just not the stamina or the personalites to bring them to fruitation.

  • Dr Concitor

    Clo, I could not agree more. The Unionist government ran a semi-feudal state post partition. The land owning aristocracy controlled this for their own benefit. By beating the Orange drum they got the protestant working class to vote for them. Discrimination against Nationalist people was institutionalised and widespread. When some among them finally, in the sixties, began to release that this was unsustainable, it was too late. They had sowed a wind and were about to reap the whirlwind. The emergence of Paisley sealed our fate.

  • I did mention the Republican Clubs sliabhdubh, so hardly like I was being obscure. As for the Duke Street march, during which the cop wielded the baton. Hume wasn’t involved in organising it. It was organised by the local Republican Club and the Young Socialists, along with Melaugh. The intention was to bring it to wider public attention. And that intention was facilitated by the Minister for Home Affairs and the brutality displayed by the cops that day.

    The level of current WP support doesn’t affect all that one way or the other.

  • latcheeco

    So, if it hadn’t been for Colonel Bufton-Tufton’s short-sightedness, we might not have had so many pretty Derry girls with generous hearts at Queens, and might instead have actually read something we were supposed to. God bless him and his myopia! Good times!

  • Hopping The Border

    Out of interest what do you base your assessment on Driftwood?