TDISH: Battle of the Bogside

On August 12, 1969, a group of pro-unionists known as the Apprentice Boys of Derry paraded along a barricade in the largely Catholic and republican Bogside Neighborhood of Derry, Northern Ireland.  Tensions between the two sides represented by these groups had been mounting for months as the largely Protestant unionists and the largely Catholic republicans Flag_of_the_Royal_Ulster_Constabulary.svg.pngclashed.  Today, however, was different.  Members of the Derry Citizens’ Defense Association (a republican group) and residents of Bogside hurled insults at the Apprentice Boys, as the unionists returned the same.  Into this tense scene came the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), the police force of Northern Ireland in 1969.  The DCDA and the RUC had a long history of clashes and the appearance of these hated representatives of perceived oppression led to the situation boiling over.  Soon after the RUC arrived, the first stones were hurled across the barricade from Bogside towards the police.  In response, the RUC crossed the barricade and advanced on the DCDA demonstrators firing tear gas canisters as they went.  As a result of these events, a three-day riot broke out on the streets of Derry that resulted in at least several hundred injuries.  In the bigger picture, the Battle of the Bogside is seen by many as the first major occurrence of violence during the infamous Troubles of Northern Ireland that would last until the late 1990s.

Sources: “History – Battle of the Bogside.” The Museum of Free Derry.
1969: Police Use Teargas In Bogside.” BBC.
Featured Image: “Battle of the Bogside.” By Source, Fair use.
Image 1. “Flag of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.”By MrPenguin20 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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