A number of documents relating to the events of 1969, which marked the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

About this Collection

This collection brings together a number of documents from 1969, a pivotal year in Republican and Irish politics which saw the outbreak of the Troubles and led to a split in Sinn Féin. These documents were originally added to the archive throughout 2009 to mark 50 years since the events of that year, and are listed here as close to chronologically as possible.

The collection includes a number of statements and internal documents from Sinn Féin and the IRA from 1969, which illustrate the perspectives prevalent in the Republican Movement at the time, as well as several issues of the Sinn Féin paper, The United Irishman.

The collection also includes Barricades Bulletin from the youth section of the Derry Labour Party (DLP), which illustrates the difficulty of organising on a left platform across the sectarian divide. A letter extracted from the United Irishman from Eamonn McCann, then associated with the DLP, also highlights the tension between nationalism and the left.

A wider perspective on Northern Ireland at this time is provided by additional documents from the Left, including the Irish Communist Organisation and Communist Party of Great Britain.

Finally, two documents are included which help to position the events of 1969. 1916-1966: What has happened? provides some illustration of events leading to the position in which Ireland found itself in the late 1960s, albeit with a particular slant; and A Failed Political Entity from the Dublin ‘68 Committee in the late 1980s, which, though from a more traditional nationalist perspective than the usual materials in the Irish Left Archive, provides some analysis of the events of 1969 and demonstrates the resonance they were to have even two decades later.



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