BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 11577

Unionist politicians deny they inspired Loyalist paramilitaries

Unionist politicians deny they inspired Loyalist paramilitaries
Key Info
  • Unionist politicians deny they inspired Loyalist paramilitaries
  • Duration: 05:27
  • By 1972 Unionists in Northern Ireland felt increasingly threatened by the rising power of the IRA. Thousands joined a Unionist organisation called Ulster Vanguard, led by William Craig. Footage from a Vanguard rally sets out what Vanguard stood for and this is followed by an interview with Craig in which he skilfully avoids answering the questions set. This is followed by a number of personal recollections about how to resist Republican terrorism. The extract then considers how far the Unionist politicians encouraged Loyalist terrorism. This charge is denied by the politicians Ian Paisley and David Trimble. Taken from the series Loyalists, first broadcast in 1999.
  • Subject:



    Northern Ireland in the 20th Century

  • Keywords: Catholic, Nationalist, Republican, Unionist, Loyalist, Paisley, Taylor, Craig, Vanguard, UDA, paramilitary
Ideas for use in class
  • Option 1: Write a confidential briefing paper for the British government about the leading Unionist politicians. Explain what they stand for, and give your own opinion on whether they support violence by Loyalist paramilitary groups. Option 2: Most people would regard politicians as more respectable and trustworthy than paramilitaries. Which do you think gives a more reliable account of how the politicians thought their words would be understood by people? Is it possible that both sets of witnesses are telling the truth as they see it?
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 4x3

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