The Return of the Gunmen

The Northern Ireland of the mid 1960s was a peaceful place, a sleepy provincial backwater with enviably low crime statistics. But since partition in 1921, the state had never been truly at ease with itself and sectarian conflict erupted sporadically. The combination of republican commemorations and a growing campaign for social change by the nationalist community ignited sectarian suspicion. As paramilitary armies regrouped and re-armed, a bloody conflict destined to last for decades ensued.

Fergal Keane explores the circumstances that triggered Northern Ireland's Troubles talking to former combatants, campaigners and academics including Professor Richard English of St Andrews University.

Producer: Owen McFadden.

Release date:

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Thu 17 Oct 2013 13:45