Catholic refugees arrive in Dublin.

Peter Stewart reports from an Irish government Aer Cór (Air Corps) camp north of Dublin. The camp is a staging post for refugees fleeing sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. This conflict was sparked by unionist Prime Minister Brian Faulkner’s decision to introduce internment without trial on 9 August (see context below). There are four military camps operating as reception centres in different parts of the Republic of Ireland; the Aer Cór transit station that Peter Stewart is reporting from will have processed about a thousand refugees by the end of the day. The refuges will be sent to other bases in the south and west of Ireland.

Stewart speaks to a woman from the Springfield Road area of west Belfast who arrived at the base in a van with seven children, six of her own and a niece. She seems confused about where she is going to next. The children interject and say they are going to Cork. She tells Stewart she left Belfast out of fear and mentions that her local priest, Fr Hugh Mullan, was shot the day before.

Stewart then interviews a woman wearing a red coat who is too scared to face the camera because she fears Protestant reprisals. She says Protestants in her neighbourhood use threatening language like “Get out Fenians” (although this term relates to a secret organisation set up in 1858 to fight for Irish independence it is used today by loyalists as a derogatory term to describe Catholics). The woman goes on to say that these same Protestants tell her that now Catholic men are interned it will be easier for them to enter Catholic areas that are undefended.

Stewart ends his report by noting that those men who accompany their families to Dublin return to Northern Ireland to guard their homes and to fight.

Release date: 07 Oct 2011

3 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
ReporterJohn Humphrys
ReporterMichael Sullivan
ReporterPeter Stewart
ParticipantWilliam Philbin
ParticipantIan Paisley
ParticipantMary McEvoy

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