Episode Five: Generation Now
Ruth Sanderson tries to find out what really happened during the week in August 1969 when law and order broke down and the violence of the Northern Ireland Troubles began
There's no definitive account of the week in August 1969 when Northern Ireland erupted into the full-scale violence of the troubles. But the powerful, largely forgotten testimonies heard soon after by the Scarman Tribunal can help bring us close. Chaired by distinguished judge, Lord Leslie Scarman, the tribunal compelled witnesses from all sides to testify to their experience of the events which led to the breakdown of law and order and the British Army being deployed.
Ruth Sanderson grew up in Northern Ireland and recently moved back there. While she wasn't born when the Troubles started, she thinks they continue to cast a long shadow. Now, expecting her first child, Ruth tries to unravel the events of August 1969 and ask whether their legacy can ever be lifted.
Whole streets of houses have been burned out in Belfast and thousands of evacuees are on the move. The ground has been set for religious and political divisions which continue in Northern Ireland to this day. 50 years on from August 1969, Ruth wants to know what hope there is for her new baby's generation...
Music: David Holmes featuring Gerry Diver on violin
Producers: Conor Garrett & Ophelia Byrne
Picture credit: Foundation Gilles Caron / Clermes
Access to material relating to the Scarman Tribunal report into Violence and Civil Disturbances in Northern Ireland in 1969 was kindly provided by Special Collections, Queen’s University Belfast.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.