The Northern Ireland cease-fire between the Irish Republican Army and British troops came to an and on Sunday.
GV Troops move in to housing estate and take cover in house gardens. (2 shots)
SV & CU Troops come under fire. (4 shots)
GV Armoured cars PAN TO troops under fire.
GV PULL BACK block of flats where gunmen suspected hiding.
SV Troops hiding in cover of armoured vehicles coming under fire.
SV Troops advancing at flats under cover of armoured vehicles.
SV Troops taking cover PAN TO officer giving instructions on radio telephone. (NATSOF USABLE HERE)
SV Troops under cover.
SV Marksmen sheltering behind armoured car ZOOM TO block of flats with curtain moving where gunmen suspected hiding. (4 shots)
REPORTER MARTIN BELL: "Gunners and Royal Scots of the units concerned then advanced up Lenadoon (phonetic spelling) Avenue to a width of a hundred yards on either side. and it was then that the shooting started. Just the one shot at first. It turned out to be the shot that broke the cease-fire, and it had the troops looking for cover. And then, the big gunfight was on. "Troops were pinned down by fire coming from high positions. A wide variety of weapons, some of them automatic, was being used. The troops were firing single shots only, and found themselves vulnerable to ricochets.
"The troops, for their part as they advanced up Lenadoon Avenue, were under strict orders not to fire indiscriminately. That was made clear in instructions signalled in from the central command position to the men on either side."
NATSOF OFFICER ISSUING INSTRUCTIONS OVER RADIO-TELEPHONE.
BELL CONTINUES: "All this time the gun battle was raging, Mr. Whitelaw was being kept in touch with what was happening. The army's task was to winkle out their opposition from high positions which made a flanking operation extremely difficult.
"Mr. Whitelaw said tonight he wished to make it clear the troops only fired when shot at. But in any event, the case-fire seemed a long time ago and a long way away."
Initials VS/3.25 VS/3.36
TELERECORDING original colour on 11672/72 70ft
This film is provided with a reporter's English voice-on-film commentary over natural sound, a transcript of which is provided below. An ALTERNATIVE written commentary appears overage.
The confrontation between the British army and the Catholic families is covered in our production number 8414/72, serviced from London, 1972.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Northern Ireland cease-fire between the Irish Republican Army and British troops came to an and on Sunday. It was thirteen days old.
The trouble began when British troops and a Catholic crowd clashed with rubber bullets and missiles at a predominantly Protestant housing estate, where some Catholic families were trying to move into empty houses. Following the confrontation British troops int he area -- a strong Roman Catholic, I.R.A. - controlled district of the city -- came under heavy fire.
Thee were no fatalities, but the I.R.A. said in a statement afterwards that British troops had attacked the Catholic crowd, and both wings of the outlawed army would 'resume hostilities with the utmost ferocity'. A statement from the office of the British Administrator in Northern Ireland, Mr. William Whitelaw, said the I.R.A. had started the trouble as an excuse to resume hostilities. The statement said British troops only fired when shot at during Sunday's incident.
SYNOPSIS: The thirteen-day-old cease-fired in northern Ireland between the outlawed Irish Republic Army and British roofs came to an end on Sunday. It happened when British troops came under heavy fire in a strongly Catholic, I.R.A.-controlled district of Belfast, after being involved earlier in a confrontation with some Catholic families. The conformation which led to the shooting took pace when some Catholic families attempted to move in to some empty houses on a predominantly protestant housing estate boarding the Catholic area. The Protestants refused to have them, and British troops came in to keep the peace. But it became instead, a violent clash, with exchanges of rubber bullets and missiles. Within half an hour, british troops were coming under fire once more. They were ordered by their offices NOT to shoot indiscriminately, but only when fired at.......
In a statement after the gun battle, in which there were no deaths, the I.R.A. said British troops had broken the peace by attacking the Catholic crowd. The cease-fire was therefore at an end, said the statement, and both wings of the organisation would resume hostilities 'with the utmost ferocity' The office of the British Administrator in Northern Ireland, Mr. William Whitelaw, said in a statement meanwhile, that the I.R.A. had started the trouble as an excuse to resume hostilities.