• Short Summary

    The situation remains tense between Protestant and Roman Catholic factions in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and British Troops face allegations of looting and unnecessary damage during a house to house search.

  • Description

    LV Troops around lorry

    SCU Soldier talking to man to door

    LV Troops around doorway (keep sound down until 8 ft.)

    SV Troops in streets

    CU Hillery SOF

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 5: REPORTER: "He seems to have the view that by first going there without telling the British Government you might, in fact, have magnified the difficulties which already exist in Belfast".

    HILLERY: "No, I don't think so. It's the fundamental difference about which we could talks for hours. What I went to deal with - and I was asked to go there by people who can't be accused of raising tensions at any time - is the situation of the minority who feel isolated, who feel - here are the British troops who came in last year to defend them against armed mobs, against the arrogant parades - and now the British troops are raiding them and protecting these Orange parades. These people are frightened. They have nobody to turn to. This has been fed a bit by the change of government in Britain and will have some effect. There have been incidents such as people imprisoned and so on. They have every reason to need some form of assurance - reassurance - that they're not isolated; they're not left alone".

    REPORTER: "Would you go again to Belfast?"

    HILLERY: "I would".

    REPORTER: "In the same circumstances?"

    HILLERY: "Oh yes. I'd just get in the car and drive up. This is not difficult at all".

    REPORTER: "But you don't accept that it's either a diplomatic discourtesy or aggravating the situation in any way?"

    HILLERY: "I think that the important thing of stopping these parades - stopping these provocations; stopping this harassing of a fearful minority - now when I say fearful - they're living in fear. It's worth anything I can do. Being a diplomat is very secondary to me".

    Initials BB/PNW/OS


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The situation remains tense between Protestant and Roman Catholic factions in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and British Troops face allegations of looting and unnecessary damage during a house to house search. Now the unofficial visit to the city's trouble spots by the Irish Republic's foreign Minister Dr. Patrick Hillery, has sparked off angry reactions both in London and Belfast.

    The trip was made by Dr. Hillery who announced in Dublin that the had driven to the Falls Road district of belfast to meet the people there. The Falls Road district was the scene of recent clashes between residents and British troops.

    He had not informed the British or Northern Ireland authorities of his coming, and Northern Ireland Prime Minister james Chichester-Clark reached by saying he was astounded that any Foreign Minister Should "show such a lack of courtesy".

    Major Chichester-Clark added: "I cannot regard such a visit as helpful and I deplore it".

    One of Dr. Hillery's declared aims is to get the support of other countries in persuading Britain to ban a series of parades by Northern Ireland's majority Protestants.

    The parades - annual marches by bowler-hatted, banner carrying local branches of the Protestant Orange Order - are due to begin this weekend, and there are fears that the result will be further clashes between Protestants and Catholics.

    The marches commemorate a Protestant victory over Catholics at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

    Orangemen leaders have already reacted strongly against suggestions that the marches should be called off.

    Major Chichester-Clark has said he would be relieved if the marches were called off - but all the same, he would probably be joining in one himself.

    In London the British Foreign Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, said that Dr. Hillery's visit had magnified the difficulties of those who were working so hard for peace and harmony in Northern Ireland.

    At an interview in Dublin today (July 7), Dr. Hillery was informed of the British Foreign Secretary's view on his unannounced visit to Belfast by a reporter;

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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