Publication of the Hunt Report on police reorganization in Northern Ireland sparked disorders in the Shankill Road area of Belfast, resulting in the death of a policeman and two civilians. The vigorous counter-measures taken by the military authorities have drawn protest even from moderate Protestant representatives.

Typical is this remark by the Reverend David McKee, of First Lurgan Presbyterian Church, to the army commander: “If the Royal Ulster Constabulary had used a fraction of the force in Bogside which your men have used in Shankill, the world press, and especially the English press, would have branded them as murderers and oppressors.”

One measure adopted by authorities to reduce tension is the early weekend closing of Belfast liquor stores; since its adoption, there scarcely has been any disturbance in the city. Another restriction prompted by the disturbed conditions is a ban on discharging fireworks; this is to last till the end of the year.


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