Crowds estimated at about 4,000 crowded the streets of Londonderry in Northern Ireland on Saturday (10 July) for the funeral of two young Catholic men shot dead by British troops during rioting this week.
GV Funeral of man shot by troops
GV & SV Troops & rioters clash (6 shots)
LV & SV Factory burning (2 shots)
STV & SV Rioters and troops clash (6 shots)
CU & SV Gas fire in recreation hall
GV & CU Damage caused by blast
CU & GV Wreckage in recreation hall
Initials BB/0430 TA/AH/BB/0500
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Background: Crowds estimated at about 4,000 crowded the streets of Londonderry in Northern Ireland on Saturday (10 July) for the funeral of two young Catholic men shot dead by British troops during rioting this week.
The funerals came at one of the peak flashpoint times of the year for Northern Ireland when the protestant majority was spending the weekend celebrating the annual observance of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne--an event which helped establish protestant supremacy in Northern Ireland. The celebrations will be climaxed on Monday (12 July) with protestants marching in their tens of thousands at parades all over the province. Catholics customarily regard the Boyne celebrations as a provocation and extra troops have been called in this year to keep the two sides apart.
After the funeral of Seamus Cusack, a 27-year-old unemployed welder who died after being shot by troops last week, youths began stoning a post manned by troops and police near the cemetery. The troops reacted with CS gas and rubber bullets.
In Belfast, troops had to use gas and rubber bullets to clear a way for firemen attempting to extinguish a burning social club which had been bombed with an estimated 50 lbs of gelignite.
SYNOPSIS: The funeral of a 19-year-old youth shot by troops during the latest riots in Northern Ireland was attended by a particularly large crowd, perhaps as many as 4,000. Like the other man shot at the same time, the dead youth was single and unemployed. Both funeral processions passed through the Catholic estate where the high before there were several clashes between troops and rioters. Several rubber bullets were fired into the crowd during the course of the riots which went on for about two hours.
The rioters set fire to, and seriously damaged, a wiring components factory belonging to an American firm. The factory adjoin an isolated army outpost which had earlier been attacked for two nights running. Hundreds of people from the nearby estate who were watching the clashes, had to flee when troops made repeated sorties with batons and shields. The are said that on four occasions during the night shots were fired at them. The fire was finally extinguished by the factory's automatic sprinkler system.
In Belfast, an explosion wrecked social club and set fire to a ruptured gas main, sending flames shooting into the air. Fifty families whose homes were damaged had to be moved out. But the social club got the worst of the blast which was caused by an estimated 50 pounds of gelignite. The army have not ruled out the possibility that the explosion was part of a plan to attack troops. One soldier and two civilians were slightly injured in the blast.