The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Major James Chichester-Clark, resigned on Saturday night and British Prime Minster Edward Heath cancelled a visit to West Germany as the crisis in Northern Ireland worsened.
GV R.A.F. aircraft taxing at R.A.F. Aldergrove, Northern Ireland
GV Helicopter flying overhead
SV Carrington and Baker down steps of aircraft and greeted by Tuzo and Shillington
SV Chichester-Clark arriving Storemont Castle
GV Helicopter lands in grounds of Storemont Castle
SV Chichester-Clerk PAN TO helicopter
SV Chichester-Clark running to greet Carrington and Baker and both parties walk off
GV Press outside Storemont Castle
SV Chichester-Clark and carrington out of building
LV Zoom in helicopter with Carrington away
SV's Brian Faulkner leaving Storemont (3 shots)
Initials OS/221 WLW/OS/251
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Major James Chichester-Clark, resigned on Saturday night and British Prime Minster Edward Heath cancelled a visit to West Germany as the crisis in Northern Ireland worsened.
Major Chichester-Clerk's resignation, expected for two days, followed a last-minute attempt by the British Government to dissuade him from leaving. The last-ditch effort was made by Britain's Defence Minister, Lord Carrington, and Chief of military Staff, Sir Geoffrey Baker, who flew to Belfast by Royal Air Force transport at noon on Saturday. Members of the Irish cabinet joined the talks, which continued as a general cabinet meeting after the Britons had left.
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday (March 16) Major Chichester-Clark made a surprise visit to London to ask for more British troops to be sent to Northern Ireland and for tougher security measures to be taken there. Mr. Heath offered to send another 1,300 soldiers -- but, according to news agency reports, this was not enough to appease the right wing elements of the ruling Unionist Party, and the subsequent crisis led to Major Chichester-Clark's resignation. There are already 8,300 British troops in Northern Ireland.
In Northern Ireland, news agency reports on Saturday named Minister of Development Mr. Brian Faulkner as likely successor to the Premiership. According to the Northern Ireland constitution, one must be chosen within 48 hours.
This film covers the visit to Ireland by Lord Carrington and Sir Geoffrey, and the subsequent meeting. The accompanying commentary covers the resignation, story.