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People of Ireland! (1970)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Snow-covered rural landscapes and the sound of rioting. A woman urges the people of Derry to see their Irish nationality as their primary civil right. People pass a painted sign reading "you are now entering Free Derry". Views of daily life in the Bogside after the erection of barricades and the arrival of British troops. Children in the streets and on barricades.

The view from a car as it is driven past a barrier. A man lists the demands of Bogsiders. Part of a broadcast from Radio Free Belfast. The special powers applied by authorities in Northern Ireland are read out. An older man describes his internment. A young man who emigrated to the United States, and was subsequently conscripted, walks through the streets explaining his background.

Several men describe the discrimination they have suffered when trying to get employment. One explains how he moved to England but could not get work because he was Irish. Roy Bradford, Commerce minister in the Stormont government, describes job creation schemes, policies to attract foreign investment and house-building policy.

Labour MPs on a fact-finding visit in August 1969. They refuse to answer questions put to them during a walkabout. Two priests give their differing opinions on the demands of the local population. John Hume describes how the education system is established. A communist tries to explain what effect religion has on people's political thinking. A man at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, calling for the withdrawal of British troops, is repeatedly heckled.

Labourers at work; one answers questions about unionisation in the industry. Police drag people from a protest in Lurgan. A protest meeting in Dublin calls for a united Irish workers' republic. The fighting in Derry, August 1969. Petrol bombs being made and running battles.

Views of shipyards. The headquarters of the Derry Citizens' Defence Association. Eamonn McCann, Eamon Melaugh and others discuss how democracy might operate within Free Derry. The press conference of the Labour MPs. Catholic and socialist speakers talk about the formation of the Defence committee and cracks within it.

The preparation for James Callaghan's visit and opposition to it. Michael Canavan of the Defence Association speaks against the barricades. Callaghan addresses a crowd from the window of a house. Callaghan's press conference is watched by drinkers in a Derry pub. The details of the compromise deal that has been reached.