“Over 40 years ago, the presence of this flag on this street unleashed a vicious campaign of discrimination and violence against this community lasting decades … 45 years on this flag can flow freely from every corner… all flags are welcome on this road and so are you … fáilte go dtí west Belfast .” The incident referred to is the “Tricolour Riots” of the 1964 Westminster election campaign, in which the IRA’s Billy McMillen (shown in the middle) stood for office. Armed police raided his Divis Street headquarters and removed a Tricolour in the window. An Phoblacht has an account of the election and events. Here is news video from 1964 of charges subsequently brought against 70 people. The US Stars & Stripes is included prominently in the array of flags, but the Union Flag is absent. Coiste’s website is now coiste.ie rather than .com.
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Copyright © 2009 Peter Moloney