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Online events to mark Falls Curfew 50th Anniversary

By Staff Reporter

A RANGE of commemorative events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Falls Curfew are to be held online next month.

The British Army-imposed imposed curfew – which lasted 36 hours between July 3rd and 5th of 1970 – saw the entire Falls district locked down while soldiers ransacked thousands of homes.

During the operation, British soldiers killed four civilians while a further 78 people were wounded and 337 arrested.

Eighteen soldiers were also wounded in battles with local youths and the IRA, who fought against the draconian measures.

On July 5th, the curfew was brought to an end when thousands of women and children from Andersonstown marched into the curfew zone with food and other supplies.

To commemorate the events of the curfew, the Falls Commemorative Committee will host five online events including a photo exhibition, video tribute, concert, discussion, and commemorative mass.

Committee Chairperson Fra Mc Cann said: “During this health crisis we cannot come together in the normal way to remember the Curfew. Therefore we need to be creative.

“One event will hopefully be an online exhibition of photographs and written memories of the local community.

“We are appealing especially to the families of those murdered in the Curfew and Falls residents to contact us with any photos or memorabilia they may have.

Patrick Elliman and William Burns were shot dead. Charles O’Neill was deliberately run down by a British army Saracen on the Falls Road.

“Zbigniew Uglik was a 23-year-old Polish photographer shot dead while taking photos of the looting and destruction of the British soldiers.

“If you could supply any photos of your loved ones it would be deeply appreciated. You can contact me on 02895 439009 or the Falls Commemoration facebook page.

“Let us together make the 50th anniversary a fitting memorial to those who died and the spirit of the Falls Community who suffered so much at the hands of the British Army and Unionist Government between the 2nd and 5th of July 1970.”

The full programme of events is as follows:

 

Thursday 2nd July – Scéalta with Joe Austin.

Interviews with those inside the curfewed area and those who took part in the march to break the curfew.

 

Friday 3rd July – Videoed photo exhibition and short history of the Curfew.

Filmed by Martin McAuley and narrated by Rab Duffy.

 

Saturday 4th July – Commemorative video to be published on Facebook.

Video will detail the events of the curfew. Original footage mixed with old and new interviews with residents of the Falls and republicans active during the curfew

 

Saturday 4th JulyOnline Concert & musical tribute who resisted and eventually broke the Curfew.
Featuring recorded videos from different artists and musicians doing songs or poems reminiscent of the time. 

 

Sunday 5th July – Commemorative Mass at 11am in St Peter’s which will be said by Bishop Noel Trainor.
Fr Martin from St Peter’s will say a few words about each of the 4 civilians killed in the curfew during the mass.

 

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