THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Revolvers fired during rioting in Londonderry

From the News Letter, April 20, 1920

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 6:00 am
An old aerial photograph of Londonderry from June 1980. Picture: News Letter archives
An old aerial photograph of Londonderry from June 1980. Picture: News Letter archives

There had been further outbursts of rioting in Londonderry during the weekend, reported the News Letter, after clashes between Sinn Feiners in Bridge Street and Loyalist in Fountain Street.

Stone-throwing was “indulged in” by both rival parties but when the police appeared on the scene with fixed bayonets and cleared the crowds away from Ferryquay Street, The Diamond and adjacent thoroughfares.

In Bridge Street, reported the News Letter’s correspondent, “revolver shots were frequently discharged”.

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Elsewhere in the city, “events of an even more grave character” were happening in Carlisle Square where there was continuous revolver firing during which a man was shot and seriously injured.

The wounded man was subsequently taken to the infirmary.

The News Letter correspondent reported: “Afraid to pass through the danger zone some residents in the Waterside who were on their way home across the bridge which was under fire preferred to remain overnight in the city. Similarly people who resided in the city side but who were in the Waterside when the trouble arose, elected to remain there overnight.”

At a meeting of the Londonderry Corporation the Mayor, Alderman Hugh C O’Doherty, appealed for citizens of the city to stay off the streets “during the time of excitement”.

He also warned against any further violence on the streets of the city and reminded people of the effect that such disturbances had on city trade.

At the petty sessions a youth from Magazine Street was charged with rioting on the Saturday.

It was also reported that when he was detained it was found that his “pockets were full of iron bolts”.

The youth was returned for trial at a later date.