1970 – Falls Road Curfew: Beginning in the afternoon, the British Army carried out extensive house searches in the Falls Road area of Belfast for members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and IRA arms.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

At approximately 4.30pm a mixed patrol of British Army soldiers and RUC pulled up to no.24 Balkan Street, in the Lower Falls in west Belfast. They were acting on a tip-off from a ‘concerned resident’ about a stash of weapons hidden in the property. What happened next is widely seen as having changed the course of the infant ‘Troubles’ and alienated Catholic opinion against the British Army.

The Lower Falls was the stronghold of the ‘Official’ IRA. Army intelligence knew that a sizeable amount of weapons were in the area, and were allegedly being stored in case of another ‘attack’ by Protestants. Once word of the search began to spread through the area tempers started to flare. Many people believed that there was to be a major search operation undertaken. The original search team were stoned, more troops were sent in to quell any disturbance and to protect the patrol…

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