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Belfast riots, August 1920

Belfast riots, August 1920


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Belfast riots, August 1920

A double page spread from the Illustrated London News, reporting on rioting in Belfast that began on the night of the 23rd August, and continued for a week. The feature is entitled " The worst rioting in the history of Belfast disturbances, which causes 500, 000 damage".Armoured cars and Lewis guns were used to quell the factions, with barbed wire barricades erected in the streets. Pubs and shops were set alight, and effigies were hung from lamposts by Unionists. Date: August 1920

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Media ID 14145216

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Armoured Barbed Barricades Belfast Conflict Damage Debris Disorder Disturbances Fear Guns Independence Lewis Looted Looting News Panic Protest Ransacked Riot Rioters Rioting Riots Sectarian Troubles Unrest Violence Violent Wire Looters


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The Worst Rioting in the History of Belfast Disturbances - A Week of Violence and Destruction in August 1920

EDITORS COMMENTS
The photograph captures the chaotic scene of the Belfast riots that erupted on the night of August 23, 1920. The disturbances, which lasted for a week, were the worst in the city's history, causing an estimated half a million pounds in damage. The image, taken from the Illustrated London News, depicts the aftermath of the clashes between Unionist and Nationalist factions. In the foreground, an armored car advances down a debris-strewn street, its machine guns at the ready. Barbed wire barricades have been erected in the streets, and in the distance, smoke rises from the flames of pubs and shops that have been set alight. Effigies hang from lamp posts, a symbol of the deep-rooted sectarian tensions that fueled the violence. The rioting began when a group of Unionist Protestants attacked a Nationalist parade, leading to retaliatory attacks on Unionist areas. The situation quickly spiraled out of control, with looting, looting, and violent clashes between the two communities. The British military was called in to quell the unrest, and armored cars and Lewis guns were used to disperse the mobs. The fear and panic that gripped Belfast during this time were palpable. Buildings were ransacked and looted, and the streets were filled with the sounds of gunfire and explosions. The riots were a turning point in the Irish War of Independence, and marked the beginning of a prolonged period of unrest in Northern Ireland that would last for decades. This photograph is a stark reminder of the violent and tumultuous events that shaped the history of Northern Ireland in the 1920s. It is a powerful image that captures the raw emotion and chaos of a city in the grip of conflict.

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