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Belfast riots, July 1920

Belfast riots, July 1920


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Belfast riots, July 1920

A double page spread from the Illustrated London News, reporting on rioting in Belfast from 20th to 23rd July 1920. 18 people were killed, and 200 wounded during the disturbances. Shops were ransacked and spirit stores looted, whilst troops tried to restore order. Date: July 1920

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Media ID 14144891

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

23rd Belfast Burning Conflict Debris Disorder Disturbances Fear Independence Looted Looting News Panic Piano Protest Ransacked Riot Rioters Rioting Riots Sectarian Troubles Unrest Violence Violent Looters


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EDITORS COMMENTS
Amidst the Chaos of Belfast: A Snapshot of the July 1920 Riots This striking double-page spread from the Illustrated London News transports us back to the tumultuous summer of 1920 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The images capture the raw emotion and intensity of the rioting that engulfed the city from the 20th to the 23rd of July, leaving 18 people dead and over 200 wounded in its wake. The scene before us is one of unbridled chaos and fear. In the foreground, a mob of rioters, their faces obscured by masks or hats, clash with British soldiers in the streets. Debris litters the ground, the remnants of ransacked shops and looted spirit stores. Smoke rises from the wreckage of a piano, its keys still jutting out defiantly amidst the destruction. The atmosphere is thick with tension and violence. The air is filled with the sound of shattered glass, the crack of gunfire, and the cacophony of angry voices. The once peaceful streets of Belfast have been transformed into a battleground, where the lines between protest and riot, order and disorder, have become blurred. The cause of this unrest? The struggle for Irish independence and the deep-rooted sectarian tensions that had long simmered beneath the surface in Northern Ireland. The events of July 1920 marked a turning point in the conflict, a moment when the violence and fear that had long haunted the region came to a head. As we bear witness to this snapshot of history, we are reminded of the complex and often turbulent past of Northern Ireland and the profound impact that the events of the 1920s continue to have on its people and its politics today.

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