Taoiseach Jack Lynch on the causes of unrest in Derry (1968)


In October 1968 the Republic of Ireland Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, spoke in respond to unrest and violence in Londonderry several days before:

 

“In commenting briefly at Kilkenny… I expressed the hope that the root causes of such demonstrations would soon be eliminated so that people of different religious and political persuasions and convictions would be able to live together in peace and harmony, free to exercise and enjoy their lawful democratic rights.

 

The people of Ireland know what these root causes are. I know them. The Northern Ireland prime minister knows them and the British prime minister knows them also. Partition is the first and foremost root cause. And Partition arose out of British policy. The methods necessary to maintain Partition against the wishes of the vast majority of the Irish people and local majorities in areas like Derry – that is, gerrymandering, discrimination in jobs and housing, suppression of free speech and the right of peaceful process – could not be continued without the political and the huge financial support received from Britain.

 

I trust that the efforts of all men of good will, North and South, will be directed towards the creation of healthy and wholesome community relations in the Six Counties – not only to eliminate discrimination and bigotry and to establish the full and free exercise of democratic rights, but to eliminate the dissension among Irishmen in the North – that is, the Partition of our country against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the Irish people.