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New directions? The 1960s
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The Northern Ireland of the 1960s was marked by rising living standards, and a new climate of optimism and openness to outside influences. Against this background new expressions of identity and aspiration for a time made their claim to a share of public space. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament staged marches and rallies. A tenants’ movement united Catholic and Protestant occupants of public housing. Regular May Day parades reflected attempts by the trade union movement to promote class unity over sectarian divisions. By the end of the decade, however, all of these movements were being overshadowed by the revival of ethnic and sectarian tensions in response to the growth of the civil rights movement.

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Civic identity and public space

Belfast since 1780

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