The prelude to Bombay Street

The following is the summary of news from Belfast on 14th August in the lead up to the burning of Bombay Street on the afternoon of the 15th.

With the Battle of the Bogside having begun on August 12th, Belfast had been under pressure to draw off unionist forces from Derry. To that end, with the very limited resources left to him, the Belfast O/C Billy McMillen ordered a number of operations to be carried out against the RUC and Specials over the evening and night of 13-14th August.

McMillen and nineteen others were detained by the RUC the following night, prior to the attack on Bombay Street. Despite that, the pitiful condition of the Belfast IRA was blamed both on McMillen and current IRA policy. However, that was not to be an issue until a month after the violence of mid-August.

Bombay Street, August 1969


This summary was published in the Irish Independent on 14th August 1969.

SHOTS were fired at the police patrols in the Leeson Street area of Belfast late last night but no one was injured. A hand grenade was also thrown but failed to explode.

The firing of the shots was confirmed by R.U.C. Headquarters early today following persistent reports in the area of firearms being used.

Police also confirmed that six shots were fired from a passing car at Andersonstown Police Station, Falls Road, Belfast but no damage was done.

On Falls Road early today dozens of petrol bombs were being tossed from side streets on to the main road, some hitting passing cars and other vehicles.

About 15 cars were burned out in the car showroom that was set on fire by the rioters.

Elsewhere in Belfast at the Unity Walk flats, where Protestant-Catholic trouble erupted two weeks ago, the barricades went up against a possible attack by Shankill road people. The barricades erected following earlier trouble, which had been taken down some days ago, were manned by vigilantes some carrying sticks and other weapons.

Two factories and the Falls Road branch library were among the targets for petrol bomb attacks while Springfield Road police station nearby was also hit.

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2 responses to “The prelude to Bombay Street

  1. Pingback: After Bombay Street: The Old Divisions Are Back | The Treason Felony Blog

  2. Pingback: August 1969 | The Treason Felony Blog

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