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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 12:08 UK
The Northern Ireland Archives: On The Brink?

Panorama has reported from Northern Ireland from the early days of the civil rights movement in 1968, through over 30 years of the Troubles to the more peaceful situation of today.

You can watch abridged moments from one of those films below.

In February 1972, with the IRA campaign of violence continuing and the UK government proposing direct rule, Northern Ireland's militant Unionist communities found themselves on the brink of an orchestrated violent response

During the early 1970s loyalist paramilitary groups were also active, for example the Ulster Volunteer Force whose name had been around since 1919 but was revived in 1966. Some historians attribute the beginning of violence to UVF killings in 1966.

In February 1972, with the IRA campaign of violence continuing and the UK government proposing direct rule, Northern Ireland's militant Unionist communities found themselves at a crossroads.

Questions were being asked about whether a more orchestrated violent response to the IRA was required, amid a backdrop of divisions and splinters within the Unionist movement; most notably brought about by Bill Craig and the Ulster Vanguard movement.

Panorama filmed with the Democratic Unionist Party leader Reverend Ian Paisley and asked him what the future held for Unionists.



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