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June 01, 1973 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-06-01

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Fridoy, June 1, 1973


Poge Five

Irish elect a Protestant
as their next president

From AP and UPI
Ireland's voters produced a major upset yester-
day and elected Erskine Childers, a 68-year-old
Protestant with an English background, to succeed
the old revolutionary Eamon de Valera as the
republic's next president.
Childers, against all the forecasts and the betting
odds, handed out a trouncing to Torn O'Higgins,
candidate of the governing national coalition.
THE FINAL count in the presidential r a c e
gave Childers 636,162 votes and O'Higgins 587,577.
In the last presidential election, in 1966, the re-
sult was De Valera 550,808, O'Higgins 548,240.
Childers had thus polled more votes than the
legendary De Valera and scored a remarkable per-
sonal triumph.
Childers, British-born, was the first Protestant
ever to contest a nationwide election in Ireland.
He was the candidate of the Fianna Fail opposi-
tion party.
"I am deeply honored and humbled at this
magnificent gesture by the Irish people," Child-

ers said in a statement issued from his Dublin
home after his victory had become clear.
POLITICAL SOURCES said Childers' victory
was a dramatic gesture of conciliation toward
violence-wreacked Northern Ireland.
De Valera, 91, and for more than half a century
the dominant figure in Ireland's gun-ridden poli-
tics, officially bows out in late June. He and his
95-year-old poetess wife will leave the presidential
mansion in Dublin's Phoenix Park and retire to
an old peoples home in the Dublin suburbs.
O'Higgins conceded in the late afternoon.
WHILE THE REPUBLIC'S voters were produc-
ing one of their more spectacular turnabouts, vot-
ers in British-ruled Northern Ireland were chasing
representatives in 26 districts concerned w it h
planning, utilities and indirectly with health and
Esrly resnlts showed the electorate splitting on
its old sectarian lines between pro-British Protest-
ants and republic-minded Roman Catholics.

A BRITISH ARMY armored personnel carrier moves into the
Catholic Bogside sector of Londonderry, North Ireland. The mili-
tant Irish Republican Army has used the area as a stronghold,
and put up the sign proclaiming it to be "Free Derry."

Belfast: Life amidst the

Associated Press Writer
BELFAST, Northern Ireland--
To the returning visitor, life in
Belfast seems to be in one of its
better periods.
A Saturday evening with only
four bombs . .. A weekend with
only three violent deaths, one of
them a 4-year-old boy hit by mis-

PEOPLE are a-t on the streets.
The soldiers at the scores of
checkpoints are relaxed and
cheerful. Shoppers present their
bags and lift their arms to be
searched in what by now is a
reflex reaction.
The main railroad station is
only slightly more battered than

usual after a bomb two weeks councils Wednesday were an at-
ago. The much-bombed Belfast tempt to turn the people to order-
Europa hotel has all its windows ly politics. But the bombs that
intact for the first time in two hit the center of Belfast during
years. Its penthouse nightclub the voting gave notice that the
is swinging again on the 12th Irish Republican Army is still in
floor, and other hotels and cabar- business.
ets are trying to bring back The IRA's three-year campaign
weekend entertainment to the to end Protestant domination of
center of the city. Northern Ireland and reunite the
But beneath the surface t h e six counties with the R o m a n
tensions of years of turmoil are Catholic Irish Republic has al-
stirring again for the summer ready wrought more damage
bloodletting. July and August are than did Hitler's bombs in World
the "bad" months in Northern War II.
Ireland's bloodstained calendar. The property toll runs ipta
People know it and are frighten- scores of millions of dollars.
ed. Whole stretches in the center of
THE ELECTIONS for district Belfast have been flattened. The
main shopping center is guarded
like a fortress; everyone and
every vehicle is searched on en-
try. But still the occasional bomb
gets through.
NOW SHOWING ! ONE PERSON in every n i n e
7:00 and 9:30 has changed his home during t .'
troubles, most of them out of
Intimidation - the threatening
note in the letterbox, the brick
through the window - is, part of
life where the Catholic and Pro-
testant communities overlap. It
the warning is ignored, the ta s-
line bomb is next.
Houses built within the past
two years already are bricked up
or shuttered with corrugatsd iron.
THE PEACE LINE, throw-n up
by the army in 1969 to keep the
feuding communities apart, now
is a combination of cage and
fortress. Some streets in qaiete:-
- areas are closed off with chick-
en wire up to roof height. Oth-
ers have tall shields of steel shut-
24th WEEK

ters to block snipers' bullets.
The soldiers who a year ago
moved into the IRA's "o go"
strongholds - Catholic districts
where no policeman dared pene-
trate - now live inside stock-
ades of sheet metal, modern ver-
sions of the frontier forts of the
old West.
Social life in Belfast used to
be based on neighborhood hotels,
places to hold a daughter's wed
ding or for a Saturday night at
the cabaret, costing at most $5.
establishments has been bombed.
Some are back in business; oth-
ers are in ruins. In those that
survive, every customer is rig-
orously searched.
Scores of pubs have vanished,
bombed or burned, sometimes
with heavy casualties. In their
place have spring tp shebeens,
private drinking dens run Sy the
guerrilla armies and providing
rival Catholic and Protestant
forces much of their finance.
much of their finance.
There is a heavy psychologcal
toll, too -- the trouble stored in
young minds that may explode in
future generations.
children is one aspect that singlet
itself out in vileness," said the
Roman Catholic bishop of Bel-
fast, Dr. William Philbin.
"They are enticed by bribes,
by reminders of injustices past
and present, by lies and threats
and by any and every other
means into executing infamous
"The weakest in character and
lowest in intelligence of a whole
generation of children are being
perverted into habits of vicious-
ness and hatred. They are being
taught that evil is good."
a guide to the world
of the arts 'n the
Q Arn Arbor area.
Available where books
I and magazines are sold. 0

persons under 18 cannot be admitted
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