Barney McMonagle Super 8: The Derry Unemployed Action Committee March to the Diamond








01min 53sec







Barney McMonagle, Vinny Cunningham


Northland Broadcast, OpenReel Productions, Tower Museum, Vinny Cunningham

Rights Holder

McMonagle Family, Vinny Cunningham

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


This short film clip shows a Derry Unempoyed Action Committee (DUAC) demonstration. The city had high levels of unemployment in the mid-60s, reaching a peak of 20.1% in 1966. After a series of closures of key job sites, local trade unionists formed the DUAC in 1965. The group advocated for more investment and job creation in Derry and several rallies and protests took place in the city. The group shared many key members with the later established Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) which campaigned for improvements to housing in the city.

Both groups were supported by socialists, nationalists and republicans. This may explain the small counter protest element on display in the clip. The DUAC had revived its activity after a quiet period in 1968 following the events of 5th October, 1968. On this day, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (1968) had planned a march, coordinated with the DHAC, to protest the allocation of housing, jobs and gerrymandering. Stormont had banned parades two days before the planned march. The parade organisations decided to go ahead with the march. The police blocked the intended route and baton-charged the crowd. This incident has been described as one of the inciting incidents of the conflict that came to be known as The Troubles.

It is difficult to be certain about the exact date of this protest, but it appears to be from the early 1970s, perhaps Winter 1970-71. We welcome you to get in touch with us in the Digital Film Archive if you have more information regarding this clip. 

Barney McMonagle was an amateur photographer and captured many significant moments in the early years of the Troubles in Derry. He was born in Malta in 1944 and moved to the city as a young boy, growing up in the Brandywell area. This footage was digitised by Vinny Cunningham at McMonagle's request from 8mm to zBetacam tape. This footage comes from the Betacam transfer. McMonagle passed away in 2014. 


Vinny Cunningham is a filmmaker based in Derry.


This footage was donated to the Tower Museum and the Digital Film Archive by Vinny Cunningham. It was given to Cunningham by Barney McMonagle.



Please scroll to review and accept our terms and conditions (last updated on ) before viewing the moving images content.

To remember your terms and conditions acceptance, you can register as a site member or allow cookies on your browser.