1976 – Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams, The Peace People


In 1976, 27 year old Mairead Maguire was walking down the street in Northern Ireland with three of her nieces and nephews, when they were hit by an IRA getaway car. The driver had been shot by a British soldier.

All three children were killed.

Betty Williams came on the scene after hearing the shot. The deaths prompted Mairead and Betty to found the Community of the Peace People, to gather fellow Irish mothers and others, and march in the streets, throughout Northern Ireland and further afield, demanding an end to the violence.

It was the first broad display of a public demand for peace in Northern Ireland, and has been heralded as a turning point in the history of the troubles.

photo by Peter Badge