“Uproar at Abbey Premiere” – September 1970.

Come Here To Me!

In May of this year, the veteran Socialist activist Eamonn McCann was elected to the Stormont Assembly as MLA for the Foyle constituency. It was a remarkable achievement, all the more impressive given the election of his People Before Profit  colleague Gerry Carroll in West Belfast. At 29, Carroll’s political education came from campaigns like that against the Iraq War. For McCann, it was the Civil Rights movement that erupted in the North of Ireland in the late 1960s that would influence the course of his life to come.

On September 17 1970, there was widespread condemnation in the press for the actions of McCann at the Peacock Theatre (affiliated with and hosted by the Abbey), when he interrupted a performance he believed made a mockery of the worsening political situation in Ulster.  ‘A State of Chassis’, described in the press as a “satirical revue”, was the work of the…

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