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Fifty years on, the Troubles should be consigned to the past, not revived in the courts 

Dating service
Troops sprint from their barracks in Holywood, near Belfast April 22, 1969 to board truck to take up guard duty
This was not a predicament the Army either sought or welcomed Credit: PA

Fifty years ago today saw the start of Operation Banner, the deployment of troops to Northern Ireland to stop Protestants and Catholics killing each other. Initially, 300 men from 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales Own Regiment were sent to Londonderry to quell the rioting known to history as the Battle of the Bogside. Harold Wilson, the prime minister, on holiday in the Scillies, liaised with James Callaghan, the Home Secretary, over what would prove to be a momentous decision, albeit one they had anticipated for some time amid worsening sectarian strife.

At the end of April, Wilson told the Cabinet that “if it became necessary for the troops to intervene... the constitutional consequences might...

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