Prime minister of Northern Ireland (1963–9). O'Neill was keen to promote economic development within Northern Ireland, and to address the traditional hostility between unionist and nationalist, and between Belfast and Dublin. However, he alienated hard‐line loyalists without offering substantive concessions to Ulster catholics. The rise of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (founded in January 1967) brought further pressure on O'Neill. In November 1968 he conceded a five‐point reform programme, but this satisfied neither the NICRA activists nor many of his unionist colleagues. On 28 April 1969, against the background of a splintering unionism and relentless NICRA pressure, he resigned.
Subjects: European History.