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In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, British Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, spoke in the House of Commons. He claimed that the British paratroopers who shot and killed 14 civil rights marchers had only done so in self defence. Denied the right to verbally respond, Bernadette Devlin, MP for Mid-Ulster and fellow civil rights marcher, got up from her seat, walked across the House and punched Reginald Maudling. When asked by reporters what she had hoped to achieve from this action, Bernadette responded that she wanted to deliver a “simple, proletarian protest” and when questioned as to her intentions of apologising to the Home Secretary she concluded, “I’m just sorry I didn’t get him by the throat”.

Recalls by Region, GRAND TOTAL

1. Ulster: 112

2. Mid-America, USA: 99

3. Mid-Atlantic, USA: 68

4. Southern Region, USA: 64

5. Connacht: 59

6. Southern Region, England: 52

7. Midlands Region, England/Wales: 51

8. Western Region, USA: 48

9. Munster: 43

10. New England, USA: 37

11. Eastern Region, Canada: 36

12. Ulster/Mid-Atlantic: 32**

13. Scotland: 25

14. Western Region, Canada: 23

15. Leinster: 19

16. North West Region, England: 18

17. North East Region, England: 12

18. Victoria, Australia: 10

19. New South Wales, Australia: 6

19. Queensland, Australia: 6

21. Mainland Europe: 3

22. ACT, Australia: 2

22. New Zealand: 2

22. Western Australia, Australia

25. South Africa: 1


Some caveats: these might not be perfect. It’s not a perfect science, especially with the way data is presented. If you notice a mistake, please let me know and I will try and fix it. This includes solo recalls only, NOT teams!

As for the DP issue: I don’t have time to track down where each of the dancers were from. From a data collection standpoint, it is very annoying that they are the only school that doesn’t list the dancer’s region. (All of the other cross-region schools do and I can’t figure out why they don’t.) However, I’ve decided not to pursue it because it won’t change the rankings– only if all 32 of the unallocated DP dancers were from the Mid-Atlantic Region would the rankings switch at all, and I’m 99.9999% sure that isn’t the case. 

So, here you have it! 

Update 1: changed Western Australia from 1 recall to 2

Duncan Campbell, “Bernadette”, 2008.

Video for projection, 37 minutes 10 seconds, 16mm transferred to DVD.

Notes on History of Bernadette Devlin

Bernadette Devlin emerged in the late 1960s from The Peoples’ Democracy, a group based at Queen’s University, Belfast. A diminutive but indomitable figure, Devlin combined parliamentary and extra-parliamentary politics. In 1969 Devlin was elected as MP for Mid-Ulster to Westminster at the age of 21. She spent six months of her term of office in jail for her part in barricading and defending a Catholic area of Derry. A brilliant orator, she became a doyenne of the New Left in Britain and beyond and was somewhat bemused to be associated with the radical chic of the time. Often a contradictory figure, Devlin strenuously tried to galvanise the Irish left in the face of increasing state violence and internment; all the while remaining politically independent of any of its emerging parties. Her sincere appeal for class solidarity beyond sectarian divisions went hand–in–hand with an instinctive association with, and defence of, working-class Catholics. She is the product of a political moment but was quick to grasp a bigger plot––the structural conflicts and tensions shared by all societies: class, religious against secular vision, the formation of national identity, the competing demands of the living and the dead.

Describing his work in a letter to Devlin, in which he announces his plans to make Bernadette, Campbell writes:
‘My film is a portrait of you. Now, of course I do not know you so it is my portrait of you: a public figure through whom the politics and history of a very particular time and place seemed to distill and through whom they seemed to pass. I have tried to capture some of the momentum and potential of Northern Ireland during the late 60s and early 70s and to chart your political becoming during this time.
The bulk of the film is made up of archival footage. I am aware of the paradox inherent in this: from my research I have a very strong impression that the parallel character of the ‘real’ Bernadette Devlin constructed through the media caused you much irritation. I was also interested in the extent to which this constructed, iconic figure subsequently, very quickly came to stand for––rightly and wrongly––a range of ideas associated with the Republican movement, with the civil rights campaign and so on, particularly in the likes of America.’