In 1962, the Matthew Plan (designed to decentralize Belfast as the urban centre) identified Portadown/Lurgan, not Derry, as a major centre for development in the north: a new city, Craigavon, was also part of the Matthew Plan.

One of the city’s last two rail links, the Great Northern line to Dublin, was axed in 1964, in response to the Benson Report.


Significantly, the Lockwood Report of 1965 allocated the north’s second university not to the second largest city (Derry) but instead to unionist Coleraine. A protest motorcade to Belfast in 1965, led by professionals and business people, failed to reverse the decision.