This is the story of the Irish Council of Churches (ICC) between 1968 and 1972, the first four years of 'the troubles'. It contains important new material and traces the first formal contacts between the Irish Council of Churches, its member churches and the Roman Catholic Church. Sharp differences of opinion and tensions arose and were faced. Opposition to the introduction of internment was intense within the Catholic community - and indeed within Protestantism especially in the South. This opposition is explored fully in this book. The role of the joint Catholic/Protestant group on social problems is also covered in this book as is the role of another largely unpublicised Catholic and Protestant body, set up in confidence to advise church leaders on the developing crisis in Northern Ireland. The latter has not previously been discussed in detail. As a body it considered and took action on highly contentious issues like Catholic grievances, Protestant fears and allegations of police and prison brutality. The leadership of the ICC was of the highest order over the period, with Dr Eric Gallagher (Methodist), Principal James Haire (Presbyterian) and Archbishop George Simms (the Church of Ireland) its successive chairmen. Cardinal Conway of the Catholic Church was found to be a person willing to take and respond to initatives involving other churches. Ecumenism was still widely viewed as an irrelevance, a dangerous perversion of the gospel or an issue too hot to handle. Those involved in ecumenism in the North ran the risk of ridicule, threats and abuse. Yet these proved to be ground breaking days for ecumenism as the Northern Ireland crisis came to the boil and Protest and Catholic relations in Ireland took important steps forward.