View Full Version : Good Morning...Bloody Sunday

1/30/2007, 06:21 AM
January 30, 1972, Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland

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On this day 35 years ago, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 13 unarmed anti-government demonstrators are shot dead by British army paratroopers of the Second Battalion, 1st Parachute Regiment, in an event that becomes known as "Bloody Sunday."


The protesters, all Northern Irish Catholics, were marching in protest of the British policy of jailing suspected Irish nationalists. British authorities had ordered the march banned, and sent troops to confront the demonstrators. When they refused to disperse despite the government order and after repeated warnings, the British army paratroopers fired into the crowd killing 13 and wounding 17.


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Mural on the side of a Londonderry house memorializing the events of January 30, 1972. The Northern Irish on both sides of the struggle are prone to create these murals as a way of heralding their sentiments -- particularly since billboards for such messages are not permitted.

The killings brought worldwide attention to the crisis in Northern Ireland and sparked protests all across Ireland. In Dublin, the capital of the independent Republic of Ireland, outraged Irish citizens torched the British embassy on February 2.

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On the same day Irish protesters burned the British Embassy in Dublin, a funeral mass for the 13 dead was held in the Londonderry cathedral. Rites were led by the Bishop of Londonderry.

The crisis in Northern Ireland had escalated three years earlier in 1969 when British troops were sent to the British possession to suppress nationalist activity by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and to quell religious violence between Protestants and Catholics.

The fundamental dispute stems from the fact that Catholics in Northern Ireland fervently wish to have the region joined with the Irish Republic. The Protestant Northern Irish remain loyal to the British Crown and fear Republican reprisals if that day ever came. The British government remains committed to keeping Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.

Four months after "Bloody Sunday, " in April 1972, the British government released a report exonerating British troops from any illegal actions during the Londonderry protest. Irish indignation over Britain's Northern Ireland policies grew, and Britain increased its military presence in the North while removing any vestige of Northern self-rule.

A modern British Army security detachment headquarters in Northern Ireland. The tower has an observation platform and imbedded sensors for early warning of approaching attackers.

On July 21, 1972, IRA terrorists exploded 20 bombs simultaneously in Belfast, the seat of British authority in Northern Ireland, killing British military personnel and a number of civilians. Britain responded by instituting a new court scheme which denied accused IRA terrorists a trial by jury. Instead, captured terrorist suspects were tried by a government judge. Predictably, conviction rates for these Royal bench trials topped over 90 percent.

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Official monument to the dead in Bogside, the Catholic Londonderry neighborhood where they were shot to death.

The IRA officially disarmed in September 2005, finally fulfilling the terms of the historic 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. It was hoped that the disarmament would bring with it an end to decades of politically motivated bloodshed in the region. We shall see.

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Mural on the side of a Londonderry house memorializing the January 30, 1972 victims

Let me tell you something, I have had enough of Irish-Americans who haven't been back to 'their country' in twenty or thirty years, come up to me and talk about 'the resistance', 'the revolution' back home and the glory of the revolution and the glory of dying for the revolution, F*%# the revolution! They do not talk about the glory of killing for the revolution, what's the glory in taking a man from his bed and gunning him down in front of his wife and childeren? Where's the glory in that? Where's the glory in bombing a rememberance day parade of old age pensioners, the medals taken out and polished up for the day, where's the glory in that? To leave them dying or crippled for life or dead under the rubble of the revolution, that the majority of the people of my country don't want. -- Bono

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1/30/2007, 07:00 AM
Nicely done.

1/30/2007, 07:19 AM
All "Good Christians" on both sides of that conflict.

1/30/2007, 07:26 AM
All "Good Christians" on both sides of that conflict.
It's much less about religion and far more about ethnicity. The Irish Protestants are descendents of Scots, Welsh and English who were transported to Ireland in the 17 & 18th century order to help "pacify" the rebellious native Irish through intermarriage.

1/30/2007, 08:49 AM
Also, U2 did a song about this event appropriately titled "Sunday, Bloody Sunday"