I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.
Old news this week. On 30 January, 1972 – fifty years ago today – a protest took place in Derry, Northern Ireland.
The protest was about civil rights, it was just at the start of The Troubles, and the mood must have been ugly. But the protestors were, at least, unarmed.
The British Parachute Regiment, “oversaw” the march. With rifles, they opened fire on the protestors.
In total, twenty six people were shot, including fourteen fatally (thirteen at the scene, one later). Other injuries were caused, for example, by being mown down by British Armoured vehicles.
The event is known as Bloody Sunday, although there are a few Bloody Sundays in Ireland’s struggle to exist independently of the UK.
The British government held two “investigations”, which found that many of the victims had been shot either helping the wounded, or fleeing. Despite these investigations, even though individuals were identified. no soldiers were ever brought to justice.
My assumption has always been that, given this level of protection afforded to the perpetrators, the shootings were sanctioned by the British state, which simply didn’t want to take action against it’s own.
But so long afterwards, I support that move not to prosecute individuals, although that subject is still an open wound for many in Ireland.
It was a war, bad things happened on both sides, and and in the interest of the peace we have now, we should try to get over this hurdle.
But for some reason, my Irish roots feel very strong today.