Bloody Sunday Essay

2608 words - 10 pages

Bloody Sunday The events that took place on Bloody Sunday, 30th January 1972 have
been discussed frequently and certain aspects of the event highly
debated. The events of the particular day were of significant
influence in further procedures in N. Ireland an on other related
events. The event began after an illegal march took place in the
centre of Derry, N. Ireland; the police and government banned the
march as it was thought it would provoke violence. The march was lead
by Catholic supporters who were demonstrating for Catholic rights, the
Protestant-biased government and the internment of Catholics. As the
march approached the city centre where Army barricades were set up,
the first shot of many was fired. The question of who was to blame was
then introduced, with neither the Army nor the Catholic marchers
accepting responsibility. Thirteen people were found dead after the
incident with may others left injured. With neither side accepting
blame for the incident and instead blaming the incident on the
opposition, the question of who is to blame is a difficult one. It is
thought that the previous violence of the summer of 1969, particularly
the Battle of Bogside, in which Catholics violently fought with the
RUC and B Specials, provoked the introduction of the British Army. The
role of the Army was supposedly to keep the peace, defending the
Catholic population from Protestant attacks, a scenario that has
turned out to be somewhat ironic. The British also reintroduced the
use of internment in August 1971, which allowed the government to
arrest and imprison anyone without trial. Many rumours surrounded the
event before it took place and the results were not hugely shocking to
those who were already expecting a gunfight to take place. It was
thought by some that the IRA wanted a major gun battle, although
others thought that if similar events to those that took place in
Magilligan, London would be shamed and therefore it would seem that
the British paratroopers would want to hold their fire against the
Catholic demonstrators. Another stance is that the Catholics were
simply holding another peaceful protest. About a week before Bloody
Sunday, a two hour gunfight to place at Forkhill in County Armagh
between British troops and the IRA. About 1000 shots were fired.
Because of all the violence of the previous weeks, which was blamed on
the IRA, the Protestant unionists felt that a tougher approach must be
made to stop further violence from occurring.
After Bloody Sunday had taken place, the question of who was to blame
and more importunately for some, who had fired the first shot.
Different accounts of the day can give us an idea of what happened,
although the evidence is far from conclusive....

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