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Bloody Sunday: What Really Happened? Essay

1790 words - 7 pages

On the 30th of January 197213 Catholics were killed by British
Paratroopers on the streets of Londonderry. It was the result of an
illegal but originally peaceful march led by the NICRA the civil
rights movement. The march attracted 15000 people all for a similar
cause, to ban Internment. The day became known as Bloody Sunday
because of the terrible events that took place. Although the details
of what actually happened remain undecided, because of the
controversial views of the people that took part in the march.

Internment was a law enforced by the government of N Ireland to try
and keep the Nationalist population under control. It allowed the
Government to put people in prison who were suspected of being
terrorists without trial. Consequently only Catholic's were arrested.

Bloody Sunday happened because of many years of conflict between
Nationalist and Unionist communities. In Northern Ireland nationalists
are almost all Catholics and want a united Ireland with no connections
with Britain. Unionists are almost all Protestant and want to stay
part of the United Kingdom, afraid that if they join the Republic of
Ireland the Catholic Church would take over and their economy would
break down. The street history and segregation between the communities
created a further tension between the two sides. When British Troops
came into N. Ireland in 1969 to bring peace between Nationalists and
Unionists, peace was restored for a few months, but gradually the
British troops went from being the peace makers to the peace
destroyers.

The British army soon clashed with both Nationalists and Loyalists.
The British government handed the control of their army to the Irish
government. This meant that the army was run just as the police had
been previously, discrimination against Catholics continued. The
B-specials had their guns taken off them. The army became the target
of terrorist attacks by the reformed Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Internment was introduced in 1971 by the Irish government to stop the
IRA. The protest was arranged on the date Sunday 30th January 1972 as
the Catholic public were enraged about the treatment of innocent man
leaving the Catholics feeling increasingly isolated.

The march itself was illegal because the parliament had banned all
marches to prevent violence. The plan was for everyone to walk through
the city to the centre where a rally would be held. To prevent any
trouble the paratroopers sealed off the city centre which led most of
the marchers past it but a few held back in order to confront the
paratroopers. These remaining marchers fired stones and abuse at the
paratroopers who responded with the standard rubber bullets and water
cannon, with the demonstrators still not responding they let out tear
gas into the crowd which kept away most of them. The next part is
confused but it is definite that members of the parachute regiment
fired bullets into the crowd killing the 13 people,...

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