Tuesday 15 June 2010

1972, the year no-one went out...

The 1972 was the year which no-one went out in Northern Ireland. We had a population explosion, coinciding with the bombs and the bullets, the people stayed home and had babies.

Bloody Sunday happened in January 1972 and by the end of that year we had the privilege of being born in the year with the highest number of deaths in the entire troubles, before and after.

I was born in 1972, and by the time I was old enough to understand, the issue of Bloody Sunday wasnt often mentioned. But it always was there, eating away at the politics of the future. Nationalists reeling from the horror of that time and Unionists with the contentment that the gunmen had it coming. This feeling was sustained by the inquiry held by Lord Chief Justice Widgery. His report into the Bloody Sunday events concluded the following:

that shots had been fired at the soldiers before they started the firing that led to the casualties;

that, for the most part, the soldiers acted as they did because they thought their standing orders justified it;

and that although there was no proof that any of the deceased had been shot while handling a firearm or bomb, there was a strong suspicion that some had been firing weapons or handling bombs in the course of the afternoon.

The Widgery report was a whitewash.

In 1998, Prime Minister Tony Blair, established the Bloody Sunday Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville. Today his report was published by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and released after a statement by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron reacting to the report made the following comments:

• No warning had been given to any civilians before the soldiers opened fire

• None of the soldiers fired in response to attacks by petrol bombers or stone throwers

• Some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those
injured or dying

• None of the casualties was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify their shooting

• Many of the soldiers lied about their actions

• The events of Bloody Sunday were not premeditated

• Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, was present at the time of the violence and "probably armed with a sub-machine gun" but did not engage in "any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire"

more here the Bloody Sunday victims are listed here