Bloody Sunday in Derry 1972

 01 Cover Page

Bloody Sunday 1972:  Civil Rights March in Derry fired on by British troops, killing 14 people

The events of Bloody Sunday in the city of Derry would become one of the worst atrocities the city would ever experience. It would also lead to one of the biggest mistakes for the British in their fight for power in Northern Ireland during the troubles.

Sunday, January 30th, 1972 started as any other Sunday in Derry but would end with tragedy and a population thrown into a dark backlash of opinion towards the British.

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organized a march to begin at 3PM from the Bishops Field area of the Creggan. The march had already been deemed illegal by the British. During previous march’s, the police force and the British proved too ruthless against peaceful demonstrators. The plan for the march was to walk down Creggan Hill, into William Street and onto the Guildhall Square, in the City Centre area. Over 15,000 people attended the march which proceeded from Creggan. The marchers were singing songs with some describing it as a carnival like event. As they reached the William Street area, the British Army had set-up barricades. To avoid trouble, the march was diverted  into the Bogside and towards Free Derry Corner.

02 Derry Map

The Trouble Begins At The British Barricades 

03 MemorialA number of youths broke away from the march and attempted to pass the barricades. They hurled abuse at the British troops along with stones. In turn the troops fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and a water canon. The riot wasn’t considered intense as only a small number of people had taken part; the majority of marchers were still making their way down Creggan Hill and into the Bogside.


Paratroopers Storm The Bogside

The air was full of C.S. gas so people were making their way to the meeting point at Free Derry Corner. It was then they could hear the distinctive sound of the Armored Cars that were heading towards the Bogside area.

Within a matter of minutes Paratroopers of the 1st Parachute Regiment opened fire into the fleeing crowds, killing 13 unarmed men and injuring 13 others, one of whom died some months later. Statements from witness’s described how the Paratroopers fired indiscriminately into the crowd. They also describe how different people had been gunned down. One must not forget there had been over 15,000 people who had witnessed this event.

04 Bogside


Background Information

Free Derry

British troops had been sent into Derry as a peacekeeping force in August 1969 and had initially been welcomed by the predominantly Catholic nationalist community as a preferable alternative to what they saw as the discrimination of the local Northern Ireland security forces. The residents of the Bogside area of the city had declared it ‘Free Derry’ and refused to recognize the authority of the Northern Ireland government, led by a unionist majority that drew most of its support from the Protestant community.

Opposition to policies such as detention of terrorist suspects without trial (internment) and the alleged rigging of electoral wards to favour Protestant voters (gerrymandering) had inspired a developing civil rights movement across Northern Ireland. With support for the demands of the civil rights movement so strong among local people, Derry was an obvious choice for a mass demonstration.

The events of Bloody Sunday

About ten thousand people gathered in the Creggan area of Derry on the morning of Sunday 30 January 1972. After prolonged skirmishes between groups of local youths and the army at barricades set up to prevent the march reaching its intended destination (Guildhall Square in the heart of the city), paratroopers moved in to make arrests. During this operation, they opened fire on the crowd, killing thirteen and wounding 13 others.

The dead were all male, aged between seventeen and forty-one. Another man, aged fifty-nine, died some months later from injuries sustained on that day. The wounded included a fifteen-year-old boy and a woman.

Reaction and inquiries

While the British Army maintained that its troops had responded after coming under fire, the people of the Bogside saw it as murder. The British government was sufficiently concerned for the Home Secretary to announce the following day an official inquiry into the circumstances of the shootings.

Opinion was further polarized by the findings of this tribunal, led by the British Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery. His report (The Widgery Report) exonerated the army and cast suspicion on many of the victims, suggesting they had been handling bombs and guns. Relatives of the dead and the wider nationalist community campaigned for a fresh public inquiry, which was finally granted by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998.

Headed by Lord Saville, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry (The Saville Report) took 12 years and finally reported on June 15,  2010. It established the innocence of the victims and laid responsibility for what happened on the army.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the killings “unjustified and unjustifiable”. The families of the victims of Bloody Sunday felt that the inquiry’s findings vindicated those who were killed, raising the question of prosecutions and compensation.


of the 14 victims

killed on

Bloody Sunday

07 Bloody Sunday Victims



(Photo from bbc news)

Thirteen people were shot dead when soldiers opened fire on marchers during a civil rights march in Londonderry on 30 January, 1972. Another man (John Johnston) died 4 ½ months later.

Civilians Murdered On Bloody Sunday

The following are the names and ages of the people who had been gunned down on Bloody  Sunday by the British Paratroop Regiment.

  1. Bernard McGuigan (41)08 Cross
  2. Gerard V. Donaghy (17)
  3. Hugh P. Gilmore (17)
  4. John F. Duddy (17)
  5. James Mc Kinney (34)
  6. James J. Wray (22)
  7. John P. Young (17)
  8. Kevin McElhinney (17)
  9. Michael G. Kelly (17)
  10. Michael M. McDaid (20)
  11. Patrick J. Doherty (31)
  12. William A. McKinney (27)
  13. William N. Nash (19)
  14. John Johnston (59)

The events of that day had been caught on camera by the press, who had witnessed the tragedy first hand. Images sent shock waves around the world. The events of that day also led to the fall of the Northern Ireland Parliament, Stormont. Direct rule from England was brought in following the events of Bloody Sunday.

The British set-up the Widgery Tribunal to investigate the events of that day. However, it was quickly seen as a farce when many of the facts and statements were either overlooked or omitted.  Because of this, Derry people never accepted the Widgery Tribunal. Every year since 1972, the people of Derry have continued to march the same route as those who did on Bloody Sunday. Even to this day, the march is remembered with thousands in attendance.

In 1997, after 40,000 people signed a petition for a new inquiry, the British Government came under tremendous pressure to reopen the investigation of the events that occurred on that day.

On 29 January 1998, U.K Prime Minister Tony Blair made a statement to the House Of Commons:

“…that a Tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the events on Sunday 30 January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day, taking account of any new information relevant to events on that day.”

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was then launched. However, none of the members of the British Paratroop regiment had ever been found guilty for their crimes, even as of today.

The Dead

  • John (Jackie) Duddy: Shot in the chest in the car park of Rossville flats. Four witnesses stated Duddy was unarmed and running away from the paratroopers when he was killed. Three of them saw a soldier take deliberate aim at the youth as he ran. His nephew is Irish boxer John Duddy.
  • Patrick Joseph Doherty: Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety in the forecourt of Rossville flats. Doherty was the subject of a series of photographs, taken before and after he died by French journalist Gilles Peress. Despite testimony from “Soldier F” that he had fired at a man holding and firing a pistol, Widgery acknowledged that the photographs showed Doherty was unarmed, and that forensic tests on his hands for gunshot residue proved negative.
  • Bernard McGuigan: Shot in the back of the head when he went to help Patrick Doherty. He had been waving a white handkerchief at the soldiers to indicate his peaceful intentions.
  • Hugh Pius Gilmour: Shot through his right elbow, the bullet then entering his chest as he ran from the paratroopers on Rossville Street. Widgery acknowledged that a photograph taken seconds after Gilmour was hit corroborated witness reports that he was unarmed, and that tests for gunshot residue were negative.
  • Kevin McElhinney: Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety at the front entrance of the Rossville Flats. Two witnesses stated McElhinney was unarmed.
  • Michael Gerald Kelly: Shot in the stomach while standing near the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats. The Widgery Report accepted that Kelly was unarmed.
  • John Pius Young: Shot in the head while standing at the rubble barricade. Two witnesses stated Young was unarmed.
  • William Noel Nash: Shot in the chest near the barricade. Witnesses stated Nash was unarmed and going to the aid of another when killed.
  • Michael M. McDaid: Shot in the face at the barricade as he was walking away from the paratroopers. The trajectory of the bullet indicated he could have been killed by soldiers positioned on the Derry Walls.
  • James Joseph Wray: Wounded then shot again at close range while lying on the ground. Witnesses who were not called to the Widgery Tribunal stated that Wray was calling out that he could not move his legs before he was shot the second time.
  • Gerald Donaghey: Shot in the stomach while attempting to run to safety between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park. Donaghey was brought to a nearby house by bystanders where he was examined by a doctor. His pockets were turned out in an effort to identify him. A later police photograph of Donaghey’s corpse showed nail bombs in his pockets. Neither those who searched his pockets in the house nor the British army medical officer (Soldier 138) who pronounced him dead shortly afterwards say they saw any bombs. Donaghey had been a member of Fianna Éireann, an IRA-linked Republican youth movement. Paddy Ward, a police informer who gave evidence at the Saville Inquiry, claimed that he had given two nail bombs to Donaghey several hours before he was shot dead.
  • Gerard (James) McKinney: Shot just after Gerald Donaghey. Witnesses stated that McKinney had been running behind Donaghey, and he stopped and held up his arms, shouting “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”, when he saw Donaghey fall. He was then shot in the chest.
  • William Anthony McKinney: Shot from behind as he attempted to aid Gerald McKinney (no relation). He had left cover to try to help Gerald.
  • John Johnston: Shot in the leg and left shoulder on William Street 15 minutes before the rest of the shooting started. Johnston was not on the march, but on his way to visit a friend in Glenfada Park. He died 4½ months later; his death has been attributed to the injuries he received on the day. He was the only one not to die immediately or soon after being shot.

Perspectives and Analyses on Bloody Sunday

Thirteen people were shot and killed, with another man later dying of his wounds. The official army position, backed by the British Home Secretary the next day in the House of Commons, was that the paratroopers had reacted to gun and nail bomb attacks from suspected IRA members.

All eyewitnesses (apart from the soldiers), including marchers, local residents, and British and Irish journalists present, maintain that soldiers fired into an unarmed crowd, or were aiming at fleeing people and those tending the wounded, whereas the soldiers themselves were not fired upon. No British soldier was wounded by gunfire or reported any injuries, nor were any bullets or nail bombs recovered to back up their claims.

In the events that followed, irate crowds burned down the British embassy on Merrion Square in Dublin. Anglo-Irish relations hit one of their lowest ebbs, with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Patrick Hillery, going specially to the United Nations in New York to demand UN involvement in the Northern Ireland “Troubles”.

Although there were many IRA men—both Official and Provisional—present at the protest, it is claimed they were all unarmed, apparently because it was anticipated that the paratroopers would attempt to “draw them out”.

March organizer and MP Ivan Cooper had been promised beforehand that no armed IRA men would be near the march.

One paratrooper who gave evidence at the Tribunal testified that they were told by an officer to expect a gunfight and “We want some kills”. In the event, one man was witnessed by Father Edward Daly and others haphazardly firing a revolver in the direction of the paratroopers. Later identified as a member of the Official IRA, this man was also photographed in the act of drawing his weapon, but was apparently not seen or targeted by the soldiers. Various other claims have been made to the Saville Inquiry about gunmen on the day.

The city’s coroner, retired British Army Major Hubert O’Neill, issued a statement on 21 August 1973, at the completion of the inquest into the people killed.[43] He declared:

This Sunday became known as Bloody Sunday and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the Army ran amok that day and shot without thinking what they were doing. They were shooting innocent people. These people may have been taking part in a march that was banned but that does not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without hesitation that it was sheer, unadulterated murder. It was murder.

Two days after Bloody Sunday, the Westminster Parliament adopted a resolution for a tribunal into the events of the day, resulting in Prime Minister Edward Heath commissioning the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery to undertake it. Many witnesses intended to boycott the tribunal as they lacked faith in Widgery’s impartiality, but were eventually persuaded to take part.

The Widgery Report

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery quickly produced a report — completed within ten weeks (10 April) and published within eleven (19 April) — supported the Army’s account of the events of the day. Among the evidence presented to the tribunal were the results of paraffin tests, used to identify lead residues from firing weapons, and that nail bombs had been found on the body of one of those killed. Tests for traces of explosives on the clothes of eleven of the dead proved negative, while those of the remaining man could not be tested as they had already been washed.

Most Irish people and witnesses to the event disputed the report’s conclusions and regarded it as a whitewash. It has been argued that firearms residue on some deceased may have come from contact with the soldiers who themselves moved some of the bodies, or that the presence of lead on the hands of one (James Wray) was easily explained by the fact that his occupation involved the use of lead-based solder. In fact, in 1992, John Major, writing to John Hume stated: “The Government made clear in 1974 that those who were killed on ‘Bloody Sunday’ should be regarded as innocent of any allegation that they were shot whilst handling firearms or explosives. I hope that the families of those who died will accept that assurance.”

Following the events of Bloody Sunday Bernadette Devlin, an Independent Socialist nationalist MP from Northern Ireland, expressed anger at what she perceived as government attempts to stifle accounts being reported about the day. Having witnessed the events firsthand, she was later infuriated that she was consistently denied the chance to speak in Parliament about the day, although parliamentary convention decreed that any MP witnessing an incident under discussion would be granted an opportunity to speak about it in the House. Devlin punched Reginald Maudling, the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Conservative government, when he made a statement to Parliament on the events of Bloody Sunday stating that the British Army had fired only in self-defense. She was temporarily suspended from Parliament as a result of the incident. Nonetheless, six months after Bloody Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford who was directly in charge of 1 Para, the soldiers who went into the Bogside, was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen, while other soldiers were equally decorated with honors for their part on the day.

In January 1997, the United Kingdom television station Channel 4 carried a news report that suggested that members of the Royal Anglian Regiment had also opened fire on the protesters and could have been responsible for three of the fourteen deaths. On 29 May 2007 it was reported that General Sir Mike Jackson, [then Captain Mike Jackson] second-in-command of 1 Para on Bloody Sunday, said: “I have no doubt that innocent people were shot”. This was in sharp contrast to his insistence, for more than 30 years, that those killed on the day had not been innocent.

In 2008 a former aide to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell, described Widgery as a “complete and utter whitewash”.

In 1998 Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford expressed his anger at Tony Blair’s intention of setting up the Saville inquiry, citing he was proud of his actions on Bloody Sunday. Two years later in 2000 during an interview with the BBC, Wilford said “There might have been things wrong in the sense that some innocent people, people who were not carrying a weapon, were wounded or even killed. But that was not done as a deliberate malicious act. It was done as an act of war.”

The Saville Inquiry – Part 1

Although British Prime Minister John Major rejected John Hume’s requests for a public inquiry into the killings, his successor, Tony Blair, decided to start one.

A second commission of inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville, was established in January 1998 to re-examine Bloody Sunday. The other judges were John Toohey QC, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia who had worked on Aboriginal issues (he replaced New Zealander Sir Edward Somers QC, who retired from the Inquiry in 2000 for personal reasons), and Mr Justice William Hoyt QC, former Chief Justice of New Brunswick and a member of the Canadian Judicial Council.

The hearings were concluded in November 2004, and the report was published 15 June 2010. The Saville Inquiry was a more comprehensive study than the Widgery Tribunal, interviewing a wide range of witnesses, including local residents, soldiers, journalists and politicians. Lord Saville declined to comment on the Widgery report and made the point that the Saville Inquiry was a judicial inquiry into Bloody Sunday, not the Widgery Tribunal.

Evidence given by Martin McGuinness, a senior member of Sinn Féin and now the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, to the inquiry stated that he was second-in-command of the Derry City brigade of the Provisional IRA and was present at the march. He did not answer questions about where he had been staying because he said it would compromise the safety of the individuals involved.

A claim was made at the Saville Inquiry that McGuinness was responsible for supplying detonators for nail bombs on Bloody Sunday. Paddy Ward claimed he was the leader of the Fianna Éireann, the youth wing of the IRA in January 1972. He claimed that McGuinness, the second-in-command of the IRA in the city at the time, and another anonymous IRA member gave him bomb parts on the morning of 30 January, the date planned for the civil rights march. He said his organization intended to attack city-centre premises in Derry on the day when civilians were shot dead by British soldiers.

In response McGuinness rejected the claims as “fantasy”, while Gerry O’Hara, a Sinn Féin councillor in Derry stated that he and not Ward was the Fianna leader at the time.

Many observers allege that the Ministry of Defense acted in a way to impede the inquiry. Over 1,000 army photographs and original army helicopter video footage were never made available. Additionally, guns used on the day by the soldiers that could have been evidence in the inquiry were lost by the MoD. The MoD claimed that all the guns had been destroyed, but some were subsequently recovered in various locations (such as Sierra Leone and Beirut) despite the obstruction.

By the time the inquiry had retired to write up its findings, it had interviewed over 900 witnesses, over seven years, making it the biggest investigation in British legal history. The cost of this process has drawn criticism; as of the publication of the Saville Report being £195 million.

The inquiry was expected to report in late 2009 but was delayed until after the general election on 6 May 2010.

The Saville Inquiry – Part 2

The report of the inquiry was published on 15 June 2010. The report concluded, “The firing by soldiers of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.”

Saville stated that British paratroopers “lost control”, fatally shooting fleeing civilians and those who tried to aid civilians who had been shot by the British soldiers. The report stated that British soldiers had concocted lies in their attempt to hide their acts. Saville stated that the civilians had not been warned by the British soldiers that they intended to shoot. The report states, contrary to the previously established belief, that no stones and no petrol bombs were thrown by civilians before British soldiers shot at them, and that the civilians were not posing any threat.

The report concluded that an Official IRA sniper fired on British soldiers, albeit that on the balance of evidence his shot was fired after the Army shots that wounded Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. The Inquiry rejected the sniper’s account that this shot had been made in reprisal, stating the view that he and another Official IRA member had already been in position, and the shot had probably been fired simply because the opportunity had presented itself. Ultimately the Saville Inquiry was inconclusive on Martin McGuinness’ role, due to a lack of certainty over his movements, concluding that while he was “engaged in paramilitary activity” during Bloody Sunday, and had probably been armed with a Thompson submachine gun, there was insufficient evidence to make any finding other than they were “sure that he did not engage in any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire”.

Regarding the soldiers in charge on the day of Bloody Sunday, Saville found: Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford was commander of 1 Para and on the day was directly responsible for arresting rioters and returning to base. However, Wilford ‘deliberately disobeyed’ his superior Brigadier Patrick MacLellan’s orders by sending Support Company into the Bogside (and without informing MacLellan). Brigadier MacLellan was operational commander of the day.

The Saville Inquiry cleared MacLellan of any wrongdoing as he was under the impression that Wilford would follow orders by arresting rioters and then returning to base, and could not be blamed for Wilford’s actions.

Major General Robert Ford was Commander of land forces and set the British strategy to oversee the civil march in Derry. Although Saville cleared Ford of any fault, he found Ford’s selection of 1 Para, and in particular Wilford to be in control of arresting rioters, to be disconcerting, specifically as “1 PARA was a force with a reputation for using excessive physical violence, which thus ran the risk of exacerbating the tensions between the Army and nationalists”.

Major Ted Loden was the commander in charge of soldiers, following orders issued by Lieutenant Colonel Wilford. Saville cleared Loden of misconduct, citing that Loden “neither realized nor should have realized that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat”. In short, the inquiry found that Loden could not be held responsible for claims (whether malicious or not) by some of the individual soldiers that they had received fire from snipers.

The Saville Inquiry – Part 3

Captain Mike Jackson (later General Sir Mike Jackson) was second in command of 1 Para on the day of Bloody Sunday. Saville cleared Jackson of sinister actions following Jackson’s compiling of a list of what soldiers told Major Loden on why they had fired. This list became known as the “Loden List of Engagements” which played a role in the Army’s initial explanations. While Saville found the compiling of the list was ‘far from ideal’, he accepted Jackson’s explanations based on the list not containing the names of soldiers and the number of times they fired.

Saville had concluded that Lance Corporal F was responsible for a number of the deaths and that a number of soldiers have “knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing”.

Intelligence officer Colonel Maurice Tugwell and Colin Wallace, (an IPU army press officer) were also both cleared of wrongdoing. Saville believed that the information Tugwell and Wallace released through the media was not down to any deliberate attempt to deceive the public but rather due to much of the inaccurate information Tugwell had received at the time by various other figures.

Major Michael Steele was with MacLellan in the operations room and was in charge of passing on the orders on the day. Saville accepted that Steele could not believe other than that a separation had been achieved between rioters and marchers, because both groups were in different areas.

Reporting on the findings of the Saville Inquiry in the House of Commons, the British Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Mr Speaker, I am deeply patriotic. I never want to believe anything bad about our country. I never want to call into question the behavior of our soldiers and our army, who I believe to be the finest in the world. And I have seen for myself the very difficult and dangerous circumstances in which we ask our soldiers to serve. But the conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt, there is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong.”




Bloody Sunday  

Britain NIreland Bloody Sunday

Photo A01     

In this Sunday Jan, 31 1972 file photo a man receives attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday. An epic 12-year investigation into Northern Ireland’s biggest mass killing by British soldiers reached a bittersweet climax Tuesday, June 15, 2010 as relatives of the 14 Catholic demonstrators killed on “Bloody Sunday” began reading a 5,000-page report into why the 1972 slaughter happened.

(AP Photo/ PA/File)


 Photo A02 


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 Photo A06

Bloody Sunday: soldiers and demonstrators

Photo A07

MH 30539

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A Bandage and a baby's vest are pictured

Photo A11

A Bandage and a baby’s vest are pictured at the Museum of Free Derry against a photograph of Michael Kelly. The items were used to stem the flow of blood after Michael was shot by a British soldier..

(PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)


Photo A12     

Pallbearers carry one of 13 coffins of Bloody Sunday victims to a graveside during a funeral in Derry, Northern Ireland, following requiem mass at nearby St. Mary’s church at Creggan Hill on Feb. 2, 1972. About 10,000 people shared in the funeral services. British soldiers shot dead 14 catholic protesters in Northern Ireland on Jan. 30.

(AP Photo) 


Photo A13

uneral services of the Victims at St. Mary’s church at Creggan Hill on Feb. 2, 1972.


Photo A14     

Funeral services of the Victims at St. Mary’s church at Creggan Hill on Feb. 2, 1972.



of  the



Bloody Sunday  



 Photo B01     

Thousands of Catholics march in a peaceful civil rights demonstration in the Northern Ireland town of Newry on Sunday, Feb. 6, 1972. The rally is in protest against the British government’s policy of internment and against the shooting of 14 civilians in Derry the previous Sunday. The rally was peaceful and there was no confrontation with thousands of British troops stationed in the town.

(AP Photo/Michel Laurent)



Photo B02     

Armed British troops patrol a neighborhood in Derry, Northern Ireland, in Feb. 1972, following the deadly shooting of 14 demonstrators by British paratroopers during the civil rights march on Jan. 30, known as Bloody Sunday.

(AP Photo/Michel Laurent)



Photo B03     

Catholic youths rush away as a gas canister explodes in their midst during disorders in the Bogside district of Derry, near the scene of the “bloody Sunday” killings earlier in the month. Youths had used nail bombs and gelignite to attack British armored cars (in the foreground, left) during the late afternoon clash. Troops hit back with a hail of rubber bullets and C.S. gas.

(AP Photo)



Photo B04     

A young child, resting on a man’s shoulders, holds a hanging effigy of a British soldier during a march in Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, Feb. 1972. The rally follows the deadly shooting of 14 demonstrators by British paratroopers during the civil rights march on Jan. 30, known as Bloody Sunday.

(AP Photo/Michel Laurent)



Photo B05     

Two women cover their faces with handkerchiefs to protect themselves against teargas fired by British police against rioting youth in Derry City, Northern Ireland on February 20, 1972.

(AP Photo)



Photo B06     

British actress Vanessa Redgrave reads a poem during a Sunday service in Derry’s predominantly Catholic Bogside section, on January 29, 1973. The event is marking the anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” of January 30, 1972, when British paratroops shot 14 Catholic demonstrators to death following a civil rights march.

(AP Photo) 



Photo B07     

Nationalist residents of the Creggan estate of Londonderry display large pictures of the victims of Bloody Sunday along the route where marchers commemorating the 25th anniversary of the event follow the route of the anti-internment protest of Jan. 30, 1972 from the Creggan to Free Derry Corner Sunday, Feb. 2, 1997. Thirteen men were shot dead by British paratroopers who believed they were under fire and another man died later from his injuries in the event which escalated the sectarian violence in the British ruled province. At rear is the River Foyle and is the city of Londonderry at left.

(AP Photo/ Paul McErlane)


The People of Derry Prepare For The Bloody Sunday Inquiry To Be Released

Photo B08     

A general view of the Bogside area of Derry City where the Bloody Sunday killings took place in 1972. This photo was taken on June 14, 2010.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


The People of Derry Prepare For The Bloody Sunday Inquiry To Be Released

Photo B09     

A general view of Ebrington Barracks, where the 1,000 British troops were garrisoned in 1972, are seen in Derry City on June 14, 2010.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)



June 15, 2010

Release of the

Saville Report


Northern Ireland’s Bloody Sunday Report Released

(AP) — Relatives of the Catholic demonstrators shot to death by British troops on Northern Ireland’s Bloody Sunday cried tears of joy on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 as an epic fact-finding probe ruled that their loved ones were innocent and the  British soldiers entirely to blame for the 1972 slaughter.

The investigation took 12 years and nearly 200 million pounds ($290 million), but the victims’ families and the British, Irish and U.S. governments welcomed the findings as priceless to heal one of the gaping wounds left from Northern Ireland’s four-decade conflict that left 3,700 dead.

Thousands of residents of Derry City – a predominantly Catholic city long synonymous with Britain’s major mass killing from the Northern Ireland conflict – gathered outside the city hall to watch the verdict come in, followed by a lengthy apology from Prime Minister David Cameron in London that moved many locals long distrustful of British leaders.

The probe found that soldiers opened fire without justification at unarmed, fleeing civilians and lied about it for decades, refuting an initial British investigation that branded the demonstrators as Irish Republican Army bombers and gunmen.

Cameron, who was just 5 years old when the attack occurred, said it was “both unjustified and unjustifiable.”


The Saville Inquiry Into The Bloody Sunday Shootings Is Released

Photo C01     

Families of the victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings march from the Bogside area of Derry City to the Guildhall holding photographs of their relatives, to gain a preview of the Saville Report on June 15, 2010.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


The Saville Inquiry Into The Bloody Sunday Shootings Is Released

Photo C02     

Members of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign march with banners depicting the victims of the shootings on their way to the Guildhall to hear the findings of the Saville Report on June 15, 2010 in Derry City, Northern Ireland.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


The Saville Inquiry Into The Bloody Sunday Shootings Is Released

Photo C03     

Families of the victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings arrive at the Guildhall after marching from the Bogside area of Londonderry holding photographs of their relatives, to gain a preview of the Saville Report on June 15, 2010 in Derry City, Northern Ireland.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


The Saville Inquiry Into The Bloody Sunday Shootings Is Released

Photo C04     

A person carries a copy of the long-awaited Saville Inquiry report into Bloody Sunday, after relatives of the victims read the first copies, outside the Guildhall on June 15, 2010 in Derry City, Northern Ireland. The long-awaited report from the Saville Inquiry, which was set up in 1998 and is estimated to have cost about 200 million pounds ($290 million), was announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Commons and stated that all victims were innocent.

(Photo by Paul Faith – WPA Pool/Getty Images)


The Saville Inquiry Into The Bloody Sunday Shootings Is Released

Photo C05     

A general view of the crowds of people outside the Guildhall in Derry City at the announcement the findings of the Saville Report on June 15, 2010.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) 



Photo C06     

Closeup view of the crowd of people outside the Guildhall in Derry City at the announcement the findings of the Saville Report on June 15, 2010.


Britain Nireland Bloody Sunday Report

Photo C07     

Relatives of the 1972 Bloody Sunday victims react after leaving the Guildhall in Derry City, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, June, 15, 2010. More than 1,000 Derry residents applauded, hugged and cried outside city hall as the long-awaited verdict was announced live on a huge television screen. They had campaigned for 38 years for the victims – originally branded as Irish Republican Army bombers and gunmen – to have their good names restored and the guilt of the soldiers who shot them proved beyond doubt.

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)


CORRECTION APTOPIX Britain Northern Ireland Bloody Sunday Repor

Photo C08     

John Kelly, the brother of Michael Kelly, who was shot dead on Bloody Sunday in 1972, reacts with relatives of other victims, after leaving the Guildhall in Derry City, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, June, 15, 2010.

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)


The Saville Inquiry Into The Bloody Sunday Shootings Is Released

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Crowds celebrate the findings of the long-awaited Saville Inquiry report into Bloody Sunday, after relatives of the victims read the first copies, outside the Guildhall on June 15, 2010 in Derry City, Northern Ireland. The long-awaited report from the Saville Inquiry, which was set up in 1998 was announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Commons and stated that all victims were innocent.

(Photo by Paul Faith – WPA Pool/Getty Images)



from the Bogside

Derry City


Bloody Sunday



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(Photo by Paul Faith – WPA Pool/Getty Images)



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(Photo by Paul Faith – WPA Pool/Getty Images)



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(Photo by Paul Faith – WPA Pool/Getty Images)


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Mural by Bogside Artists depicting all who were killed by the British Army on Bloody Sunday

(Photo from


APTOPIX Britain Northern Ireland Bloody Sunday

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(Photo by Paul Faith – WPA Pool/Getty Images)



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Memorial Commemorating the Victims of Bloody Sunday (Bogside of Derry) 


Information 1

Information (edited by Greg Seán Canning) and Photos taken from the following Internet Sources: