Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Being brought up with the strict religious upbringing I had there were only two occasions I could use the word bloody as a kid.
  • 1. When referring to the Bloody River and Bloody Bridge at the south end of Slieve Donard
  • 2. When referring to Sunday 30th January 1972
At the weekend I showed Caron the map of where things happened and pointed out that the Glenn family church First Derry, stood atop the old city walls on Upper Magazine Street looked practically over the killing fields on Bloody Sunday. Though my family came from the other side of the barrier both physically and religiously to those that lost their lives that Sunday it is inexplicably linked to my families past.

Any time I was taken to Derry, especially with my father, I was shown from the height that the walls offered the view into the Bogside, Glenfada and Chamberlain Street. Today of course is the day after 38 years that we finally get some answers as to what happened that day. When you consider that I was 2 years and four months old when it happened, have now almost spent seventeen of my adult years away from Northern Ireland and five working there for the civil service I know it is well overdue.

I hope that the findings of Lord Saville, which are more thorough and more detailed that those of Lord Widgery in the immediate aftermath, are also more fair. Especially in the allegations of Widgery that some of the dead or wounded where gunmen or bombers. The fact that 13 people died on that day when they were protested for their civil rights, not bestowed on those who lived in the flats and tenements in the area was something that has taken a long time to heal.

Northern Irish history has been far from fair, especially on certain groups of its population. Hopefully with the publication of this report Northern Ireland can put a line under another part of its past and look to a future of reconciliation, rejuvenation and working together for a common good.

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