ashwednesday: (Ticktock)
[personal profile] ashwednesday
There is plenty you can read online about the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. There are just a few notes I want to make here. My life has been thankfully free of the violence of Northern Ireland, but my mother and her family are from Belfast and the region around Belfast, and their daily lives were shaped and fundamentally affected by the Troubles. It was a difficult, chaotic, frightening time, and no one party or group of people can really be "blamed" entirely for what went on. The Troubles are used to talk about a short period of time, but really they started centuries ago and they continue, in a thankfully smaller and less damaging form, today. But Bloody Sunday was one of those situations where there is clearly a wrong side, and it was the British Army, and its reckless, revolting, unjustifiable resort to arms on that Sunday in 1972 had a profound effect on the course of the Troubles. Many Catholics had initially welcomed the presence of the Army in Northern Ireland, because they hoped it would be a neutral force that would help protect them. Bloody Sunday underlined the fact that Catholics were the enemy, not only of the Protestant Irish but also of the British generally, and that Catholics could not hope that what they were supposed to accept as their government would protect them or their interests.

Patrick Doherty was shot as he tried to crawl to safety.

Bernard McGuigan was shot as he went to help Doherty; he waved a white handkerchief to signify his peaceful intentions.

William McKinney was shot as he went to the aid of Gerald McKinney (no relation); he had left cover to help the other man. Both died.

It is no wonder that after this the Provisional IRA began to attract more and more radicalised and disaffected young people, nor that the divisions between Catholics in Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain deepened. They were on a civil rights march. They died for nothing, and that day of violence led to who knows how many more pointless, bloody deaths on all sides.

Now David Cameron, on behalf of the Government, has officially apologised. I hope that it can bring the families of the deceased some kind of peace, and mark another step toward reconciliation - a process that began in one way or another 12 years ago and continues today. It will take a long time for these wounds to heal, and they will always leave scars; but this is something. It is an important something.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-16 09:01 am (UTC)
gavagai: The TARDIS on a ice planet (ice planet)
From: [personal profile] gavagai
Thank you for posting this; I think I'm going to link it, if that's okay? If not I'll remove link obv.


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