Bloody Sunday Memorial
Museum of Free Derry
The Museum of Free Derry, just off Rossville St, chronicles the history of the Bogside, the civil rights movement and the events of...
Museum of Free Derry
Just off Rossville St, this museum chronicles the history of the Bogside, the civil rights movement and the events of Bloody Sunday...
Hunger Strikers' Memorial
Near Free Derry Corner is the H-shaped Hunger Strikers' Memorial.
The Nerve Centre was set up in 1990 as a multimedia arts centre to encourage young, local talent in the fields of music and film. The...
Lonely Planet review
A simple granite obelisk that commemorates the 14 civilians who were shot dead by the British Army on 30 January 1972. Bloody Sunday tragically echoed Dublin's Bloody Sunday of November 1920. Derry's Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the history of the Troubles. On Sunday 30 January 1972, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association organised a peaceful march through Derry in protest against internment without trial, which had been introduced by the British government the previous year.
Some 15,000 people marched from Creggan through the Bogside towards the Guildhall, but were stopped by British Army barricades at the junction of William and Rossville Sts. The main march was diverted along Rossville St to Free Derry Corner, but a small number of youths began hurling stones and insults at the British soldiers.
The exact sequence of events is disputed, but it now seems clear that soldiers of the 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment opened fire on unarmed civilians. Fourteen people were shot dead, some of them shot in the back; six were aged just 17. Another 14 people were injured, 12 by gunshots and two from being knocked down by armoured personnel carriers. The Catholic population of Derry, who had originally welcomed the British troops as a neutral force protecting them from Protestant violence and persecution, now saw the army as enemy and occupier. The ranks of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) swelled with a fresh surge of volunteers.
The Widgery Commission, set up to in 1972 to investigate the affair, failed to find anyone responsible. None of the soldiers who fired the 108 bullets, nor the officers in charge, were brought to trial or even disciplined; records disappeared and weapons were destroyed.
Long-standing public dissatisfaction with the Widgery investigation led to the massive Bloody Sunday Inquiry (www.bloody-sunday-inquiry.org.uk), headed by Lord Saville, which sat from March 2000 till December 2004. The inquiry heard from 900 witnesses, received 2500 witness statements, and allegedly cost the British taxpayer £400 million; its final report was due to be published in summer 2007.
The events of Bloody Sunday inspired rock band U2's most overtly political song, Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983), and are commemorated in the Museum of Free Derry, the People's Gallery, and this Bloody Sunday Monument, all in the Bogside.