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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 2120 words

Bloody Sunday.

Extracts from this essay...


The events that took place on Bloody Sunday, 30th January 1972 have been discussed frequently and certain aspects of the event highly debated. The events of the particular day were of significant influence in further procedures in N. Ireland an on other related events. The event began after an illegal march took place in the centre of Derry, N. Ireland; the police and government banned the march as it was thought it would provoke violence. The march was lead by Catholic supporters who were demonstrating for Catholic rights, the Protestant-biased government and the internment of Catholics. As the march approached the city centre where Army barricades were set up, the first shot of many was fired. The question of who was to blame was then introduced, with neither the Army nor the Catholic marchers accepting responsibility. Thirteen people were found dead after the incident with may others left injured. With neither side accepting blame for the incident and instead blaming the incident on the opposition, the question of who is to blame is a difficult one. It is thought that the previous violence of the summer of 1969, particularly the Battle of Bogside, in which Catholics violently fought with the RUC and B Specials, provoked the introduction of the British Army.


Using the sources we can gain some information concerning what the motives of the Paratroopers were and what there original intentions were. Source F claims that the Paratroopers acted very violently and without provocation. The source also states that the Paratroopers had to be restrained by their own NCOs when they ¡¥began wielding their batons fiercely on their own men. This suggests that the paratroopers were totally out of control and that their objectives were unclear as they were being restrained. However, the source does take evidence from a Daily Telegraph reporter, a newspaper that openly supports rightwing parties, and is also written by an Irishman, Tim Pat Coogan, who is likely to be Catholic, therefore the evidence cannot be trusted as it could be biased and was also published in 1995, some time after the original events had taken place. Source G claims that Lieutenant General Tuzo thought that a low key strategy to avoid confrontation was the advisable course.¡¦ Although the source later states that Faulkner opposed the low key strategy and thought that a hard line must be taken. These two contradictive ideas create the theory of questionable motives by the paratroopers, which supports the ideas brought about in source F, as many paratroopers probably opposed the orders that were given to them, or simply disagreed with them.


Because of all the different views of the event and different accounts of what happened, it has proved difficult to reach an agreement on what happened on Bloody Sunday and as the event goes further back in History, the evidence provided will become even more unreliable without a dramatic breakthrough, meaning that it is highly likely that the exact events of what happened on Black Sunday will remain unknown to those that were not present. Many factors have affected this, least of all the complexity of the event and whether or not it was intended as a peaceful protest given that the march was declared illegal and therefore should never have taken place. Also given the depth of emotion on the day, as well as after, as the paratroopers were left in a difficult position, Brian Faulkner wanting a tough approach and Catholics protesting against internment; which was declared illegal by the European court, lead to a very aggressive situation with both sides having significant reasons for violence. Therefore certainty can never really be considered and whether or not an agreement will be reached on what happened on Bloody Sunday is debatable.

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