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bloody sunday assignment 2

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Introduction

Ireland Assignment 2 At first the Catholic community welcomed the arrival of the British troops- as they were seen to be protecting the Catholics from attacks by Protestants. But within months, the IRA reformed and began to carry out attacks on the army. A split in the IRA caused the creation of two sides, the Official and the Provisional. The Provisional were Northern based and reacted violently to the British troops. In the summer of 1970, 3000 troops reacting to increased IRA activity searched the Falls Road- a mainly Catholic area. After the summer rioting in 1970, troops entering Falls Road used tear gas, the whole area was put under curfew for 32 hours, and homes were ransacked in searches that proceeded. This was an advantage to the Provisionals as they were given information to propagandise. The IRA now had the opportunity to cause even more violence and a reason to turn Catholics against the troops. More and more Catholics began to support the IRA because of this; even more pressure was put on to get rid off the British army from Ulster. The Provisional IRA became more involved with Irish political affairs and demanded five things: o The withdrawal of the British army from Ulster; o Abolition of Stormont (the Ulster parliament); o Free elections; o Unification of Ulster with the Irish Republic; o The release of all political prisoners. To obtain these demands they used terrorist activities to put pressure on the British government. In 1971, the Provisional IRA launched a major bombing campaign- targeting Protestant shops and businesses. The IRA even attacked Catholics who they considered to be disloyal by mixing with the British army. This caused things to turn bitter, as they were no longer protecting their community but were now willing to go to any extent to get rid of the British army. The Northern Ireland government introduced internment in attempt to curb the increasing violence. ...read more.

Middle

An ITN new report broadcast is about an eyewitness that overheard soldiers before the events of Bloody Sunday. Daniel Porter had heard them talking about "clearing the Bogside" and then was later told of the plan by off-duty troops in a pun in England. Later he linked it to Bloody Sunday, after first assuming that they "clearing away the barricades". The way that this is interpreted supports the Catholic version of the events, rather than the Protestant- though at first he claims to have thought of the army's plans as innocent. Fulvio Grimaldi, an Italian Journalist, was an independent eyewitness to the march that led into Bloody Sunday. He found the events "unbelievable", and referred to it as a "cold-blooded murder, organised, disciplined murder, planned murder." He tells us the events from how he saw them- we are told that at first there were a "few exchanges" and the protesters "threw a few rocks", but it was nothing serious as they were "not very heavy". The army then used the water cannon to spray the crowd, who then dispersed only to return later. We can now see the events that led into Bloody Sunday from a less biased view- as we know that the protesters did taunt the army, who tried to handle the situation. Again the protesters threw more rocks, and CS gas was used "massively". After this build up we are told that the paratroopers "jumped out" and "started shooting in all directions" but this was done without "the slightest provocation". He claims that from the protesters there was "no shot, no nail bomb even, nothing at all" but the army still opened fire. He goes onto tell us how he witnessed innocent people being shot, some from even "about a yard away." This creates a lot of emotion; the reader is immediately led to believe that the killing was a brutal massacre and cannot be just. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a Socialist article and typically supports the Catholic version of the events, but it may also be biased as a lot of the Socialists were Catholics themselves. They did not want the British Army there, and their interpretation of the day would work to get rid off them. After having looked at all these sources, and finding out about the background of the events of Bloody Sunday I would definitely say that I could not rely on any one source alone as they are all biased to some degree. I can sympathise with the Catholic community as they were very repressed by the Protestants, and simply just wanted their freedoms and rights. But they also turned violent which made them stoop to the level of those who were mistreating them. Each side simply just angering the other instead of trying to help. If the dispute was really because of religious differences to start with, as the divide makes it seem, then they should look to their religions for guidance and realise they are both Christians, and should help each other and not be fighting. I believe that on Bloody Sunday the British Army did not just begin to attack the protesters, but were provoked to some extent. Due to their history the army had a hatred for the protesters that made their shooting brutal and inhumane, but they cannot be blamed alone as the IRA reaped havoc beforehand. The events of Bloody Sunday were tragic no matter what the interpretations are, even if those who were killed were not innocent it has caused so much more trouble that innocent people are now being hurt if they were not before. It should not have had to come to a point where the army were firing for enjoyment, but the acts of both the Unionists and Nationalists had fuelled so much anger that the situation could have been worse. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nazish Abbas ...read more.

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