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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1065 words

Bloody Sunday - Why interpretations differ.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Richard Wiseman 11GH Bloody Sunday Why interpretations differ. January 30th 1972 was a dark day for Northern Ireland. During a civil rights march in the Bogside the British army opened fire on marchers. The result was fourteen dead Catholics. The exact facts about the event still remain controversial. I will attempt to look into why interpretations of Bloody Sunday differ, using the sources provided and my own studies. In source A when confronted with evidence that points towards blaming the paratroopers for the deaths a soldiers denounces it as "rubbish". He then goes on to say, "For years people have accused us of firing indiscriminately. We weren't." The paratroopers were against another enquiry into Bloody Sunday as they saw that justice had had its way in the first inquiry, they saw another inquiry as just to appease the Catholics. Another reason was that the paras were afraid that the new enquiry would uncover some things that they would rather was kept secret, did the paras have something to hide?

Middle

This is shown in source B. A forensic report shows that one of the victims was shot in the back of the head with a type of bullet made illegal by the Geneva Convention. It seems difficult to believe the Army in light of this evidence. The other side involved in this incident were the protesters. They claim the as the Paratroop Regiment moved to make their arrests they simply open fire on the crowd. They claim that from the protesters there was no fire what so ever. In source B its tells how forensic suggest that one marcher was shot through the back of the head, not exactly an offensive stance. Other eyewitnesses of the shootings give their stories. Alana Burke says how she saw "old men battered to the ground." Alex Nash says "they were there, the three bodies, innocent boys." These were found on the BBC website. These accounts were given to the BBC reporters from the hospitals where the victims were being treated.

Conclusion

He said that he personally saw no shooters in the marchers. As a journalist he is expected to be independent. Although he could have been looking for a good story and perverting the truth somewhat to get a good "scoop." But besides that I see him as the most reliable witness. There are many conflicting views to what happened on Bloody Sunday and it is hard to come to any conclusion about the real events. Although it is easy to see where each view comes from. With such heated conflict between the Nationalists and Unionists it seemed inevitable that something like this would happen. In some ways you can see why the Army might lose their cool with the marchers. When they were on operations in Ireland they were constantly being attacked with stones and nail bombs etc. The soldiers must have been itching to get their own back. Also you can see why the marchers, if they did, would fire on the Army. They saw the Army as a force of oppression and wanted to break free. With such heated rivalry and conflicting views it is difficult to make any judgement.

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