• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The events that occurred in Derry on 30 January 1972 became known as Bloody Sunday. Why have these events produced such different historical interpretations?

Extracts from this document...


The events that occurred in Derry on 30 January 1972 became known as 'Bloody Sunday'. Why have these events produced such different historical interpretations? Refer to sources A, B and C and other interpretations of events from your studies to help you in your answer. British troops were sent to Northern Ireland in 1969 due to genuine concerns about the possibility of civil war in the province. Loyalist and Nationalist attitudes had hardened still further by 1972. The Nationalists saw their cause as a political struggle for independence, with the Army a part of the British state and thus upholding the Unionist cause. As a result, the Army became an object of Nationalist aggression. The emergence of a provisional IRA that believed in violence directed at the army and unionist paramilitaries, and the aggressive response of the Loyalist paramilitary UVF and UDA, led to the introduction of internment in 1971, which meant the arrest and detention of those suspected of sectarian conflict. However, no loyalist paramilitaries were arrested under internment, whereas 1600 nationalists were. ...read more.


The Saville enquiry into the events of 30th January 1972 was established after campaigns by the victim's families and much of the sources A, B and C are all linked to this enquiry. Source A is an article from a British newspaper that is usually sympathetic to the military. The suggestion that the army was at fault on 30 January 1972 is firmly rebutted. The Daily Mail is known as a conservative newspaper supporting the military, which one would expect to defend their cause Source B is an account of the Bloody Sunday enquiry, suggesting that the army were to blame for the events that occurred, written in The Guardian newspaper. The author describes recent scientific evidence that those killed were posing no threat, as claimed by the Army. Source C is a transcript of a witness witness recalling how he overheard soldiers talk of "clearing the Bog". The account is only taken from one person. The source may be unreliable for giving a sound historical interpretation of Bloody Sunday, though the statement is vivid and credible. ...read more.


Source 12g is from the Londonderry coroner. The coroner says the army "ran amok that day"..."Shooting innocent people". He blames the army for the firing and murder of 13 Catholic men and injury of a further 13. His source is historically close to the events, close to the community, and of a Protestant and military background. This source is particularly revealing. Source 12h is an extract from a book written 15 years after the firings by Patrick Bishop and Eamonn Mallie that seeks to explain the behaviour of the IRA. The source is says there is no way that the rioters could have shot first. The views expressed are divided, as many of the authors either come from a background which would defend the army or from a nationalist background, usually meaning that the source would defend the protestors. Aside from the polarity of background and purpose, the time of writing should be taken into account when examining these sources. Those that appear to have no clear sources of bias may be more useful to the historian in evaluating the event in question. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Bloody Sunday - How useful are sources A,B,C and D to someone trying to ...

    Why do you think these interpretations differ? Explain your answers using Sources J and K and your own Knowledge. These interpretations of what happened differ because of favouritism it is clear that an Englishman appointed by the government to find out what actually happened that day is not going to

  2. Which of these two sources would a historian studying 'Bloody Sunday' find the more ...

    Do you agree? I do not agree that source E must be reliable because it is an eyewitness account as the person writing the source was biased. We are told that the writer, Maxim Gorky, was a member of the Bolsheviks, a socialist revolutionary group, and that he was in the crowd on 'Bloody Sunday'.

  1. Free essay

    Which Of The Following Events Has Had The Biggest Impact On The History Of ...

    and the only place they could find them was the militants (violent groups). So sending the troops in would make Ireland a safe place to live, and make England's life easier, and that work for a short time to. Until disaster struck in the form of the IRA splitting, forming

  2. How useful are sources A, B, C and D to someone trying to find ...

    William III belonged to the House of Orange, he was strongly protestant and so went to Ireland to fight the Roman Catholic's. In 1972 some Irishmen saw the actions of the British Army in the same light as the actions of William's men.

  1. Northern Ireland - Bloody Sunday.

    Unionists have also started to give up on this agreement. The Saville Inquiry: After a campaign by families of those killed and injured, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, announced a fresh inquiry into Bloody Sunday in January 1998, supervised by Lord Saville.

  2. How valuable are sources 1,5,6,7,8,9 in explaining the events of bloody Sunday?

    Source 6, an eyewitness report from Lt. Col. Wilford, the highest ranking Para in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday, totally contradicts Sources 5 and 7. Wilford claims the Paras were attacked with petrol bombs and acid from the Rossville flats, from where they also came under fire.

  1. 'Bloody Sunday' 30 January 1972 - source related study.

    Source C is useful to someone if they wanted to know the attitude the Irish had towards the British Army before Bloody Sunday occurred. This source is an Irish cartoon and it shows a very intimidating British Army pointing their rifles at a defenseless Irishwoman.

  2. Why Are Unionists and Nationalists divided over the events of Bloody Sunday, 1972?

    The tensions continued to increase with large scale rioting which lead the Northern Ireland PM to resign. Tensions increased so much that the British government were forced to send in troops to keep the warring sides apart. Even this however did not stop tension as soon the troops clashed with both republicans and loyalists.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work