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

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Introduction

The events that occurred in Derry on 30th January 1972 became known as 'Bloody Sunday'. Why have these events produced such different historical interpretations? There are lots of different views on Bloody Sunday about what actually happened on the 30th of January 1972. The arguments are all down to who shot first, the British Army or the IRA. The result of the shooting was that thirteen innocent people were killed. An inquiry was carried out by Lord Widgery, he criticised the shooting by the troops but the report accepted that the army was fired upon. This report did not please everyone and people thought that it was a cover up of what really happened. Twenty six years later in 1998 a new inquiry was announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The inquiry looks at both sides of what happened and is interviewing everyone who was involved in the event and to uncover the truth on what happened on the 30th January 1972 known as Bloody Sunday. Source A is a newspaper article from The Daily Mail printed on Friday 17th September 1999. The article is written by Paul Eastham who is the Deputy Political Editor. Paul Eastham writes about what has been happening in the inquiry and some of the problems which have come up. The new inquiries on the events of the Bloody Sunday shootings are being investigated by Lord Saville. ...read more.

Middle

There could no longer be a "strong suspicion" that any of the victims held or were near weapons.' Twenty six years after the first inquiry with Widgery, scientific knowledge has improved so that new evidence that was not seen before has now become uncovered so that the truth of what happened on the day of the deaths is slowly coming to the truth. This source shows that there have been different historical interpretations because there has not been the advance in medical science as there is now. Using the new technology it is now easier to put together the facts and discover what happened by re-examining the bodies looking at the photos taken at the time and discover who it was who shot the thirteen which are dead. Looking at this source it is clear to see that Lord Saville is now gathering all the facts and information that he knows so that he can produce a correct piece of information concerning what happened on the day of the deaths. This source also shows that the Widgery inquiry is not correct and has missed out important information. Lord Saville has discovered that one of the victims was shot twice while on the ground this was not in Widgery's report. It just shows that even though the event occurred twenty six years ago there is still more evidence which was not seen at the time which is coming to light now. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lord Widgery's evidence was most likely fixed to clear the Paratroopers names, the evidence which is showing up now clears the victims names and shows that they were innocent. The more evidence that comes up the more arguments there are. Lord Widgery's inquires were made soon after Bloody Sunday some may argue that Widgery's evidence is better than the evidence coming up twenty to thirty years later because it was found when the event happened. The scientists who are finding evidence today can't look at the victims body do a thorough examination as they could when Bloody Sunday had just happened. People may argue that medical science has improved so that they can look at the pictures which were taken and have a clearer idea about what happened than the scientists at the time. Now that the event was twenty to thirty years ago it is harder to find new evidence and to make a conclusion there are always people saying that it is wrong and some evidence contradicts another piece of evidence, so it is hard to find out which one is right. Some of the evidence could be bias for example a Paratrooper wouldn't say that he didn't see anyone with a gun, and he just shot innocent people. Also any Irish witnesses at the time would likely be supportive of the IRA because they were Catholics and would likely be supportive of the IRA's cause and so wouldn't want to support the claims of British Soldiers. ?? ?? ?? ?? Vanessa Harvey History Coursework ...read more.

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