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The events that occurred in Derry on 30th January 1972 became known as

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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? The sequence of events known as "Bloody Sunday" has some very differing interpretations. The main two being those of the British paratroopers stationed in Northern Ireland at the time and the Catholics marching on the day and their families. Each side has stood firmly by their interpretations, but new evidence has led to some changes in opinion. The Catholics who were marching have remained adamant that they were fired on first. They believed that none of those shot had been in contact with explosives, although the Widgery inquiry 'ruled that many of those who had been shot had been handling weapons.' Many Nationalists were under the impression that the attack on the marchers was pre-planned. Source C, written in a recent newspaper report shows how Mr Porter, a British man, heard some off duty paratroopers saying they were going to "clear the bog" some Nationalists read into statements such as this as meaning clearing the barricades which they had put up to protect themselves. ...read more.

Middle

The Widgery inquiry backed up the paratroopers' interpretation of events, ruling that, "they had been shot at before responding." The inquiry also ruled that, "Mr Wray had been handling guns or explosives." However, although the Widgery report backed up the British armies view on the event, it also acknowledged that "Some soldiers showed a high degree or responsibility; at the other end of the scale, firing bordered on recklessness." In spite of this no soldiers were charged or disciplined. It is this side that the Catholic nationalists saw, the Londonderry coroner for the case, Major Hubert O'Neill said, "the army ran amok " and the event was "sheer unadulterated murder." His views would have been similar to those of the Catholics, because he was from Derry. When the Widgery inquiry had stated its findings, it sparked off a number of following events. There was increased funding from the USA for the IRA as the outside world condemned the British Armies actions, also the number of new recruits increased greatly. ...read more.

Conclusion

One ex-Para, known only as soldier 027 told the daily telegraph that, "there was no justification for any of the shots he saw fired", also he said that some soldiers were "firing without pause or hesitation" if this statement is true, it means that those soldiers could not have had time to find a target with firearms and shoot at them. Despite all this new evidence in the Saville inquiry, no one can make a judgement as to who is to blame for the events on "Bloody Sunday" as different newspapers depict the events in different lights. Source A, from The Daily Mail mainly reports from a paratroopers view. Whereas, Source B from, the Guardian, reports on a predominantly republican interpretation. However, Some facts are the same in both sources, such as the fact that Dr. Martin changed his opinion. Perhaps there are so many different interpretations on "Bloody Sunday" because of the way that the media portrays each side and their views. ...read more.

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