, October 05, 2022

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Bloody Sunday: Fifty years later, nothing has been forgotten


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Bloody Sunday: Fifty years later, nothing has been forgotten

Five decades after the infamous Bloody Sunday, hundreds and hundreds of people came down the streets to commemorate and mourn the dead and hurt of that massacre.

This Bloody Sunday white walk will be remembered forever in history. Not only was it the 50th anniversary of this atrocity, but it also featured for the first time Ireland Prime minister (being Micheal Martin) and even took place on a Sunday.

As every year, thousands of people, some relatives to the victims, some not, quietly walked for hours to remember what happened on this day half a century ago.

On Sunday the 30th of January 1972, 13 Northern Irish were killed by British paratroopers at the end of their forbidden protest against internment in the streets of Derry.

Retracing the route taken during this historic and murderous walk for catholic civil rights, the procession was led by political figures who laid wreaths on the city’s Bloody Sunday memorial. It was also there that the names of the victims and injured were read out during the 45-minutes memorial.

To remember and state the truth

Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood stood with pride alongside thousands of anonymous people, some of them holding the portraits of the 13 people who were shot dead.

One thing to note is that while many consider a man to be the 14th victim of this massacre, his death four months later was attributed to an inoperable brain tumor, resulting from the injuries he suffered.

Not only was this a walk to commemorate, but it was also one to contest the British government's plans to ban Troubles-era prosecutions.

As Michael McKinney, brother of victim William McKinney addressed the crowd:

“They are trying to deny us justice because they are scared to face justice. [...] We will not go away and we will not be silenced. We will expose them for what they are: an embarrassment to any democracy founded on the rule of law.”

On his part and in the middle of troublesome times for him, Boris Johnson called the British people to "learn from the past, reconcile, and build a peaceful future for people in Northern Ireland."

When meeting families at the Museum of Free Derry, Ireland head of government was not shy of words too:

"I thanked them [the families] for their extremely dignified, persistent and courageous campaign to pursue universal principles of justice, truth and accountability. [...] I believe that the full process and justice of the courts should be deployed. All of the parties in Northern Ireland are very clear that they do not want amnesties, they want due process to apply. [...] Families need to know more in terms of who killed their loved ones and they need access to information, and that is why it’s important that agreements are not just entered into, but that are followed through.”

Michael D Higgins, the president of Ireland, also paid tribute to the families' "relentless pursuit of truth" in a special message broadcasted during a commemorative event at the Millennium Forum theatre and live-streamed online.


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