Bloody Sunday

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  1. theirishobserver. profile image58
    theirishobserver.posted 13 years ago

    On Tuesday 15th June, 2010, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry will publish its 5,000-page report into the mass killing of  protesters in 1972, an event that was unique among Troubles atrocities and that changed Northern Ireland profoundly

    THE SMOKE HADN’T cleared from the Bogside when Capt Mike Jackson, second-in-command of the first battalion of the Parachute Regiment, standing in the lee of the Rossville Street flats, began making the notes which were to become the basis of the official British version of the Bloody Sunday killings.

    In the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, more than 30 years later, in October 2003, Gen Sir Michael Jackson, as he now was, chief of the general staff, Britain’s number one soldier, told barrister Michael Mansfield that he could remember next to nothing about compiling the Bloody Sunday “shot list”, nor explain why none of the shots it described appeared to conform to any of the shots which the evidence indicated had actually been fired.

    In the House of Commons two days after the event, on February 1st 1972, prime minister Edward Heath announced the appointment of Lord Chief Justice Widgery to conduct the original Bloody Sunday inquiry. On the same day, British Information Services distributed to wire services and broadcasting outlets across the world a document headed “Northern Ireland: Londonderry”, detailing 14 shooting incidents which it suggested had made up the “fighting”. These were the incidents recorded by Jackson. The account was to be endorsed 11 weeks later in Widgery’s report.

    Next week victims’ families hope to see the Jackson/Widgery version of events repudiated and the truth they have held to through the intervening years installed in its place. Their campaign, which culminated with the appointment in January 1998 of the second tribunal under Lord Saville, aroused the admiration of many and sparked resentment in quite a few.

    Why Bloody Sunday? There were bigger death tolls in single incidents in the Troubles. Fifteen Catholics died in the loyalist bombing of McGurk’s Bar in the New Lodge in Belfast a month earlier. Eighteen paratroopers died in an IRA ambush at Warrenpoint in 1979. And, numbers apart, was not the Provisionals’ slaughter of 11 Protestants as they stood in reverent silence around the Enniskillen war memorial on Remembrance Sunday in November 1989 as wicked and unjustifiable as the Bogside massacre?

    A number of things made the events in Derry different. This wasn’t an atrocity perpetrated on one community by people purporting to represent the other. It could not be fitted into the preferred narrative of official British thinking. The killers had been uniformed to represent the state. The affront was compounded by the fact that the state at the highest level had then proclaimed that the killings were neither wrong nor illegal.

    In every other comparable atrocity, the victims were acknowledged as having been wrongly done to death and the perpetrators damned as wrongdoers. But the Bloody Sunday families were told, in effect, that while they might personally, reasonably, lament the loss of a loved one, they had no wider ground for grievance or legitimate expectation of the killers being brought to account.

    All the dead were thus diminished. Liam Wray, brother of Jim Wray, 22, shot in the back at point-blank range as he lay wounded in Glenfada Park, commented: “It said that my brother was less than fully human.”

    Bloody Sunday was different, too, in that it was to prove a significant plot point in the narrative of the Northern Troubles. Communal heartache in the wake of mass killings has tended generally to dissipate over time, the happiness of those left behind likely shattered forever but public life not discernibly changed.

    In contrast, Bloody Sunday catapulted working-class Catholic communities across the North outside all notions of constitutionality, removing from the Stormont parliament whatever legitimacy it had retained among Catholics. The parliament, which had governed the North since partition, was abolished eight weeks after Bloody Sunday, three weeks before publication of Widgery’s findings. No other major change has stemmed so directly from a single incident.

    Bloody Sunday was unique among atrocities, too, in that it was perpetrated in full public view. Most killings in the North have happened with thunderclap suddenness, on lonely roads or in the dead of night, by stealthy ambush or furtive bomb. Bloody Sunday unfolded over a period of perhaps eight minutes in a built-up area on a bright afternoon and in circumstances in which thousands of the victims’ friends and neighbours were crowded into the immediate vicinity.

    Within hours, even as Jackson was transmitting to Whitehall the account which was to be disseminated by the British government to deceive the world, people in Derry were piecing their memories of the day together and assembling their unshakeable truth. Few local people didn’t know some of the dead or the families of the dead.

    It has regularly been argued Saville’s inquiry was likely to prove futile as “people have already made their minds up”. And, true, campaigners didn’t demand a new inquiry because they wanted to be told the truth but because they wanted the truth to be told.

    In the two years after the killings, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association held commemoration marches; from 1975 to 1989, they were organised by Sinn Féin. Some families, disapproving of the political colouration, withdrew from participation. The demand for a new inquiry wasn’t prominent on the agenda. Militant nationalist politics, on the face of it, sought an end of British jurisdiction, not justice from within the British legal system.

    In 1987, a group of relatives, along with a number of Sinn Féiners and other political activists, reflecting the drift towards constitutional politics, formed the Bloody Sunday Initiative, later the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign (BSJC), specifically to push for a second inquiry. In 1992, the new group took over organisation of the annual commemorative march, advancing three demands: repudiation of Widgery and the institution of a new inquiry; formal acknowledgement of the innocence of the victims; and the prosecution of the soldiers responsible.

    The BSJC was to encounter considerable initial hostility, but attitudes began to shift as the move towards a settlement gathered pace. The nascent peace process involved the Dublin government taking on issues which might otherwise have remained the prerogative of still only slightly constitutional republicans. In 1995, taoiseach John Bruton designated a civil servant specifically to liaise with the Bloody Sunday families.

    Meanwhile, separately from activity in Derry, the director of British Irish Rights Watch, Jane Winter, and Belfast solicitor Patricia Coyle unearthed a series of documents at the Public Records Office in Kew, including the transcript of a now notorious conversation between prime minister Heath and Lord Widgery prior to the announcement that Widgery was to chair the first inquiry. The documents were to form basis of a report by Prof Dermot Walsh in 1997, The Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry: A Resounding Defeat for Truth, Justice and the Rule of Law .

    In June 1997, the new administration of Bertie Ahern presented the newly elected government of Tony Blair with a 178-page assessment of the new material, drawing heavily on Walsh’s analysis. A preface placed the issue in the context of the developing peace process and, for the first time, asserted the demand for a new inquiry as an Irish government position.

    When prime minister Blair announced the new inquiry in the House of Commons on January 29th 1998, the Bloody Sunday families celebrated what they saw, accurately, as a victory for their campaign. But they were also aware broader political developments had facilitated their success. Lord Saville delivered his opening statement in the Guildhall on April 3rd, seven days before the Belfast Agreement.

    The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was to sit for 434 days. Oral hearings began in Derry’s Guildhall on March 27th 2000 and moved to London from September 2002 to October 2003 to take military and other evidence. In all, 921 witnesses took the stand: 505 civilians, 245 soldiers, 33 police officers, nine forensic experts, 34 IRA members, 39 politicians, civil servants and intelligence officers, 49 journalists and seven priests. Counsel to the inquiry Christopher Clarke made his closing speech on November 22nd and 23rd 2004.

    Saville had to deliver a judgment on Bloody Sunday as a single event, and also on each killing and wounding. In effect, there will be 28 mini-reports within the 5,000-plus pages to be published on Tuesday.

    For the families, living through the inquiry has been an intensely emotional, frequently fraught, sometimes fascinating and often tedious experience. For some during the hearings, it was virtually a full-time occupation. They face publication of the report with high hopes balanced against fear of a let-down.

    On Tuesday they will march together from the killing ground around Rossville Street to the Guildhall, where, at around 10am, five and a half hours before David Cameron stands up in the Commons to introduce the findings, they will learn what Saville has to say about how and why their loved ones were gunned down on their own streets by members of an elite regiment of the British army.

    It has been a long trek to reach the place where the march for civil rights had been scheduled to end, but never made it, 38 years ago. In London at the same time, Gen Jackson will learn just what the inquiry has to say about his shot list.

    by Eamon Mc Cann

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image59
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      thanks for posting that; assume I'll read more soon.

  2. Cagsil profile image72
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    And, you wasted this on a post in the forum? roll

  3. profile image0
    ryankettposted 13 years ago

    So are you Eamon McCann?

    If not, then why are you plagiarising his article onto the Hubpages forum and onto your blog?

    Without even as much as a backlink to compensate? The Irish Times website is ad supported, just like your hubpages.

    If you ARE Eamon McCann, then has the Irish Times agreed to pay you for your work and then subsequently make it non-exclusive the day after publication?

    I find the word-for-word plagiarism of any article entirely unacceptable.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Why not? What's wrong with including facts or opinions from other sources which may shed light on a forum topic? Why not let Eamon McCann worry about the use of his piece?

      1. profile image0
        ryankettposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Sorry Ralph but I can see everything wrong with finding an article, and then copying it in full to your own Blogger site. I suspect that your son would see plenty wrong with that too. It is enough to get your Adsense account banned for a start.

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
          Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I haven't noticed any Adsense ads on the forums, so the poster of the article, HubPages nor Adsense is deriving any revenue from the article. I agree that copying articles onto Hubs isn't a good idea, and is prohibited by HubPages.

          Irish Observer gave credit to the author of the article so in my opinion posting it doesn't qualify as plagiarism. My impression is that the law on posting on the Internet is a bit murky. There isn't a great deal of difference between posting a link to an article, a YouTube video or the text of a short article. Of course Adsense and HubPages have a right to make their own rules as they wish. I haven't looked at the rules for the forums lately. Will do.

          1. profile image0
            ryankettposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I think that you misunderstand Ralph. He has replicated the article in its entirety on his monetised blog. I could link to that blog of course, but I don't want to provide a backlink.

            If I went over to your hubpage 'Credit Unions are Worth a Second Look' and copied the entire hub word-for-word to my own blog, potentially earning money off of the back of your hard work, within 24 hours of publication, you would be happy with that?

            If you are saying that yes, yes indeed you would be happy with that, then I had better set off to work on copying all 754 of your hubs then?

          2. Don W profile image80
            Don Wposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I agree with ryankett here. This isn't plagiarism but it is copyright infringement according to US copyright law (assuming the poster is not the rights holder, and that HubPages is a US entity and falls within the jurisdiction of US copyright law).

            I have mentioned this before to the same poster, but that comment obviously went unheeded.

            I don't know if any forum rules relate specifically to copyright, but as this is a legal matter, I assume HubPages takes the same stance for the forum as it does to copying and pasting large amounts of material into hubs:


            The poster could easily have created a hyper link to the same content. The difference being that there would be no copyright infringement, and the rights owner/s would benefit from the content in terms of web traffic.

            As it stands, this is an illegal reprint (I don't think fair use could be argued in this case) and is effectively steeling traffic from the original publisher. Of course if the poster is the rights holder of the material, then none of the above applies.

            If this poster requires help in creating links in forum posts, clicking on "formatting tips" when creating a post will show how to create a link. I'm also certain any member of the HubPages community would be happy to help in this regard too.

            1. profile image0
              ryankettposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Thank you Don W..... Ralph and The IrishObserver would both be very quick to bemoan thier own content being stolen, particularly if it ended up ranking higher in Google than their own page of content. It is only fair that we all act in the manner that we wish to be treated.

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Maybe you guys should apply for jobs as moderators. :-) In my opinion, posting the article with the author's name was more honest and more effective than paraphrasing it and offering it as if it were her own opinion. In any event, if I understand the usual practice, the remedy is for the copyright holder to request that the article be removed and it will be removed. It's not exactly in the same league with child molesting or snatching a little old lady's purse. Google posts plenty of YouTube videos on various topics and a fair number are removed upon the request of the copyright holder.

                Here's an article on fair use on the Internet

       … -internet/

                I recall reading articles about Richard Prince who has made a lot of money by making and selling huge enlargements of photographs taken by Jim Krantz who was paid by Marlboro's ad agency. The Prince enlargements were given an exhibition at the Guggenheim museum in New York.

       … -fair-use/

                Eamon McCann--


                1. Don W profile image80
                  Don Wposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  It's my understanding that there' s a ranking penalty from search engines when content on a website is found to be duplicated across other websites. So duplicating content in its entirety, even with attribution to the author, may adversely affect the original web source in terms of search engine ranking etc. For me that in itself is reason not to do it.

                  But in addition, publishing the content in its entirety instead of just linking to it, effectively takes web traffic from the original site by eliminating the need for the web user to go there. This content was originally published to increase and maintain that sites web traffic in order to increase and maintain its revenue, so there is a cost implication here.

                  If hubs were copied and pasted in there entirety to another site, or forum, there would be no need for people to read them on, thus reducing this sites traffic and therefore it's (and hubbers) revenue, which is based on the volume of people who click on adds. Other sites are affected in exactly the same way whichever business model they are using.

                  I don't think this is fair use. Using an image here and there, quoting a poem or an excerpt from an article is one thing; But this hubber has repeatedly copied entire articles and pasted them on the forum, with no mention of the original source. These articles are interesting, but fair dues should go to the original publisher. A headline and a simple link to the original content would suffice, e.g. this thread.

                  That's the way most hubbers highlight articles. I think it should be the way of highlighting articles published on other sites. Otherwise how can we complain about our content being copied elsewhere, when we condone it on HubPages? There has to be some standards surely.

                  1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                    Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                    You may well be right on the effect on search engines and fair use. I don't know. Fair use is not a crystal clear legal concept so far as I know. My impression is that most of the litigation involves use for profit. I haven't heard of any cases involving articles posted to support a point in an on-line forum. It could be argued that posting an article could help increase circulation in the magazine or newspaper from which it was copied.

                    The articles posted in the forum usually are done so in order to further the discussion and are frequently more informative than the b.s. opinions, half-truths and lies which are all too common. I find them helpful, not offensive. I'm one of the ones guilty of posting texts from other on-line sources. I respect your opinion on the subject, and I'll think twice before doing it.

  4. profile image0
    ryankettposted 13 years ago

    Are you Eamon McCann then?

    1. Glenn Raymond profile image60
      Glenn Raymondposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Great history, it would have made an excellent hub.  This is most interesting and very well developed.  This is truly the type of thing I like to read about.  Such tragedies really ignite my inner rogue, Grandpa' O'braoin would want that.  Thank you for posting this.  It will be on my mind for days now.

      1. profile image0
        ryankettposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        So, is he Eamon McCann? It would have made an excellent hub if he had written it himself.

  5. Cagsil profile image72
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    Hey Ryan,

    Did you report the thread?

    Just curious....

    1. profile image0
      ryankettposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      No I didn't, I do not own the original content. The standard protocol is for the owner of the content to file a DMCA form. This owner may well be IrishObserver, but I have strong reasons to believe otherwise. I await his comments. At the end of the day, a registered business has paid somebody for the rights to an article and somebody appears to have stolen this content for their own blog within 24 hours of publication. If that is the case, then I just feel it appropriate to voice my dissaproval.

  6. Cagsil profile image72
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    Thank you for your response to my question.

  7. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 13 years ago

    6-16-10--N.Y.Times Front Page: "Cameron Calls N. Ireland Killings 'Unjustified'"

    LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron offered an extraordinary apology on Tuesday for the 1972 killings of 14 unarmed demonstrators by British soldiers in Northern Ireland, saying that a long-awaited judicial inquiry had left no doubt that the “Bloody Sunday” shootings were “both unjustified and unjustifiable.” More here: … ?ref=world

  8. theirishobserver. profile image58
    theirishobserver.posted 13 years ago

    Ralph thanks for that link to the New York Times - Yes finally the truth has been told about Bloody Sunday - I read the report in full last night - it is 5000 pages - very tired - we have campaigned long and hard for the truth in this matter - clear evidence also emerged at the Inquiry that the IRA were using the Civil Rights March on that day to move guns and explosives - however - those actions did not justify the slaughther of the innocent - I do however believe that Sinn Fein/IRA have serious questions to answer for using a Civil Rights march to transport weapons....a great day for all who believe in justice smile

    1. Brian Bober profile image58
      Brian Boberposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Very Informative. Brian Bober

  9. theirishobserver. profile image58
    theirishobserver.posted 13 years ago

    Ralph great information there thanks - Irish smile


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