Derry and Bloody Sunday, 1972

5 Nov

Derry, or Londonderry, dates back to a 6th century monastery. It is an ancient city, but much of the controversial history of the city begins in the 1600’s during the Ulster Plantation. The city was originally called Derry from Irish word, Doire, meaning oak or oak grove. However, in the 17th century, the name was changed to Londonderry to show the allegiance to England. The city walls were erected in the early 1600’s to prevent any attacks from neighboring Irish chieftains. The wall still remains intact today.

http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/walledcity/Derry-Londonderry-Uncovered-A3588

During the 30 years of The Troubles (≈1968-1998), the city of Derry was a key location of violence and riots from both sides of the dispute.  On January 30, 1972, 13 Catholic nationalists were killed by British troops attempting to end the protest. This incident is known as Bloody Sunday and brought the crisis to the world stage. The Republic of Ireland had subsequent incidents of violence and riots in reaction to the controversy in Northern Ireland. Three days after Bloody Sunday, the British embassy in Dublin was set on fire. The British government “looked into” the issue and came to the conclusion that the troops were acting as they should and protesters were at fault. This decision further polarized the two parties and angered family and friends of the victims. It wasn’t until 1998 that the British government agreed to reopen the case. 12 years later, there was a statement released by the government acknowledging the innocents of those killed and injured by the army.  While most of the violence has ended, there is still a strong division between the two parties.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/bloody_sunday

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