Bloody Sunday occurred on January 31s, 1972 in Derry, Ireland. British troops were in Ireland awaiting a civil rights march by the citizens of Derry. There were hundreds of troops posted around in camps and barriers sectioned off areas for the march to take place. It was clear that the Irish citizens disliked the British troops and were being verbally abusive around the barriers.
Ivan Cooper was the MP in charge of the march and he was aiming for a peaceful march that made its point but caused no violence. However, it would seem that the British troops were intent on causing violence, or finding an excuse to be violent.Cooper urged to call a march and keep the ‘movement’ up. It protested against the wrongful internment of the Irish citizens. They wanted radical change within the government and an end to certain domination. A young lad and his friends joined the march becoming somewhat violent towards the British troops nearer the end. He ended up getting shot and dying.
Ivan Cooper heard of the fact that tension and problems could arise if they marched in their intended route so he offered to re-route. Some of his colleagues had a problem with this saying he was backing down and becoming soft, but he feared an outbreak.Once the British General heard of this possible re-route yet he did not give the reaction that was expected. Instead, he seemed disappointed. 42 British soldiers had already been lost since the troops first went to Ireland. The attitude of the troops was to show no mercy and take the hooligans down.
The attitude of the few thousand civilians that were marching was to make a stand for what they were marching for. The march was led by a truck and banner whilst the citizens sang “We Shall Overcome”. Once the march reached the place of the re-route the majority of the march re-routed itself, however, it split into three groups.Two more groups went down the original route and were met by troops and a barrier.
These citizens were hooligans and became aggressive towards the troops. Some fired shots at them causing the troops to fire back. Two of the marchers were shot leaving the rest screaming and running away. There were said to be around two to three hundred hooligans. This got out of hand and the result was the troops declaring an open fire on all the citizens, including women and children.
An incredible amount of ammunition was fired and the amount dead was unknown.Afterwards, the British army became worried because they could not find evidence to justify their actions, and they would have to answer to the government and generals in command about why so much was used. I think the consequences would be an outcry from the Irish people. They would not take the deaths of their family and friends lightly and would make an even bigger stand against the government. Their hate for the British troops would grow immensely. The troops could get into serious trouble and possible court-martial for their actions, this all depending on how the information got out.