Derry differs from all other atrocities that have occurred to date in the struggle for civil rights and democracy in Northern Ireland. The 1969 attempted pogrom was not ordered or directed by the British Government. This massacre was.
That mass-murder took place in Derry on Sunday, January 30, 1972 is beyond doubt. There is no need for an inquiry into this fact. There were more than 30,000 eye-witnesses.
The only subject for inquiry is why and by what process the decision to engage in a massacre was taken. And, because the British Army murdered people of a different nationality in the interests of the British Government, any inquiry held must be international.
The establishment of the Widgery Inquiry was meant to inhibit publication of eyewitness accounts and comment, shield those responsible and hide from the world descriptions of the terrible slaughter of innocent defenceless people. In speeches announcing the establishment of the Inquiry both Mr. Reginald Maudling, the British Home Secretary, and Mr. Edward Heath, the British Prime Minister, publicly condoned the action of the British Army.
This pamphlet aims at telling the world, through the eyes of Derry citizens, what happened to thirteen of their number on Derry’s Bloody Sunday.
It is important to understand fully what the British Government was trying to murder in Derry that Sunday. The bullets were aimed at 30,000 people – at the mass movement of the people mobilised in support of the Civil Rights demands.
The people marched in Derry to show their defiance in a peaceful manner against oppression. To hold a march is “illegal”. To hold a meeting is “legal”. To hold a meeting only is to capitulate to a whole series of laws which stretch across the statute book from the ludicrous ban on parades to internment under The Special Powers Act. To march, on the other hand, is to mobilise maximum public pressure against a law which epitomises every other repressive law.
Those marching in Derry that day were marching to open the gates of Concentration Camps, smash torture chambers, end repression and military terror. They were met with a new and terrible escalation of administrative violence.
To the list of intimidation, internment, torture and individual murders has now been added the holocaust in Derry.
Derry has taken its place with My Lai and Sharpeville as a milestone in the struggle of humanity against oppression. By this single act the British and Unionist Governments, Edward Heath, Brian Faulkner and Reginald Maudling have added their names to the annals of human infamy.
Undeterred by official Tory-Unionist malevolence the Civil Rights Movement is more determined than ever to press the demand for democracy.
The decision in the North is not that between a military victory for the I.R.A. on the one hand and the British Army on the other. Rather is it a choice between the achievement of full democratic rights for all citizens or a continuation of policies which foster sectarianism and are based on repression of large sections of the population.
The methods of the Civil Rights Association are mass action by an organised people in non-violent peaceful protest against terror: the enlisting of world opinion against the British and Unionist system of terror and repression.
Policy of The Northern Ireland
Civil Rights Association
Adopted at Annual General Meeting, February, 1972
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association will continue to campaign until we have achieved the objectives set when the Association was formed; a society in which every citizen will enjoy full civil rights and social justice. Despite the Downing Street Declaration and legislation passed at Stormont, the ordinary citizen has less freedom than at any time for the past 50 years.
The complete failure of the Stormont Administration to carry out the Downing Street Declaration, the refusal to repeal the Special Powers Act, and its increased use by the Military, UDR and RUC against anti-Unionists, the Falls Curfew, the one-sided arms searches, the shoot-to-kill policy in Catholic areas, the introduction of internment, the continuing torture of prisoners, and the present policy of terrorising and dragooning the whole anti-Unionist population has led to the final alienation of that population. This alienation is the direct result of the policies of the Westminster Government and Stormont Administration. The alienation has taken two forms: one, a violent response: one a non-violent response as exemplified by the Civil Disobedience Campaign.
The British Government and the N. Ireland administration are trying to obscure the Civil Disobedience campaign which has involved hundreds of thousands of people, by claiming the struggle is solely between the British Army and a handful of “terrorists”. The reality which must be emphasised is that a whole community has totally rejected the Stormont system.
The Civil Disobedience Campaign will go on until our demands are met. The meeting of our demands will create a climate where peaceful politics are possible.
To create conditions in which talks can take place, the following demands must be met and the NICRA must be represented at such talks.
- The immediate release of all internees.
- The withdrawal of troops from all areas pending their total withdrawal, and an immediate end to the policy of military occupation and repression of anti-Unionist areas.
- Legislation by the Westminster Government to abolish the Special Powers Act in its entirety.
- The dismissal of the Stormont administration and immediate legislation at Westminster to guarantee the following:
(a) Free elections under Proportional Representation.
(b) The rights of all political groups including those opposed to the present state.
(c) An end to discrimination.
(d) A recognition that it is as legitimate to work for an independent and united Ireland as it is to work for the maintenance of the Union of Northern Ireland with Great Britain and the removal of all legislative obstacles in the Government of Ireland Acts that stand in the way of this objective.
We reiterate that the civil disobedience campaign will continue until talks on a political solution have reached a satisfactory conclusion.
The minimum acceptable outcome of these talks would be the ending of:
- The Public Order (Amendment) Act, the Criminal Justice (Temporary Provisions) Act, the Flags and Emblems Act, Payment of Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act and other repressive legislation.
- Discrimination in all forms of private and public employment and housing and the allocation of development capital.
- All elections to be held under P.R. with fair boundaries.
- The establishment of a civilian and impartial police force.
- A radical reform of the entire legal system, to include: the implementation of the idea of law as a community service available to all, and not a repressive agency used against some; the end to anti-working class and anti-feminist and political bias in the selection of jurors; the dismissal of all politically appointed judges; the immediate creation of an impartial public prosecutor’s office, outside the control and influence of government.
- That the involvement of local organisations in deciding future policy for their area, as recommended by the McCrory Report should be real and meaningful.
- An amnesty for all political prisoners in British and Irish Jails.
- An amnesty for all illegally held guns and the disbandment of sectarian gun clubs.
- Those responsible for murdering innocent people, and torturing detainees and war crimes should be brought to trial.
- That the Westminster Government which bears an immense and overwhelming burden of guilt for its neglect of this area, and its unwillingness to take any action against the excesses of its subordinate Government at Stormont, make available the capital necessary to end unemployment, bad housing and the lack of community amenities.
We stress that our function is to secure basic human and civil rights for all of the people in this area, irrespective of their politics or religion. This could be attained by the adoption of an effective Bill of Rights by the Government in power.
Intent at Derry
What was the attitude of the Civil Rights Association to the Derry march? How did its attitude compare with that of Mr. Brian Faulkner and the Security Forces?
Two keynote statements were circulated to the media by the Civil Rights organisation prior to the Sunday march and meeting planned for Derry.
On Friday, January 28, two days prior to the Sunday demonstration, the following news release appeared on the front pages of both the “Derry Journal” and the “Irish News” – the two newspapers most read by the people of Derry. Under the heading “Organisers want big Derry rally incident free” the “Irish News” carried the statement:
“A meeting of stewards for Sunday’s planned Civil Rights demonstration and rally at Guildhall Square, Derry, will be held at the Creggan Centre at 8.00 p.m. tonight. Stewards will receive final instructions from members of the N.I.C.R.A. executive, and be fully briefed on plans and tactics.
“Special emphasis will be placed on the absolute necessity for a peaceful incident free day on Sunday.
“Civil Rights Organiser, Mr. Kevin McCorry, has pointed out that Mr. Brian Faulkner and Mr. John Taylor are counting on an outbreak of violence to justify any British Army violence used on Sunday. Sunday would be ‘make or break day’ for the cause of Civil Rights and the release of internees.
“Any riot, any trouble, any incident, must be confined to members of the British Army. They disgraced themselves at Magilligan on Saturday last with their unprovoked savagery. Do not let them disgrace you, the city of Derry and the whole democratic cause, said Mr. McCorry.”
On Saturday, January 29, the eve of the Derry demonstration, a further statement of intent was widely carried by the media:
“A call for a massive turnout at the Civil Rights Demonstration planned for Derry tomorrow has been made by the Executive of the Civil Rights Association. Making the call the Executive pointed out that the British Government are now full-tilt on repression and coercion and that a massive peaceful demonstration was vital if world opinion was to be impressed by the justice of the democratic cause in Northern Ireland.
“The twin major aims for Derry is a demonstration that is both huge in numbers and perfectly peaceful and incident free. It is pointed out that any violence can only set back the civil rights cause and play straight into the hands of the Tory-Unionists by providing a justification not only for any violence they might contemplate against the demonstration itself but also for the daily violence of the security forces.”
In a statement from the Camp Council at Long Kesh Concentration Camp carried by the “Irish News” on the same day, the internees themselves said:
“The people have responded to the latest brutalities, repression and intimidation in the only ways left open to them. The present marches at Magilligan, Newcastle, Armagh, Lurgan and the Falls are the disciplined expression of the people’s refusal to accept legalised terror. In this nonviolent form of demonstration they have our entire support and we call on everyone who does not wish to be identified with Unionist repression to give his total and unconditional support to the mass demonstrations and marches in Derry and Coalisland this week-end.”
Speaking in Stormont on Tuesday, January 25, Prime Minister Brian Faulkner said “that individuals and organisations which . . . would attempt to break the ban on parades . . . would be dealt with firmly by the security forces.”
In the same debate the Rev. Ian Paisley, Democratic Unionist M.P., referred to a meeting he had with General Tuzo regarding the breaking of the ban by the Civil Rights march at Falls Park. Rev. Paisley said that General Tuzo had told him that it was his business to stop parades where and how he liked. The General said that if he felt they should not be stopped and that summonses only should be issued, he would take that particular line. Continuing Rev. Paisley said: “I asked him: ‘If Protestants come out what will you do?’ and he replied: “We will hammer them into the ground.”
On Thursday, January 27, the Democratic Unionist Association in Derry served notice on the R.U.C. that it intended holding a public religious rally in Guildhall Square at 2.30 p.m. The Guildhall Square was the announced termination point for the Civil Rights march due to start from Bishops Field, Creggan, at 2.00 p.m.
The Rev. James McClelland, a Minister for Derry Free Presbyterian Church and vice-President of the Derry and Foyle Democratic Unionist Association said: “The civil rights march is not legal. Theirs, he said, would be. The authorities will have to keep their word and stop the civil rights march and give us protection”. (Irish Press, Jan. 28).
On the Sunday of the march the Sunday Post, Observer and Sunday Mirror, among other papers, carried prominent reports of the cancellation of the planned prayer rally.
Under the heading “‘Blame for Bloodshed’ Fear Halts Protestant Rally” the SUNDAY POST report reads:
“A Protestant rally in Londonderry, planned to coincide with an anti-internment rally today, was called off yesterday afternoon.
“The Rev. James McClelland, vice-president of Londonderry Democratic Unionist Association, said yesterday, ‘We were approached by the Government and given assurances that the Civil Rights march will be halted – by force if necessary.
‘We believe wholesale riot and bloodshed could be the result of the Civil Rights activities tomorrow and we would be held responsible if our rally takes place. We have appealed to all loyalists to stay out of the city centre tomorrow.
“We are prepared to give the Government a final opportunity to demonstrate its integrity and honour its promise to stop this march (Civil Rights). But if it fails in this undertaking, it need never again ask loyalist people to surrender their basic right of peaceful and legal assembly’.”
The SUNDAY POST report continued:
“A big clash is almost certain when the Civil Rights demonstrators march on the Guildhall in defiance of the Government’s parade ban.
“Ten thousand anti-internment marchers are expected. They will be allowed by security forces to walk some distance.
“But the trouble could come when the marchers meet troops near the Guildhall. The Army is certain to mount a massive show of force.
“Londonderry Civil Rights organiser, Johnny Bond, said yesterday, ‘We are planning a peaceful protest – that’s definite. We won’t start or provoke any violence. If there’s trouble it will be the Army that starts it’.”
A front page report on the SUNDAY OBSERVER, January 30, carried much of the Democratic Unionist Association statement under the headline “‘Last Chance’ Protestant rally dropped.”
In the same report and a similar one in the SUNDAY MIRROR the final note in the prelude to the afternoon’s events was struck.
This came in the shape of a joint Army-R.U.C. statement described in the OBSERVER front page story as “a firm policy statement and warning”. “The Army and police are in effect putting the blame on the organisers in advance for any violence that may occur” commented the OBSERVER.
Other parts of the joint Army-R.U.C. statement are quoted in the OBSERVER.
“The security forces have a duty to take action against those who set out to break the law. In carrying out their duty they are concerned to avoid or reduce to absolute minimum the consequences of any violence that may erupt.
“We choose the time and place to intervene and this policy, which is clearly in the public interest, allows the possibility that marchers may in some cases proceed for some distance before being stopped.
“This does not mean however that they will be allowed to break the law with impunity. Experience this year has already shown that attempted marches often end in violence, and that must have been clearly foreseen by the organisers.
“Clearly the responsibility for this violence and the consequences of it must rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of those who encourage people to break the law.”
The final paragraph of the Army-R.U.C. statement above was printed in black type in the SUNDAY MIRROR report.
What Fulvio Grimaldi Saw
On Monday, January 31, Signor Fulvio Grimaldi, an Italian journalist in Derry to report the march, described in a Radio Eireann interview what he saw:
“It was the most unbelievable . . . I have travelled many countries, I have seen many civil wars and revolutions and wars, I have never seen such a cold-blooded murder, organised, disciplined murder, planned murder.”
“I was in the front line of the march as the march approached the barricade erected by the military in William Street. There were a few exchanges, a few throws of stones, not very heavy, and afterwards, about three or four minutes, the Army moved up with this water cannon and sprayed the whole crowd with coloured water. Then the crowd dispersed.
“Successively, it returned and threw some more stones: nothing as I have seen in other places in Northern Ireland, nothing really very heavy. After which gas was used massively by the Army, and the crowd dispersed towards the meeting place, which was at Free Derry Corner. As the crowd was moving away, I would say about a couple of thousand people – completely peaceful because they had been drenched with gas and they could hardly breathe, and many were sick – suddenly in the area behind Free Derry Corner – Rossville flats, I think it is called, the big square in front of those flats – the Army, the paratroopers, moved in on Saracens.
“And other paratroopers followed on foot, and they jumped out. The people were thinking they would be given another dose of gas and scattered very hurriedly and they really fled towards Free Derry Corner. The Army jumped out and they started shooting in all directions. I took pictures of this, I took recordings of this, and there is no doubt whatsoever that there wasn’t the slightest provocation.
“There hadn’t been one shot fired at them. There hadn’t been one nail bomb thrown at them. They just jumped out and, with unbelievable murderous fury, shot into the fleeing crowd.”
Signor Grimaldi was asked if at any stage before the paratroopers fired there might have been shots from the top of Rossville Flats. He replied: “I am absolutely certain, and it is proved by the tape, which records the whole following of events. Absolutely no shot, no nail bomb even, nothing at all. That crowd was dispersing.”
He was asked, in view of the fact that the Army claimed that they had been shooting at snipers on top of the flats, whether he had seen any dead and wounded other than in the streets. He went on: “Let me tell you what I saw. Now, they were only in the street and in the squares. I saw a man and his son crossing the street, trying to get to safety, with their hands on their heads. They were shot dead. The man got shot dead. The son, I think, was dying.
“I saw a young fellow who had been wounded, crouching against the wall. He was shouting ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot’. A paratrooper approached and shot him from about one yard. I saw a young boy of 15 protecting his girl friend against the wall and then proceeding to try and rescue her by going out with a handkerchief and with the other hand on his hat. A paratrooper approached, shot him from about one yard into the stomach, and shot the girl into the arm.
“I saw a priest approaching a fallen boy in the middle of the square, trying to help him, give him the last rites perhaps, and the army – I saw a paratrooper kneel down and take aim at him and shoot at him, and the priest just got away by laying flat on his belly. I saw a French colleague of mine who, shouting ‘press, press’ and raising high his arms, went into the middle to give help to a fallen person and I saw again paratroopers kneeling down and aiming at him, and it’s only by a fantastic acrobatic jump that he did that he got away.
“I myself got shot at five times. I was at a certain stage shielding behind a window. I approached the window to take some pictures. Five bullets went immediately through the window, and I don’t know how they missed.”
Signor Grimaldi was asked what the mood of the people in the Bogside had been while this was going on. He said: “It was panic, it was sheer despair, it was frustration. I saw people crying, old men crying, young boys, who had lost their friends of 14, 13 and 15 years, crying and not understanding. There was astonishment. There was bewilderment, there was rage and frustration.”
(By Civil Rights Steward, Seamus McAlister of Belfast)
Bishops Field, a large grass area in the vast Creggan housing estate was the assembly point. Some 12,000 people from the Creggan and Shantallow mainly, but with a strong Belfast delegation moved off headed by the Civil Rights Association banner. Banners carried in the Belfast Falls march showed above the mass – “Civil Rights for All”, “Release All Internees” and “End Special Powers Act.”
As we wended our way down towards Brandywell it was obvious that only the sick and child-minders had been left behind in Creggan.
Slowing at Brandywell the demonstration was joined by thousands more and at each street corner in Bogside more and yet more peaceful marchers joined in. Finally the figure marching approached twenty five to thirty thousand.
Up from the Bogside – a long straight hill. Then sharply right downhill in William Street. At this point the first soldiers were seen – Saracens and strong foot detachments in the complex of streets at Francis Street. NICRA stewards blocked these streets to prevent any confrontations. From this point the Guildhall Clock Tower is clearly visible: the time 3.40 p.m.
When the tail of the march cleared this point the confrontation with the head of the parade had commenced. A cloud of dye and C.S. Gas could be seen rising above the roof tops, the dull thump of rubber bullets firing could be heard. As the tail of the march passed Little James’ Street facing Rossville Street rubber bullets were fired by troops in Little James’ Street into the marching people.
The noise of a second volley of rubber bullets could not disguise the distinctive crack of two S.L.R. rifles fired by paratroopers stationed in sniper positions in a derelict factory nearby.
The first innocent victims had been shot.
Blocked by C.S. Gas, dye and rubber bullets at the lower end of William St., the Platform Lorry and the bulk of marchers turned back past the High Rise Rossville Flats across the open ground to Free Derry Corner.
Loudspeakers and stewards announced the meeting point.
The platform party assembled and Bernadette Devlin began speaking to a peaceful crowd of some 10,000. Thousands more were flooding towards the meeting point. Shooting commenced almost immediately – around the High Rise Flats at high speed raced three Saracens. Muzzle flashes could be seen at the firing ports. Bullets whined above the now prone mass of people. Two distant cracks from the direction of Old Derry Walls were heard. Bullets hit Free Derry Wall and nearby maisonette walls. The crowd began dispersing rapidly under the urging of the platform .. . “Disperse . . . disperse..”
The dead in Derry include:
|Jack Duddy, 17 years.
|Kevin McElhinney, 16 years.
|Patsy Doherty, 21 years.
|Bernard McGuigan, 41 years.
|Hugh Gilmore, 17 years.
|William Nash, 19 years.
|Michael McDaid, 17 years.
|John Young, 17 years.
|Michael Kelly, 17 years.
|Jim Wray, 23 years.
|Gerard Donaghy, 17 years.
|Gerald McKinney, 35 years.
|William McKinney, 27 years.
The following eyewitness accounts are taken from the hundreds collected by the Civil Rights Association in Derry. The statements were collected during the first week after the slayings, the first of them being recorded within a matter of hours of the event.
The names are authentic and will be recognised by many people in Derry. However, in order to guard those who gave statements from military persecution or judicial malice, it is necessary to withhold distinct addresses and identifications as far as possible. All statements were witnessed and permission given for use but the people whose statements are used here were notconsulted on the question of sub judice arising from the establishment of the Widgery Tribunal.
The statements are published now that the world knows what British soldiers did in Derry on Sunday, January 30, 1972, and to help in some way defeat the aim of the Widgery Tribunal and the consequent sub judice position designed to prevent publication of details.
The numbers and letters used to denote dead and injured correspond to those on the centre page Sunday Times map.
1. JACK DUDDY
Statement of Paddy Doherty, Creggan, Derry:
“After the march on 30/l/’72 I was standing in Chamberlain Street with a crowd of people. When we saw a Saracen approaching we moved on over to the Flats car park. The soldiers got out of the Saracen and fired shots. We took cover behind a wall and we saw Jack Duddy fall to the ground. He had nothing in his hands. We stayed in the playground behind the Flats for cover. Then we made a run for the shops on the other side of the Flats where we saw two bodies lying. One was dead. After a while the shooting stopped and I ran over the Lecky Road to home.”
“I was in Chamberlain Street behind the crowd of youths who were throwing stones. I looked across the waste ground and saw an armoured personnel carrier tearing across Rossville Street. I was running back towards the flats when I heard a rifle report from the William Street area and a bullet struck the wall above my head. Someone shouted at reporters who were running with us “That’s not rubber bullets, report that you . . .” As I came into the courtyard of the flats I saw Fr. Daly kneel over the body of a fallen youth. There was another man with him assisting. I ran to their aid .and as I was ‘kneeling with them at the spot the army fired over our heads, the bullets hit the wall of the courtyard. When I arrived at the youth’s side there was no evidence of any weapon, gun, nail bomb or stone. We carried the youth up either High Street or Harvey Street to Waterloo Street. We spread out the coats and Mrs. McCloskey spread an eiderdown which we laid on him, he was dead by this time, his name was Jackie Duddy.”
2. KEVIN McELHINNEY
Mr. Morrison, Creggan, Derry
“When the soldiers entered Rossville Street, I retreated and ran towards the entrance to the high flats. From there I saw a batch of soldiers getting out of a Saracen opposite me. One of these soldiers ran towards a wall at the maisonettes opposite the high flats; he aimed the rifle at a group of young boys who were standing on the Free Derry Corner side of the barricade of rubble which is directly outside the main doors of the high flats. These boys had retreated to this point as the army came along Rossville Street. I saw one of these boys fall as a soldier fired from his position at the maisonettes. This was the first boy I saw shot. Immediately, I heard further shots which came from the soldiers and which were directed at the other boys at the barricade of rubble. We retreated immediately to the main doors of the high flats.
Kevin McElhinney was running alongside me. We were crouched and running at the same time – making for the main door of the flats. As I entered I heard Kevin, who was now just behind me, shout: “I’m hit. . . I’m hit . . .” I dived on in the door and went up the stairs, thinking that Kevin was behind me. I realised that no one was behind me, so I ran back down and saw Kevin lying dead just inside the door. Others lifted him and took him upstairs.
Kevin was beside me for the few minutes ‘before he was shot. At no time had he a nail bomb, petrol bomb, gun or any other lethal weapon.”
Gerard Grieve, Creggan, Derry:
“I was standing at the barricades in Rossville Street – about a dozen of us. We heard shots. Seven of us ran away: the other five fell to the ground. We tried to crawl into a flat at Rossville Street. I was fourth one to get into flat. When I was standing at the door I heard one shot and Kevin McElhinney fell to the ground. I saw him creeping into the doorway and I went to grab him. Then four more shots rang out and hit the door. I pulled him in. Then I lay beside him. Men called to military to get Red Cross man. I ran up the stairs and told men up there and they told the Red Cross man. Then they came down. I stayed in the flat for about forty five minutes after the rest of the shooting. That’s all I can remember.”
3. PADDY DOHERTY
Statement of Gerry McBride, Shantallow, Derry:
“On 30th January I went over Chamberlain Street and into the square behind the flats. I looked round the corner towards Rossville Street and there was a Saracen in the square. There was a soldier at the end of the flats. When I looked the soldier had hold of a person. He was hitting him with something. Some people were lying there on the ground. As I stepped around the corner there was a girl crawling, so I tried to lift her. She was shouting that her leg was broken. I called a couple of fellows back to give me a hand.
When they lifted her, I could see there was a hole right through her leg. I helped to carry her into the first house in Chamberlain Street. After that I rushed over to a body that was lying in the market (the square). As I was kneeling down, Mickey Bridge ran out and the soldier fired and shot him in the leg. Mickey had nothing in his hand. He was able to reach aid and he asked for someone to put a tourniquet on his leg, so we helped him into the first house in Chamberlain Street.
When I came out of the house, there was a Saracen coming over Chamberlain Street. I could not get back across the market as the army were shooting. No civilians were near them. Eventually I got across and I came out above Doherty’s bakery at the Rossville flats. There was a fellow lying there, shot. No one could reach him as they were afraid of getting shot by the army. A man who looked like a foreigner and who had a camera round his neck waved a white hankie. There was a man crawling out from the houses facing Glenfada Park and he shouted “Get down, they are shooting from the walls,” but we still ran out. When I got out I whispered an act of contrition in his ear. He was still alive. Two other men and myself tried to give him as much aid as possible. When I looked at his side there was a hole there, but no blood. We all stayed with him until he died.
I went down the street and saw Mr. McGuigan lying dead; and below him there was another body at the corner of the flats. A youth was kneeling over him, crying. A Civil Rights banner covered his face. The youth said that it was his mate. I searched Patsy Doherty for identification. While I was passing Mr. McGuigan, I saw a man searching him. He had no weapons on him. All he found was a brown envelope with his name and address on it. After the bodies were removed I left the area.”
Statement of Mrs. Ellen Hutton, Derry:
“My sister and I went to the Little Diamond to watch the march. There was such a large crowd that we decided to go home. When I got home I looked out the back window and saw a lot of boys out there. I came into the front room and looked out that window I heard a man shouting through a loud hailer that there was a meeting at FDC. I saw all the crowd going up to FDC. I went into the back room again and looked out. I had the window open. I saw all. These Saracen tanks came flying madly up to the back of the flats into the car park. I shouted to the ‘boys, “Run, the soldiers are in.” In the panic I ran down the stairs and out onto the balcony. I put my hands on the rails and leaned over. I saw a fellow or girl, I was not sure because they were wearing trousers, fall, and the Saracen ran over him or her. It reversed and ran over him or her again. I was shouting, “Leave him alone, leave him alone.”
The next I saw was a soldier jumping out of one of the Saracen tanks. I heard what must have been shots but I didn’t realise it at the time. A young fellow in the car park fell down. The same soldier caught an old man. The old man was standing with his hands up in the air near the wall facing the middle block in the flats. The soldier lifted either his boot or knee and kicked the old man in the stomach. Then he lifted his gun and hit him over the head with it. I ran up and down the balcony shouting. “They’re killing him, they’re killing him out the back”. A few fellows said to me “For God’s sake missus get into the house. There are some fellows lying dead down the back stairs”. I went into the front room. I looked out the window and saw some one lying dead away over to the left corner of the flats (Paddy Doherty).
The Knights of Malta came out of the house opposite and Father Daly and Father Mulvey were running with white hankies in their hands but there was still shooting. I saw them carrying the Wounded man out and every time they tried to get near the ambulance, they had to fall to the ground because of the shooting. Every time that Father Daly and the crowd tried to put wounded in the ambulance they had to cower behind it or as best they could because they were still shooting at them.”
Statement of Kathleen McGuinness, Derry:
“I was in Sunday’s march, and at William Street the army fired gas and rubber bullets. I went back and came out onto the waste ground at the High Flats. I saw two Saracens coming. Everyone started running. The Saracens stopped and the soldiers jumped out. Some of them went down on one knee and started shooting rifles at the people. Other soldiers ran to catch people. I ran and at the shop at the flats I saw a man lying with blood pouring out of him and another man lying a few yards away. People couldn’t help because of the shooting. I ran on from the flats to the row of houses at the flats. I saw Mr. Bradley shot in the arm and a man brought him into the house where we got shelter.
We could not get help for some time but a man went out and Noel McLoone came. Geraldine Richmond came in and she was in shock having seen a man killed outside. Noel McLoone attended her also. Jim Norris, (a first aid man) came but had to go next door where two other shot men had been carried in. The ambulance came and took Mr. Bradley and the other two men away. The shooting eased off and I went out. I saw Mr. Doherty lying dead at the shops. Another body was near the door of the flats with a blanket round it. Another man was lying shot in the back passageway of the house I was in.”
4. BERNARD McGUIGAN
Noel McLoone, Creggan, Derry:
“I am nineteen years of age and I am a member of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, Derry Unit. There was thirty of us on duty on the 30th of January, 1972. We were on duty for First Aid reasons which we thought would be just simple and usual stuff. We weren’t expecting anything like the mad brutality that was carried out by British soldiers.
The march was stopped at William Street and everyone began to disperse and re-assemble at Free Derry Corner for a public meeting.
The soldiers then came into the “Bog” to try and block the meeting and started shooting indiscriminately at anything and everything that moved.
One incident which I witnessed with my own eyes standing at Rossville Street Flats, at the corner, praying that my name wasn’t on a bullet. I went across the street. A lot of shooting. I seen two people fall and from the direction they fell I assumed – and I’m probably right – that the shots were coming from the soldiers lying – it was the only firing I could see. There was no fire from anywhere else; the soldiers were the only ones that were doing any shooting. We seen – there was a few other people around – the two young men falling across the street. We tried to get out but there was too much shooting. We did not attempt it.
There was one man who wanted to try and get across. He stepped out and a soldier came round the corner of the Rossville Street Flats and the person in question, I found out later, was Mr. Barney McGuigan. He raised his hand in the air – right out – and shouted: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.” And seconds later he was just shot in the head and landed in my lap – at the alleyway at Rossville Street Flats.
I could do nothing but just weep and I called everything to every soldier that was in my head. From the wounds in his head he was definitely dead. After doing all that was possible for Mr. Barney McGuigan I was later called to a house in Joseph Place. On entering it – bodies lying all over the floor. None of them had yet been dead but there was some of them pretty bad, mostly all bullet wounds. I treated five for bullet wounds, a few for shock and some for gas.
I could just sit there and pray and hope that the soldiers would not enter the house and start shooting indiscriminately around the house again . . .”
Geraldine Richmond, Derry.
“I was in the march on Sunday, 30th January, 1972. I was at the corner of Rossville Street. I turned back towards Free Derry Corner. The boy, Gilmore was walking along the side of the flats at Rossville Street beside me. All of a sudden there was a lot of shooting. There had been no shooting before this. This shooting came from the army because when I turned round there was a soldier on one knee. The boy Gilmore stumbled. I went over to him. Some men were already by his side. I prayed into his ear. I helped to carry him to where the telephone box was. A man took off his coat and put it under his head. The shooting continued all the time.
The First Aid people came then with some other men. The man McGuigan was there at this time. Another man was lying at Fahan Street steps. I could hear him squealing but nobody could get to him because of the shooting. Mr. McGuigan said he was going to try to reach him because he didn’t want him to die alone. He took two steps forward and was then shot in the head. The other young boy was now dead. Mr. McGuigan seemed to have been shot from the walls. Myself and some others crawled over to Mr. McGuigan to see if we could do anything but he was dead. After this my nerves went and I was taken away in an ambulance. The ambulance was stopped – that is all I remember. The young boy Gilmore had nothing in his hands. Neither had Mr. McGuigan, he only went to help somebody else.
This is my statement and it is correct.”
Statement of Patrick McKeever, Creggan, Derry:
“I was standing in Chamberlain Street after the march dispersed. I didn’t know that there was a meeting at Free Derry Corner. I don’t know how long we were there. The crowd began to run in Chamberlain Street in the direction of the Rossville Street Flats. I saw a Saracen drive into the courtyard and I heard the scream (child). We went round to the front of the flats round by the shops. On my left were two soldiers. Further down on the left were three or four more. One of the first two knelt down and fired I don’t know how many shots. I threw myself to the ground with two young girls. I stayed on the ground until there was a lull. During the firing I saw a young fellow fall. When I looked round I saw two boys lying at the barricade. They seemed to me to be dead. I went over to the small alley at the flats at Fahan Street. I put the two girls in there. There were a lot of women and girls in there and some men all very upset and some hysterical. One man whom I didn’t know asked me was it bad out there and I said it was.
A man in the alley whom I think I recognised from his picture later I think it was Bernard McGuigan. He said “Why don’t you go out and help them.” I said “You’d get shot if you go out. They’re shooting rings round them.” I reached him a piece of white cloth and he went out waving it. I went inside into the alleyway. I was very scared. Some more shots were fired and I heard some one say: “He’s shot as well.” We all left after a while by the little wall at the back of Fahan Street. There was still shooting at this time. It seemed to be coming from the city walls. In the Wells I saw five or six cars and the bodies being put into them and being taken away. I made my way up home then. I am an ex-serviceman, RAF, so I knew that when the soldier knelt that he was taking aim.”
Patrick Boyle, Creggan, Derry:
“I was round the corner at the phone box when the shooting began on Sunday, 30th January. Across the street there was 40 or 50 people with their hands above their head. Before this a man who had been shot was dragged around the corner. A soldier with the crowd of 40 or 50 turned round and fired across the street. The chap beside me, Mr. McGuigan, fell dead. I moved in beside the phone box and stayed there for about half an hour while the shooting continued. The shooting seemed to be coming from Derry Walls and from the barricade in front of Glenfada Park. I moved towards the maisonettes about 15 yards from Mr. McGuigan at an angle of about 15 degrees towards maisonettes. I saw Doherty who was dying or probably dead. Gerald McBride was holding his head. I went to see if I could get ambulances but I couldn’t get any at this time. I went up into St. Columbs Wells and went into a house there. I went then to a house in Meenan Park, came out of there and I heard all the bodies had been removed and I then went home.
This is my statement and it is correct.”
5. HUGH GILMORE
Statement of Mr. Alec McFadden, Derry:
“I was coming along Chamberlain Street and everyone started running from the gas. There was a young man I think he was Hugh Gilmore running. I heard him say “I am hit.” I got round the other side of the flats, he was lying just below the phonebox. I knelt down and felt his heart, but there wasn’t any beat at all. I asked a man to say an act of contrition in his ear. A Saracen car came up to the edge of the flats, one soldier opened fire with a sub-machine gun straight at us, but it seemed to go over our heads and hit the flats.”
6. WILLIAM NASH
Statement of Edward Nash, Derry:
“My brother William Nash was shot dead on Sunday. I went to the police barracks to claim his personal belongings. When he went out he had £3.10 shillings in his pocket. He was wearing a graduation ring from America with an inscription on the ring. He was wearing a chain and cross. When I went to the barracks to collect them the only thing they were offering to give me was a comb and a ten pence piece and that is all the possessions he had in the barracks at that time. They sent now to Belfast for the clothes to be searched and they say they’re going to make other inquiries about the ring but other than that they say that they could do very little for us.”
7. MICHAEL McDAID
Statement of J. Begley:
“I saw Michael McDaid being arrested at the end of the flats facing William Street end. There were three boys walking with their hands on their heads, obviously having been arrested by soldiers. The three were put into the Saracen tank and at this time were obviously alive. Michael McDaid was one of these. James Harkin of Foyle Road saw the same thing at this time. I later heard that Michael McDaid had been shot.”
Thomas Clarke, Creggan, Derry:
“Standing between Glenfada Park and . . . saw a boy getting shot. Ran over to help him, me and another man. Next thing I knew – those people and the man fell wounded. Then me and another boy, we started to run towards the waste ground in Rossville Street. I heard two shots fired. I turned around. I saw him lying there.
I ran over to help him and the soldiers said: “Wait ’till you get up you f’er you.” As I ran over the soldier grabbed me, threw me in the back of the Saracen. . . There was an elderly man about sixty lying with a bullet wound in his leg. Took the Saracen down to the bottom at the toilets beside Waterloo Place where they let us out – at the toilets.
Two boys with me ran for it up Waterloo Place and we went along with them. There was no report of anyone getting out of the Saracen. But we got out of back of Saracen, went up Waterloo Street, down Harvey Street where there was no soldiers. We ran across the waste ground. We saw a few boys getting marched away into the back of a Saracen. One of them was Michael McDaid. At the time he was arrested. I read then in the paper that he was killed – he was shot dead.”
8. JOHN YOUNG
Statement of Matthew Connolly, Derry:
“I was standing on rubble at Rossville Street when a young fellow of 16 or 17 was shot and fell in front of me, he was shot fairly high up in his chest. The soldier who fired the shot was crouched behind the door of a Saracen. At this time the fellow was not dead. As we went forward to help him, automatic fire riddled the rubble, everyone lay flat out on the ground, about four stayed on for about a minute and during this time soldiers were still shooting and we could hear the bullets above our heads. The fellow was screaming, we retreated behind a wall.
About a minute later John Young crawled with his head down towards the boy who had been hit, he got to within a yard of him When a single shot hit him, he was dead. A youth tried to move towards the bodies but only got out into the open and he was shot. He stumbled back towards the wall and was taken on to a house. The Saracen moved forward, with soldiers behind them. We ran into a courtyard that was blind to the soldiers. More shots rang out and three fell beside each other. Two had gunshot wounds and the other had a heart attack, he later died. The two with gunshot wounds were taken into a house. The third man was left Where he fell. There were three soldiers on the corner and because they were still shooting no one could get near the third man. We ran to Westland Street.
Two or three minutes later the three soldiers withdrew. The crowd then went forward and surrounded the third man who was still lying Where he had ‘fallen. First aid was called for, and a girl and two fellows came forward. They gave him mouth to mouth respiration and pumped his heart. The ambulance came about 35 minutes later and took him away. Then one of the boys who had been shot was brought out of the house and put into a car and taken away.”
Michael McCusker, Creggan, Derry:
“I was in Chamberlain Street when the Army moved into Rossville Street. I run up through the car park and one of the Saracens turned into the car park – behind the Rossville Street Flats. I run on. I didn’t look back and there was a crowd all trying to squeeze through the gap.
The Army was shooting live rounds in the car park. The soldiers were firing from their hips. I seen one soldier jumping out of the Saracen and he fired a gun from ‘his hips. I didn’t know whether he shot anybody or not but later on I heard that there was two boys shot around in the car park. When I did get out the front I went to the barricade outside the Rossville Street Flats and John Young-that’s the fellow that was shot- I was talking to him, and he told me that there was two boys shot around at the back of the Flats.
Then the shooting started again and somebody says: “The Army’s shooting”. So I run and I get round the corner. Round at the side of the Flats was a telephone box so I threw myself there and there must have been about a dozen all lying at the corner of the Flats and the First Aid couldn’t get to him. The shooting stopped. I couldn’t say how long. The First Aid men ran out and were giving him the kiss of life. And he was responding to the kiss of life.
But then the shooting started again and everybody had to dive for cover again. And there was a fella beside me and he run out. He run in the direction of the houses at the far side-the houses facing the shops- and he fell. I thought he tripped or something like that there. After a couple of minutes I seen the blood coming out round him and I realised he was shot. . .”
9. MICHAEL KELLY
Mrs. Mary Anne Kivelehan, Derry:
“I was in my mother’s home, in Glenfada Park when the shooting started. The young boy Kelly came and fell in the back garden. Next he got up, just ran towards the steps when he fell dead. The Knights of Malta tried to help him. After this a girl from the Order of Malta went out with her hands up – she was shot at but fell to the ground unhurt -in Glenfada Park. When the shots rang out the crowd around the bodies scattered.”
Mr. Breslin, Derry:
“I came down from the Bogside. I saw a man getting shot. He was lying on the ground. A young lad by the name of Mickie Kelly went out with his arms up telling the soldiers he was going to pull the man in. When he went out they shot him – shot him in the back and shot him in the head. That’s all I seen this afternoon. As far as I can see the young lad was shot from Derry walls.”
10. JIM WRAY
William Donaghy, Derry:
(From a window in Garva Place)
“We were looking out of the window at the time of the trouble and the crowd were going towards Free Derry corner. The soldiers appeared from no-where (foot soldiers) and they started firing. A woman was standing at the corner of Glenfada Park, they kicked her and struck ‘her with the rifle butt. Two men fell at the barracade where I recognised as my cousin Gerard Donaghy and Willie Nash. Another fell whom I did not recognise. Alex Nash, Willie’s father came out of Glenfada Park, he went to the barricade and waved his arm then the soldiers shot him in the arm about ten minutes later the Saracens came up and lifted the bodies like dead meat. I saw three young fellows trying to run away and a soldier appeared and shot them in the back opposite Glenfada Park.”
11. GERARD DONAGHY
Colm McFeeney, Derry:
“We were in Chamberlain Street and the Saracens came out . . . when we looked around there was Saracens and soldiers all round us. We run all over . . . a black soldier with a gun on his hip was fanning all round him from his hips at the back of the Flats. A bloke . . . I think it was Gerard Donaghy, was hit in the shoulder. We tried to get out to him and they fired more shots. We had to run round. He was five minutes bleeding. He was shot in the back. He had no stones in his hand. He was running. We later learned that he was also shot twice in the stomach from close range.”
12. GERALD McKINNEY
Statement of Mrs. Lynch, Derry:
“I was in my flat looking out the bedroom window overlooking the square. I seen the crowds fleeing. One of the Saracens stopped in the waste ground and two soldiers jumped out. One had a rifle and the other had a rubber bullet gun. The soldier with the rifle had a gas mask on and he started firing at the first person he got his sight on. I seen a youth falling and blood was coming from his back. A crowd gathered around the youth and a priest came. A fellow held up a white flag and soldiers kept firing rubber bullets. I started screaming when I saw the youth getting shot and the soldier with the rubber bullet gun fired two rubber bullets at me in the flat and broke two windows. I went to the front window and looked out. I saw a man laying behind at the barricade and another man leaning over him. The man called up to me for help and an ambulance. The man then put his hand up to the army and the army fired at him, but the bullet hit the barricade.
About twenty minutes later the army drove the Saracen up to the man. About six soldiers jumped out and two soldiers took the man up beside the body. I then realised there was three bodies behind the barricade. They dragged the first body along the ground and threw it into the Saracen. They done the same thing with other bodies, pulling one of them by the hair. They moved the Saracens away from the flats and two priests followed it and got into the back of the Saracen beside the bodies.”
13. WILLIAM McKINNEY
Jim McLaughlin, Shantallow, Derry:
“The Army had bombed in tear gas and we ran over towards the Flats. As we ran over I got my head cleared and we decided to go back to see what was happening. As we went back, the Army had thrown in more tear gas.
We turned to run and there was a bloke running be’side me. I later found out his name was William McKinney but he got shot and we jumped into a garden. As we jumped into a garden the woman in Number 7 of that row let us into the house.
There was a bloke there – Duffy. Him and I tried to get out to get this chap McKinney in and the Army opened up again. We had to let him lie there. When we did get him in he had a bullet wound in the arm and one in the side. We sent for a priest and a doctor. He eventually died. I can state categorically that at no time was ‘this chap McKinney armed. He was just one of the crowd there to support the Civil Rights march.”
Those wounded in Derry include:
|Michael Bridge, 25 years.
|Margaret Deery, 37 years.
|Patrick McDaid, 24 years.
|Michael Bradley, 22 years.
|Alana Burke, 18 years.
|Alex Nash, 52 years.
|Paddy O’Donnell, 40 years.
|Joseph Friel, 20 years.
|Patrick Campbell, 53 years.
A. MICHAEL BRIDGE
Brian Ward, Oakfield, Derry:
“I run up Chamberlain Street going in the direction of the back of the Flats. As I came over there Saracen cars came over Rossville Street. They came on to the back of the Flats and the soldiers jumped out and started to run towards everybody.
Next I seen a young boy lying in the middle of the back of the Flats -with a bullet wound in his stomach. We dived behind the wall. People were trying to help the young fella that was shot. Paras opened fire on them ones. Then a fellow called Mickie Bridge – I think his nerves must have got the better of him – he jumped out and he put his hands up and he shouts “Shoot me, shoot me” and they shot him in the leg – the hip – and he was dragged away. And we had to run away from there then. . . ”
Statement of Sam Gillespie, Derry:
“I was taking photographs of the Civil Rights March. I was in William Street taking photographs of the confrontation with the British army, when the army charged I ran over Chamberlain Street. I was one of the last to enter. When I got to the Square at Rossville Flats I saw a fellow lying on the ground with about ten people around him. He was dead. I took a picture of this. While I was taking it a young fellow who seemed to be his friend turned and faced the soldier shouting “Shoot me now, you bastard, shoot me”. He was waving his hands in the air and as he moved towards the soldier who was taking cover at a Saracen he was shot twice in the leg. I believe his name was Michael Bridge.
John Mitchel McLaughlin, Derry:
“. . . after about half an hour there were only a handful of stone throwers left and it was at this time the Saracens, at least three of them, and one or two Ferret cars came across Little James’ Street into the Bogside. We didn’t want to be cut off so we decided to vacate the area and moved straight back along Chamberlain Street towards the Multi-storied Flats and went towards the car park. As we were crossing the Harvey Street / Eden Place Junction we were fired upon by a paratrooper kneeling at the corner at Quinn’s Lane. A foreign photographer was the only person left at the William Street end of Chamberlain Street, and we shouted for him to come towards us as we saw the soldiers take up position where Hunter’s Bakery used to be. He stepped out with both hands in the air, facing the soldier who had shot at us and this soldier shot at him also. This bullet lifted a chunk out of the masonry surrounding the window at the end house in Harvey Street, (this can be seen and the photographer involved photographed it). This was the first real evidence we had that they were using lead bullets. I have through experience become familiar with the sounds of nail bombs and I can state without any question or doubt that none had been thrown.
We made our way to the car park and all the time I was assisting a man who had been injured in the leg by a rubber bullet. On arriving there the first thing I saw was a young lad, of not more than 18, lying on his back on the ground with people running towards him. He appeared to have been shot in the face as it was covered with blood. I can positively and absolutely say that he had no weapon of any nature on his person as I was among the first to reach him.
As I was running towards this boy I saw Mickey Bridge standing in the middle of the square shouting to the people who were at the gable wall to come over towards him as the paratroopers were taking up position in the waste ground, covering the square. Mickey was shot in the leg by one of these three soldiers. I afterwards recollected that he was waving a white cloth, probably what he had been using to protect himself against the gas.
It was obvious that the above mentioned boy was seriously injured and one of the men asked me to get a priest saying that the nearest phone was at the shop beside the kiosk. At this time no priests were in evidence. When I reached this shop it was closed. Firing was still in progress. A man shouted that a lad had been hit and I helped to pull him in towards the kiosk. He had been shot in the right side, just under the ribs. A first aid man arrived and was able to treat this boy so I continued to try to secure a priest.
I made my way along the maisonettes. I stopped at a house where the door was ajar and in which my friend had taken refuge. As I was talking to him the army opened fire again. I had to dive to the ground as the fire was directed towards these maisonettes. When I got to the corner of St. Columb’s Wells I met another friend who was directing people across the open space on Fahan Street. Many panic stricken people were cowering in the alley at the back of the maisonettes and he and I brought them across.
I made my way across Free Derry Corner to Glenfada Park and while I was approaching it I saw a group of about 20 people with their hands in the air, waving white cloths, approaching the soldiers. At first I thought that this group had been arrested but then I saw 2 bodies in the open and realised that they were trying to reach them, when the troops opened fire on them. They fell to the ground for cover but I did not see anyone hit. I went around at least 6 houses in this area to try and contact my family to see if they were safe and in all these houses I found injured people.
This is my statement and it is correct.”
D. MICHAEL BRADLEY
Lexie McLaughlin, Creggan, Derry:
“I was in William Street – people panicked – we ran up Chamberlain Street into car park – Saracens there before us. Heard shooting, ran back as soldiers were jumping out of Saracens. Heard shooting. Saw young boy falling – blood over his neck. Went and got First Aid man – more shooting. Started to run. Boy beside me, Mickey Bradley, was shot in the arm. I tied a hankie on his arm. Carried him to a house in Glenfada Park. When in house looked out and saw man lying at the corner of Rossville Flats. Myself and two other men went out and dragged him from the corner. More shooting from the Saracens in Rossville Street. Started to run up, three of us, and got to house and realised there were only two of us – looked back and our companion was lying shot dead.”
Statement of Gerry McDaid, Derry:
“I was acting as a steward in the parade when the lorry turned into Rossville Street. The army turned the water cannon on the crowd and the crowd dispersed. Ten minutes later approximately I was standing in Chamberlain Street when the paratroopers made a charge. I ran for cover across to the back of the flats. I heard one shot and we all dived to the ground.
When we arose I saw a man aged about thirty or forty lying shot in the middle of the car park at the rear of the flats. We went to give this man assistance when two or three shots rang out and Michael Bradley appeared to be shot in the arm. He was taken into cover. We again attempted to reach the first man who was shot and the Army fired on us. A fellow I know as Michael Bridge reached the shot man and as he ran across shouting he was shot twice by the army. We crawled for cover and as we did so the army fired three times, once at each person as he tried to reach cover. As we reached cover two men were carrying a body of a third man who had been shot, who I knew to he Patrick Campbell.
We proceeded to the front of the Rossville Street flats shops, and we were fired at again by the army. I managed to reach Westland Street by crawling under cover. I then proceeded to the maisonettes facing the high flats where I looked out from the gable end of the house. The crowd were shouting and the Army fired at this crowd. I was led to the safety of a house. At this time I also saw a woman run into the flats for cover and a paratrooper followed her and fired a rubber bullet from blank range at her through the door and they started to fire a mixture of rubber bullets and live bullets at the flats.”
I. PATRICK CAMPBELL
B. MARGARET DEERY
“In my own house. Panic in the street. People ran into my house mostly men in their middle age and also a few women. The men in the house at the time I knew most of them.
Mr. Charlie McCarron was assisting Mrs. Deery who was shot badly in the leg with a bullet. My sister ran to the street to see if she could get medical help. She saw a man called Mr. Schlindwein who owns a chemist’s to assist. I ran to see if I could get first aid as Mrs. Deery was in the in a bad state. More men entered the house for shelter. While I was in the street a Mr. McCloskey brought in a Mr. Bridge who was also shot in the leg. The Knights of Malta arrived, a boy and girl, they helped the people.
Mrs. Deery was bleeding very bad and my sister ran to phone for an ambulance to a house in High Street. We kept the door closed. Anna, my sister, panicked and went out to the street to ask the army to bring an ambulance. The soldier said he would need to see the woman before sending for the ambulance. Anna brought the soldiers in. I knew they were the paratroopers by the marking on their jackets which was a wine colour. While the soldiers were in the house they wanted to see the man in the yard. After seeing the man in the yard they left. The ambulance still did not arrive. We were in and out all the time. Three soldiers in particular passed remarks. If I was asked to pick out the men I would be able to.
Two different soldiers insisted that they enter the house. I said no, that the other two soldiers had just left. They came in, did not pass any comment, and went out again. This Scots boy was still giving abuse, we did not take them on. Two ambulances arrived at the same time. They took the stretcher into the house. The men in the house made their way out to make room for the ambulance men to attend the people. When the boy was brought to the ambulance I was between the soldier and the ambulance. They were just passing the soldier when he passed comment ‘Are you not dead yet mate?’ The boy did not take him on. Everyone went back into the house. Two soldiers came into the house and took the men out to the street. They lined them up against the wall. With their hands against the wall they were searched. While the ambulances started to move down the street this soldier, who I thought was of a higher rank by his manner (he seemed to be in charge) told the soldiers to take the men down the street.
We came into the house. The door was still open. Two soldiers came into the house. I followed one and he went to the yard and looked in the bin and lifted hardboard that was in the yard to see if there was anything hidden behind it. I told him there was nothing there and if he was looking for something to ask me. He told me to shut up. He went into the kitchen and lifted a pink sheet that I brought down to tear up for Mrs. Deery. I pulled it out of his hand. He kept looking around the kitchen. I asked him if he wanted I would lift the electric fire out and let him see behind it. He told me he would make me do it if he wanted. Then he told me to lift it out. I did so leaving it at his feet. He then went to the kitchen door and told someone to shut that bitch up. He was in a bad temper. They then left the house.
We closed the door and came in and then decided to go to the police station to make a complaint. My sister saw from the upstairs windoW a soldier with a wine coloured beret. He did not have on any riot gear. He was in the street. My sister went out and I followed. My sister made the complaint and told him about the conduct of his soldiers. He just listened and told us just to go on. We then made our way to the police barracks and met in William St. a soldier with a black beret and a few other soldiers. Anna made her complaint again and told about the woman who was shot. We told him about my mother’s poor health and that the conduct of his soldiers annoyed and upset her. Reporters heard us telling the soldiers the complaint and as we moved away asked us what had happened to her. Anna answered. This other soldier with a black beret asked me did the General know about the woman’s leg and Anna said she told him but he never took her on.
We just made our way to the barrack. We met police at Littlewood’s corner and Anna told a policeman with a white shirt on him, thinking that he was of a higher rank. We said we were going to the police station and he told her to go on and make her complaint.
We went to the police station and met a policeman with red markings on his sleeve. She was beginning to tell me something. I said I was fed up about being passed on and asked to see the head man in the station. This policeman said he would get him and brought him down. Anna told him who she was and told him all that happened. And he asked for the names of my brother and brother-in-law and went to find out about them, and, came back to say they weren’t there but were down at the Dock yard. We left and went home. Out of 22 men who were in our house at the time of the trouble 14 have been charged with riotious behaviour. I can witness that most of them came in for safety, or helping the wounded.
This is my statement and is correct. I grant permission for it to be published or used in any investigation.”
F. ALEXANDER NASH
Statement of Mrs. Veronica Glenn, Derry:
On Sunday I was visiting my parent’s house at Mura Place. I arrived there at about 2.30 p.m. and from the front window of the flat I had a view of the march as it proceeded along Lone Moor Road and could see it as it came down past the mouth of Rossville Street. A few minutes after the first demonstrators passed Rossville Street the parade stopped. I took it for granted that they had reached the barricade of the army at the bottom of William Street. Some minutes after I saw the clouds of gas drift toward the flats in Rossville Street.
The crowd started to move up toward the flats along both Chamberlain Street and Rossville Street. At the same time the loudspeaker was calling the people to move towards the Free Derry Corner where the meeting would now be held. The majority of the crowd began to drift in this direction. The lorry was already at the corner. There were still some numbers at the bottom of the flats both on the Courtyard and on Rossville Street. Out of the blue the Saracens raced into the area. I saw one such mount the footpath at the front of the flats – he seemed to be making an effort to knock a member of the crowd. The soldiers then dismounted from the APC’s (Armoured Personnel Carriers) and opened fire. I can categorically state that this was the first firing that I had heard apart from gas grenades and rubber bullets. At no time had I heard any explosion that could possibly have been a nail bomb, nor had I seen any petrol bombs being thrown. It was when the soldiers jumped from the Saracens and the people started to run that the shooting started coming from the soldiers who had now taken up firing position in the middle of the streets with SLR’s.
There was a crowd of 50 boys and men at the entrance to the Glenfada complex. They dived for cover when the shooting started, but one youth of about seventeen years who did not make it and he was shot in the side. He fell, but the others of the group could not reach him because of the firing. He had no weapon of any kind. Finally, after the shooting of the young man, when the firing subsided, the others of the group were able to drag him to the safety of the enclosure of Glenfada Park. Four of the young men who had tried to reach the wounded youth had to dive for cover behind the barricades. They were all lying on their stomachs with heads buried in the dust. At this time the firing was of such intensity that I took cover and stayed away from the window for some minutes.
When I looked out again some minutes later three of the youths were shot and one man was alive, but wounded. I later came to know that this man was Alexander Nash. None of these people were armed, and all had been shot by the Army. A group of youths were in the middle of Glenfada Square running for cover. Three of them fell flat on their faces. Only one of them was moving and the other two were lying deathly still. A few seconds later the army advanced and saturated the area, arresting those people who had reached cover. One soldier was herding a group of people, women among them.
I clearly saw the soldier lift his rifle and hit one of the men who had his hands on top of his head With the butt of his rifle, striking him repeatedly with force on his back and sides.
As I watched an ambulance arrived and Knights of Malta were loading wounded when firing broke out again. The soldiers were standing in the middle of the street and took no cover but continued firing.”
Statement of Mrs. L. Donnelly, Derry:
“I was in No. 6 Garvan Place in the front room. I saw the Saracens coming up Rossville Street and stopped below this flat. Two soldiers jumped from the Saracen. They both had guns and they just began to open fire. I saw a boy fall to the ground. A man raised his arm in the air, and .the army fired. A priest tried to get to the boy and a man shouted, “Get an ambulance”. The army continued to fire for about 15 minutes.
A Saracen then came up to where the boy was lying and a man was shouting, “That’s my son” and the army pushed him out of the way. Then I saw a soldier drag the boy, whom I saw being shot, by the hair and flung him into the back of a Saracen. I then saw a further two boys being thrown into the back of the same Saracen. I was absolutely certain that all three boys were dead. The Saracen went back down Rossville Street and remained there for about 30 minutes. A priest then approached the Saracen and asked the soldiers to take the boys to the hospital. The Saracen then moved off.”
|E. ALANA BURKE
|H. JOSEPH FRIEL
Sean McDermott, Derry:
“. . . . There was about – I am not really sure – about five or six thousand at Free Derry Corner at that particular time and then there was so many thousands between Rossville Street and the Flats and all over the place over the waste ground – and the Army started shooting then and everybody started really panicking. We were trapped by gunfire. We couldn’t get out nor in and I came face to face with a soldier. I run straight into him and I caught him unawares. He levelled his gun and I had to shout: “Don’t shoot, I’m a First Aid man.”
He didn’t drop his gun but he didn’t fire and to tell you the truth I really thought I was dead. I never was as near dead in all my life and we were standing there in out of the gunfire and there was this woman up in the Flats in Columcille Court and she shouted down to me: “There’s somebody hit over there” and myself and a couple of other fellow members of the Order (of Malta) rushed forward and straight on into the gunfire. We stayed behind a building ’till we seen what was going on and we run over and there was one of our girls of the Order was running to an injured man who we later found out had a heart attack and later died in the Ambulance going to the hospital.
She went over to help him and she waved her hands in the air shouting “first aid, first aid” to the soldiers standing at the end of the Court behind a wooden fence and they fired two rounds of ammunition at her. Everyone seen the dirt rising beside her feet. The girl was that much shocked that she dropped to the ground and she thought she was hit and when some passerby came along and went over and examined her and told her she was all right – she wasn’t hit – she got up and rushed forward to the soldiers, who still had their guns ready to shoot, and said: “Don’t shoot me, don’t shoot me, I’m a First Aid girl.” And they started laughing at her and she shouted: “You’re a pack of bastards.”
And by that time I was behind her. She run right out into the street. We later seen that there was four men shot dead in the matter of about six yards. The bodies were nearly on top of each other. There was one man shot through the head, one through the chest, one through the stomach and two men were shot through the face out at the end of the barricade which was about thirty yards away. Their face was completely destroyed. You couldn’t have recognised them whatsoever.
The first body I picked up I looked down at the soldiers just to see the reaction on their face and they started roaring ‘n laughing at me. I could do nothing else but take the bodies away. I didn’t want to lower myself to their standards.”
Several people were arrested after the Army had opened fire. One of them, Hugh O’Boyle of Derry, described his arrest and subsequent treatment:
“I joined the procession at Bishops Field, Creggan, stayed in the procession until it reached William Street. Some youths began stoning the troops. Troops return with rubber bullets, C.S. gas and purple dye. At this point I moved to the car park behind the flats. Shooting started for the first time, I looked towards Chamberlain Street and saw a man being arrested and also one of the Knights of Malta who seemed to be badly hurt crawling on the ground. The army scout cars began moving up Rossville Street, I ran into Rossville Street going towards Free Derry Corner. At this stage more shooting broke out from the soldiers positioned in Rossville Street. I ran for cover to the gable house in Glenfada Park. The shooting was still going on and I saw the first civilian shot in the stomach, he was calling for help and saying “I’ve been shot”. Some youths ran out and dragged him in to the gable of the house, and the shooting continued.
I ran for cover behind a car because I was visible to the soldiers stationed on the Derry walls. There were four other people with me behind the car. I looked to my left towards Abbey Street and saw three men shot in the back as they ran. The fire must have come from the William Street area. I said to the man beside me “how do we get out of this” he replied “we don’t, we pray.”
The soldiers then came in from the Rossville Street direction and told us to come forward with our hands above our heads. There were about ten people at the gable of the house in Glenfada Park including a woman and they also accompanied us with the soldiers. We were marched for about 50 yards in the Sackville Street direction, when we were told to stand facing a wall with our hands up against the wall. The soldiers then used obscene language such as “you Fenian bastard” “blood will run tonight, Fenian blood.” They physically abused us also. A priest, Fr. Denis Bradley arrived at this stage and said to the soldiers. “These people are innocent”. We were then marched to the fencing around the post office in Sackville Street where we were told to stand with our hands against the wall again. We were then searched and then thumped on the back with either a baton or a rifle.
At this stage we were taken to an army lorry and shoved in. We were driven to the naval barracks on the Strand Road and ordered one by one out of the lorry. I was batoned and kicked out. There were about eight to ten soldiers waiting and we were batoned and kicked, we had to run a gauntlet. We were taken into a building where we were told to stand against a wall with our hands above our heads. Police took statements after about two hours – details of name, address, etc., we were then made to stand and hold onto barbed wire for a period of time. They gave us a cup of tea after about four hours and chairs to sit on and heaters were brought in.
When we were batoned coming out of the lorries I received a severe injury to my knee for which I received no medical attention until I reached the first aid post at St. Mary’s Intermediate School about seven hours later at one o’clock in the morning. When I attended ALtnagalvin hospital today (Tuesday) for treatment I had to have my back and side and knee x-rayed.”
Charles Canning, Derry:
This is a statement of what happened to myself and people around me at the front of the High Market Flats in Rossville St. on Sunday, January 30, 1972 at approximately 1600 hours.
The majority of people around had been moving along with myself towards the barri.cade at the flats. I first realised that something was badly wrong when I saw and heard them shooting from the windows as they came past us. At the front of the flats they drove in straight in front of us and straight at some people who were making for the near courtyard of the flats. When I advanced towards the flats I saw the paratroopers leaping from the back of the Saracens and proceed to baton and kick anyone who tried to get out of their way. The man directly in front of me was beaten to the ground so I decided to try and make a run to get past the barricade. It was then that I noticed two paratroopers, one of which was armed with an SLR, and he was firing shots towards the people at the barricade. When these two saw me they ran towards me shouting. At this point I was suffering from the effects of the gas and I could not run very well. I thought the paratroopers then ran towards me and kicked me until I got up off the ground and went with them to a Saracen.
When I arrived there some more paratroopers were there with a youth they were abusing, but when I arrived they stopped and helped my captors to assault me. It was at this point when one of the paras (the one who was shooting towards the barricades earlier) hit me in the face with the foresight of a rifle. They then ran us off towards William Street and pushed us against the wall and an officer from the paras came around and asked us our names. A few people were stood outside the City Cabs taxi stand. The paras started beating one of the men there and when the man protested one of the paras stood behind me and fired a gun. A few seconds later a small priest protested to the paras that they had shot the man in the arm and that he required medical attention. The paras still proceeded to beat the man in question.
At this point I was taken to the barracks at the bottom of the Strand Road. At the barracks I was photographed, questioned and charged by the para who I have mentioned earlier. I learned that his name was Pte. Mulligan of the 1st. Battalion, the Para Regiment.
I was badly treated by the paras all the time I was in their custody and at no time did I see any civilians use guns or bombs on the troops. This Was a completely unprovoked and brutal attack on the civilians who took part in the CRA. march.”
Charles McCarron, Derry:
“I was walking home along Chamberlain Street. There was a woman in front of me and she fell with a wound in the leg. The shot was fired from behind her from William St. Myself and two other men lifted her into an end house in Chamberlain St. She was given first aid treatment but she was losing too much blood. We opened the door to go and phone for an ambulance and the army came into the house. Everyone was marched out and put up against the wall and searched. We were then taken away in an army truck. There were 18 people in the house. Whilst in the truck we were beaten about the legs and backs with batons. Taken to the dockyard and put into a compound where we were called out two at a time and told to give a statement. I was charged with riotous behaviour.”
When the News reached Long Kesh
Des O’Hagan writes from Long Kesh (Irish Times):-
“It is bitterly cold here tonight. Sunday. We have been walking round the cage. Our breath puffs out and hangs momentarily in the sharp piercing air, the tarmac glitters darkly through a light down of snow, one can feel the hard mud ridges break underfoot and in between the cages frozen pools dully reflect the perimeter lights. Tonight is so clean, so pure that the distant sound of cars on the motorway seems like the rumble of the sea falling gently on the sand. The guard dogs bark quickly, then silence; one could be walking up through Gleann Finn enjoying the brilliant moonlight intent upon an evening’s drinking and talking with good companions.
Sunday is newspapers, a surfeit of stories, columns of trivia, momentous accounts of world problems, dolly birds with ever briefer swimming trunks and swinging advertisements for swinging people. All the grossness of Western civilisation is compiled for our weekend entertainment. I am not consumed by the puritan ethic but tonight this is my mood and I am sure the predominant emotion in Long Kesh.
Casually today we talked about Derry, in fact there had only been the occasional question about the march, forecasts of attendance were tossed out, someone may have raised the possible tactics of the Army. This was merely hours ago, now I forget. It is not that we were disinterested, we knew, quietly rejoiced that the people would assemble in their thousands on the heights of the Creggan, the women clutching at the weeuns’ hands, the men muffled up against the winds blowing down the Foyle, looking stern as they stamped their feet, watching out for the famous. Many here have walked in the proud demonstrations. Coalisland, Enniskillen, Newry, Derry and Armagh. But now we are part of the marchers in a strange uneasy fashion. We should be there feeling the strength of the singing throng, hurrahing the slogans, jostling one another into louder voices and instead we are the objective. In this symbiotic relationship separation is the consuming desire.
The first news of the monstrous actions came as some trouble in Derry. It was only to be expected, we said. Faulkner is intent upon demonstrating that he is as tough as old Brookeborough or any of the hard-liners who bluster into Glengall Street and out of it advocating fire and brimstone solutions. Our interest waned slightly, to stop and talk means to feel one’s feet freeze.
Then the first killings, two men had been shot – my mind jumped to Cusack and Beattie and last summer, which now is so many deaths away. Derry is the Bogside and the Creggan: the square blocked Free Derry slogan beckons one down gaily from the old city announcing the vigour of a hardened people. I have never been to Paris but I imagine that I would find an arrondisement, having the same harshness where the communards furiously erected barricades, madly innocent of the deluge which would overwhelm them. There is a quality, drawn from the Foyle and sheltering Donegal, a colour in the people that must be what the English mean when they boast about war-time London. One feels romantically that it could happen here, liberty, equality, fraternity might not be goddesses, but works of human art.
The sombre nuance in the newsreader’s voice quells the angry shouts; we listen intently hearing increduously the increasing numbers of slain and wounded. Now a numbness invades .the mind so that even the foulest condemnations fall flat, lifeless on the hut floor. Bleak, bleak is the night as we sit huddled ejaculating nonsense to fill the void: we wake the slaughtered it seems, automatically reverting to hushed tones as men conscious of bereaved wives and coffins in the next room. One’s mind is dead but the senses quicken, other men’s eyes tighten, strain, surround the tears of pain, of sorrow and state harshly at their own souls.
We then stand behind the cameras watching the swollen streets, the Civil Rights banner raises a muted cheer speedily quietened as the dragon watercannon arcs across the screen. Often the sound of rubber bullets, the billowing gas, the slap of Army boots have sent our hearts thudding madly. Now we flinch at the squealing brakes, twist with the dodging youths: then the welling sickness. A sickness that will remain for days feeding on the horrors, the bitter vicious words, the images of crumpled bodies and a blood-soaked standard. The oaths sound hollow, feeble, useless, the men are dazed, groping for understanding as the twisted bodies disappear from view. The embittered face and repulsing flailing arm of one bearer epitomises all our emotions.
Tonight we do not sit late arguing the demerits of the E.E.C. or recalling the antics of old friends. I watch the quietness. In this crowded hut the isolation, the sudden fresh loneliness, is unbridgeable, bed is a sanctuary, sleep is coveted.
Tomorrow or Tuesday our gesture. It is our custom to honour the dead publicly, we stand facing inward, rows of silent men, hair catching the breezes, frozen faces, young and old. The roll of a drum leads the piper into the wailing keening “Memory of the Dead”, then the two minutes hollowed-out peace. We scatter running for the huts cursing the rain, the cold, the time, the camp, anything. To speak words always seems necessary as if the chatter here and now can erase the past few minutes. The Irish are, I am glad to think, embarrassed by displays of military glitter, our parades are more enthusiastic than disciplined, we do not goose-step or boast in hard satisfied tones of crack regiments and hard-hitting front-line troops. Our revolutionaries have been part-timers immersed more in living than in war. And this is right.
On this occasion we will dip a Tricolour. It is camp made, nailed to a broom handle. Some will not even see it for the cages lie at angles cowering from each other. Close by every shoulder are the ghosts of the Bog-side, but for our Derry comrades there is a special heartache, a grief we cannot share. One yearns for an eloquent Pearse at Rossa’s grave or better still the passionate angry worker Connolly, a Northern voice, harsh, direct, demanding. From the cells of Crumlin jail one could see bulky Cave Hill, birthplace of the Republic; we have travelled about ten miles from there and the green and orange will remind some of us that no matter what distance others may have fled from the common name of Irishman that what it is all about, why we are here is because at some time, somehow, we believe that the men of no property will inherit this small part of the earth.
Statement of Jack Nash, Derry:
“I was at the front of the march at William Street about 15 yards from the barricade. I was caught in the crowd and could not turn. I saw some stones and sticks being thrown and saw the advance of the water wagon. The dye was fired almost immediately after this and I turned round raising the hood of my anorak to avoid getting soaked. I turned again and saw a cloud of gas coming. The crowd drew back and I went with them. I went through the alleyway on to the waste ground. I hung about and watched events at Rossville corner. I saw a young man being hit in the nose with a gas canister. I heard only rubber bullets and gas explosions. One of these went through a window in William Street. Shortly after this I was walking back towards Free Derry Corner still on the waste ground. I heard the Saracens approach and turning round I saw two Saracens round Moore Street corner.
At that the crowd started to run, some of them towards the flats courtyard. Others, myself included, ran up Rossville Street across the barricade. I was level with the main entrance to Glenfada Park. I stood in the middle of the street and saw a soldier aided by one of his mates arrest a young lad dressed in blue, and I saw him put him in a Saracen car. I then saw two more soldiers take up firing positions beside the ramp into Kells Park, one armed with a rifle and the other with a gas gun. I saw rubber bullets being fired. I saw at least another eight soldiers take position at the same place. They joined forces with the two already there. I then heard firing. I heard a man say that they are firing live rounds. I did not believe them. I got on the ground just in case. I got up and saw a young boy lying wounded in the barricade on the other side of the barricade from the soldiers. I thought that he was faking.
There was a further burst of gunfire and I again dived for the ground and on rising I saw that the young boy was still groaning. He had now been joined by two more, one of whom told me that the lad was hurt. When I reached the lad a priest was with him and I saw blood on his clothing. The priest called for the first aid men. I looked back to my previous position and saw that people there had also been shot, including an elderly man.
Mary Quigley, Derry:
“The above mentioned was positioned in the back bedroom of Mura Place. Saracens came along Rossville Street and closed off the main exit from the car park at the back of the High Flats. A large number of soldiers jumped out of the Saracens and commenced to shoot rubber bullets. A few of the soldiers caught a young boy and began to thump him on the head with their batons. At this stage another boy put his hands in the air and a soldier hit him in the leg. By this time I could not take any more and I went into the front sittingroom.
I began to look out the window and saw people diving to the ground, and running in all directions. The soldiers then proceeded up Rossville Street. A boy was making for cover in an alley and a soldier aimed his rifle and fired. The boy fell to the ground. He tried to crawl to cover and the same soldier fired again and hit the boy. The boy didn’t move again and though I would have liked to be of help to him I was scared to leave the house as the shooting was fierce. The boy lay for about half an hour before anyone could get to him.
Then Rev. Father Daly came along waving a white handkerchief and reached the boy. After a further twenty or thirty minutes the ambulance arrived. When the ambulance stopped, almost parallel to the telephone kiosk, Father Daly still waving the handkerchief went to the ambulance with the boy. After a few minutes more shots rang out, everyone in the vicinity of the ambulance fell to the ground. Eventually after getting the boy into the ambulance they had to wait another ten minutes before they could get the ambulance out to the hospital.”
Jim Norris, Derry Unit of the Knights of Malta:
“While I was on the second floor of the flats treating a man hit in the face with a gas canister, a man came and told me that a man was shot just at the door of the flats. I ran down the stairs to go to his aid. As I got to the bottom stair a youth fell in the doorway, one of his legs was shaking violently, lying on his face with the blood pumping from his side, (left). Along with the help of a photographer we carried him upstairs, we pulled away his jacket and shirt, he had a bullet wound in his side. We applied a gunshot dressing to the hole and we had just tied it when a man told me that there was another man shot in the head on the second floor. Leaving the photographer to look after the wounded man I went upstairs to take a look for the man shot in the head, my colleague had already got the man, I went back to the photographer and the injured youth, the photographer told me that he could not feel a pulse. I tried also in vain and put my ear to his chest, but I could hear nothing. He was dead and an old man lent me his coat to cover the victim.
What They Said
On the evening of Derry’s Bloody Sunday the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Mr. Brian Faulkner stated:
“Today’s events illustrate precisely why it was found necessary, with the full support of the Government at Westminster, to impose a general ban on all processions throughout Northern Ireland . . .
“Those who organised this march must bear a terrible responsibility for urging people to lawlessness and for providing the IRA with the opportunity to again bring death on our streets.”
Following is the account of Derry distributed in America by the British Information services:
“NORTHERN IRELAND: LONDONDERRY
On January 31 the Defence Department in London provided a detailed account of the events in Londonderry on the previous day, in which army units were involved.
The march in Londonderry on January 30 was held in contravention of the Government’s ban on all processions and parades. This ban of course applies to both communities in Northern Ireland.
Of the 13 men killed in the shooting that began after the bulk of the 3,000 marchers had been peacefully dispersed, four were on the security force’s wanted list. One man had four nail bombs in his pocket. All were between the ages of 16 and 40.
The shooting started with two high-velocity shots aimed at the troops manning the barriers. No one was hit and the fire was not returned. Four minutes later a further high-velocity shot was aimed at a battalion wire-cutting party. This shot also was not answered.
A few minutes later a member of the machine-gun platoon saw a man about to light a nail bomb. As the man prepared to throw, an order was given to shoot him. He fell and was dragged away.
Throughout the fighting that ensued, the Army fired only at identified targets – at attacking gunmen and bombers. At all times the soldiers obeyed their standing instructions to fire only in self-defence or in defence of others threatened.
The bulk of the marchers dispersed after reaching the barricades, on instructions from the March Stewards. A hard core of hooligans remained behind the attacked three of the barriers. When the attacks reached an unacceptable level, the soldiers were ordered to pass through and arrest as many as possible. They were not, however, to conduct a running battle down the street.
As they went through the barriers the soldiers fired rubber bullets to clear the street in front of them. They made 43 arrests.
The troops then came under indiscriminate firing from apartments and a car park. The following is the army’s account of the return fire:
- Nail-bomber hit in the thigh.
- Petrol-bomber, apparently killed in the car park.
- A bomber in the fiats, apparently killed.
- Gunman with pistol behind barricade, shot and hit.
- Nail-bomber shot and hit.
- Another nail-bomber shot and hit.
- Rubber bullet fired at gunman handling pistol.
- Nail-bomber hit.
- Three nail-bombers, all hit.
- Two gunmen with pistols, one hit, one unhurt.
- One sniper in a toilet window fired on and not hit.
- Gunman with pistol in third floor fiat shot and possibly hit.
- Gunman with rifle on ground floor of fiats shot and hit.
- Gunman with rifle at barricade killed and body recovered.”
An intercepted letter to the commander of the 1st. Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment, Lt. Colonel Derek Wilford, was printed on the front page of the SUNDAY PRESS on the Sunday following the massacre in Derry. It comes from Brigadier F. P. Barclay, D.S.O., M.C.D.L., Colonel, The Royal Norfolk Regiment and says:
|Little Dunham Lodge,
|As an ex-parachute Brigade Commander I write just to say how proud it made one feel to see the way, on TV, on which your lads went into action against those blighters last Sunday. They looked splendid and, as usual, bang on the ball.
|It seems to me and many others that prompt retaliatory action such as this is long overdue. It will have, I’ve little doubt, a most salutory effect. Should have happened long since.
|I sincerely trust you successfully weather these thoroughly unjustified but seemingly inevitable brickbats and recriminations emanating mostly from those who either have no sense of law and order, duty or perspective, or who are spineless.
|With best wishes to you and yours.
From a tape recording of snatches of conversation on Army radio during the shooting in Derry.
“. . . You’re mother’s been killed by the Armee-e, Doo da, doo da” (voice singing). Static . . . “Return fire . . . Aim pistol lower regions . . Roger, Wilco. Out.” . . . Static . . . (sound of shot) . . “Yoo-hoo! Well done! Keep it up.” . . . more static . . . “I said shoot for lower regions . . . the balls” . . . “Over” . . .