Essay on Bloody Sunday

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Bloody Sunday

Troops were sent into Ireland in 1969, to sort out the troubles. Catholics in Derry’s bogside area built barricades to protect themselves in early 1969. They felt that they could expect no protection from the police. The situation continued to deteriorate in the following months, with some explosions, which damaged electricity and water supplies. The explosions were blamed on the IRA, but really were the work of the Ulster Protestants Volunteers (UPV), who were trying to discredit the Catholics. The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’ Neill resigned in April of 1969 after the General Election. The Unionists felt that he was giving into the Civil Rights group.
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When the Hunt report was published in October 1969, the idea that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) should be disarmed it was met with disbelief. There were riots in the Protestant Shankill area of Belfast. The army quelled the riots and two Protestants were killed.

The IRA’s reputation was severely damaged in the summer of 1969, because it had not been able to protect the Catholics. Slogans appeared on the walls in Belfast:

‘IRA – I Ran Away.’

There were some members of the IRA who felt that the policy of uniting Ireland had to be followed and that if violence had to be used to achieve that aim, then violence would be used. Some IRA members wished to re-unite Ireland by peaceful means. A split occurred in the IRA, and those who embarked on a policy of violence called themselves the ‘Provisional IRA’. When first established there were 30 provisionals in Belfast, but they soon expanded and became the main force behind Irish Nationalism.

In August 1971 Internment was introduced. Internment was the imprisonment of suspected terrorists with no trial, and was regarded by many as a serious infringement of Civil Rights.

The internees were ill-treated and there was an official commission (the Compton Commission) which looked into conditions. There was widespread anger about
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