Bloody Sunday bullet holes wall removed

The section of wall containing bullet holes fired on Bloody Sunday is removed.
The section of wall containing bullet holes fired on Bloody Sunday is removed.
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The painstaking and very delicate process of removing a section of wall containing bullet holes from the old Museum of Free Derry site has just been completed.

The wall section - which was removed by structural engineers and contractors prior to the start of museum rebuild works at Glenfada Park - is now in storage for safekeeping and preservation and will be returned to the new-look museum site when work is completed in the spring of 2016.

Pictured at the removal of the wall section containing bullet holes are, from left, Colr. Paul Fleming, Robin Percival, Bloody Sunday Trust, Colr. Eric McGinley, Gerry Duddy, Colr. Colly Kelly, Colr. Brian Tierney, Mark Durkan MP, John Kelly and Adrian Kerr, Museum of Free Derry.

Pictured at the removal of the wall section containing bullet holes are, from left, Colr. Paul Fleming, Robin Percival, Bloody Sunday Trust, Colr. Eric McGinley, Gerry Duddy, Colr. Colly Kelly, Colr. Brian Tierney, Mark Durkan MP, John Kelly and Adrian Kerr, Museum of Free Derry.

It’s understood the shots were fired on Bloody Sunday by British paratroopers shooting at civilians fleeing through Glenfada Park towards Abbey Park.

The two bullet holes left in the old museum site building were the last remaining from Bloody Sunday.

It’s believed many others in the immediate area were covered over during renovation work in the 1990s.

The Bloody Sunday Trust says it was determined to preserve the final two bullet markings.

A crane assists in the removal of the wall section at Glenfada Park.

A crane assists in the removal of the wall section at Glenfada Park.

As part of the process, architect George Brennan, along with structural engineer Gavin Cullen, devised an intricate stabilising system to protect what was, by now, an extremely brittle section of brickwork fronted by even more fragile external rendering.

They decided on a specially constructed GRP backing grid, with special adhesives and stainless steel fixings, together with a custom-made lifting frame. This unique approach also required a successful trial run on another, equally weak, section of the building before it could be used on the main section.

It was then the job of building contractors to carry out the delicate piece of work that was more a process of preserving a museum artefact than normal construction work.

Days of slow, careful work by hand went into ensuring that the stabilising system was fitted properly so the removal would be successful.

Colr. Brian Tierney, along with John Kelly and Gerry Duddy - who both had brothers killed on Bloody Sunday - get a close-up view of the section of wall containing bullet holes.

Colr. Brian Tierney, along with John Kelly and Gerry Duddy - who both had brothers killed on Bloody Sunday - get a close-up view of the section of wall containing bullet holes.

On the day of the actual removal, a small group of people - including Bloody Sunday family members, Bloody Sunday Trust representatives and local politicians - gathered nervously to watch.

Everything, however, went according to plan and now, thanks to the work of the engineer and contractors involved, the wall section is safely in storage and being prepared for reintegration into the new museum.