A sizable crowd gathered at the Bloody Sunday Memorial on Rossville Street today, observing a Minute’s Silence at 4pm - precisely the time that British paratroopers began their deadly advance into the Bogside 41 years ago this afternoon.
Families of those murdered in the massacre of January 30, 1972, as well as many of those wounded, attended the event. Northern Ireland’s Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin was also in the Bogside and observed the minute’s silence alongside Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney.
Paul Doherty, son of victim Patrick Doherty, began the memorial, while Joe McKinney, brother of victim William McKinney, read a short prepared statement on behalf of the wider families.
“That day and those few devastating moments will never leave us, they are part of all of us. Bloody Sunday was a crime, plain and simple. It must be treated as such,” Mr McKinney said.
Speaking of the PSNI murder investigation currently underway, he added: “We look forward to seeing the paras in the dock facing prosecutions for the murders on Bloody Sunday and for the crimes they committed afterwards when they lied under oath about their actions. We look forward to seeing the British government being called to account for all of the crimes it has committed here in Ireland over these past decades.”
Today’s event was one of several commemorations organised by the Bloody Sunday Trust and Pat Finucane Centre to commemorate the anniversary of Derry’s darkest day in which 14 people were murdered and a further 14 wounded during a civil rights march in 1972.
This Friday, February 1, at 8pm, will see the Annual Bloody Sunday Memorial Lecture take place at the Foyle Drama Theatre, Foyle Building (new extension) of the North West Regional College on Strand Road. The annual lecture will be delivered this year by Ilan Pappé, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies and Co-Director for the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. Doors open 7.45pm.
An anniversary Mass will also take place tonight at St Mary’s Church in Creggan at 7.30pm. All welcome.