Bloody Sunday: powerful images tell story of 50 years of epic struggle

A powerful new compilation of photographs chronicling the tragedy of Bloody Sunday and the subsequent campaign for truth and justice has just been published.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 11:04 am
1973... Kathleen Kelly, mother of Michael Kelly (17), pictured at his grave on the first anniversary of the massacre.

“50 years: Bloody Sunday in Pictures” is a photographic account of a day and a movement that changed the course of history.

The brainchild of the Museum of Free Derry and the Bloody Sunday Trust, the new book features some of the most potent images of the past half century - many of them sourced from the archives of the ‘Derry Journal’.

As well as highlighting the crime of Bloody Sunday itself, the book features the dark years of isolation as the families mourned their loved ones and marched in remembrance with only their own to support them and, subsequently, the unstoppable mass movement for truth that the relatives’ campaign became.

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1973... Actress Vanessa Redgrave read a poem at the first anniversary commemoration.

Bloody Sunday was probably the most photographed tragedy of the NI conflict. The hundreds of photos taken that day show the full horror of the British Army onslaught in the Bogside as the Parachute Regiment gunned down 14 unarmed civilians and wounded seventeen more.

John Kelly, whose brother Michael (17) was among those killed on Bloody Sunday, says the pictures in the new book “tell the story” of the massacre.

“They show the horror of the day and the courage of the long campaign by our families and our friends,” he says.

“They show our achievements and they show what we are still fighting for. This is a book that tells the world of what we had to endure in the past 50 years. But it also tells of the support given to us by the people of Derry and beyond.

1974... The memorial at Rossville Street under construction.

“So, to those who took these pictures, to those who marched with us, to those who helped us organise, to those who volunteered their time and energy to our campaign in many different ways, we, the Bloody Sunday families, say, thank you. Without your support, we would not have got this far. With your continued support, We Shall Overcome.”

The new book, priced £15, can be purchased from the Museum of Free Derry, Glenfada Park.

1975... Relatives gather at the Bloody Sunday memorial on Rossville Street.
1981... The Long Kesh protests were highlighted at the annual Bloody Sunday march.
1985... Native American representatives attend the annual march.
1990... Paul Hill, of the Guildford Four, speaks at Free Derry Corner.
The new book is available to buy now.