– BLOODY SUNDAY – EVENTS OF THE DAY
of Civil Rights marchers set off from the Bishops Field in Creggan
just before 3 o'clock the mood was upbeat. The sun was shining,
the air was crisp and the atmosphere was akin to a carnival.
The march had been banned by the Stormont government but there
was no sense of fear as the marchers, singing and chanting,
wound their way down from Creggan and through the Brandywell
and Bogside. It was common knowledge that the IRA had withdrawn
from the Bogside.
As the march
reached the Army barricade at William St the great bulk of protesters
followed the platform party on a lorry. A minor confrontation
occurred at this barricade but by the standards of Derry in
1972 it was low key and as 4.00pm approached it was petering
V Donaghy (17)
P Gilmore (17)
F Duddy (17)
Mc Kinney (34)
J Wray (22)
P Young (17)
G Kelly (17)
M McDaid (20)
J Doherty (31)
A McKinney (27)
later as a result of injuries received on Bloody Sunday
N Nash (19)
Name: John J. McDevitt
Address: 41, St Columbs Wells
30th January 1972 I was a steward at the Civil Rights march.
The following is a true account of events as I saw them happen.
When the marchers reached the junction of William Street and
Rossville street the march proper turned up Rossville street.
A number of people continued to walk on towards the military
road block at the Old City Picture house. They commenced to
throw stones at the troops who replied with rubber bullets and
C.S. gas. As stewards we were trying to get those stoning the
troops to go up Rossville street towards Free Derry Corner where
a meeting was being held.
I was standing
at the taxi office in William Street when I heard a shot, it
seem to come from the direction of the Post Office sorting office.
I ran in the direction of the sorting office and I saw a whisp
of blue smoke ascending from the roof of the sorting office.
I could see no-one on top of the roof. Just then I heard a woman
say, "Someone had been shot." in the vicinity of Stevensons
bakery. Before I had left the area I saw British soldiers in
the sorting office yard. There were also soldiers with rifles
at a window above a newspaper shop at the city cinema. The number
of people throwing stones at the army was now very small as
most of them were driven away by C.S. gas. I decided to move
in the direction of the meeting at Free Derry corner and had
just gone a few yards up Rossville St. when I heard vehicles
coming from William St. they were traveling at great speed,
I ran towards the new houses on my right and as the vehicles
drew slightly pass me they stopped. Doors flow open and a machine
gun was fired from the open door. A number of soldiers jumped
from the back and were firing rifles from the hip apparently
at no one in particular. I saw a man fall and a soldier went
to him and turned his body over with his boot, he raised the
rifle as if to shoot the man again but whether he did or not
I cannot say as I had to run for cover behind a wall when I
heard the firing getting worse. There was definitely nothing
more than stones being fired at the army, no nail bombs or petrol
bombs whatsoever. This is all I actually saw at this time. But
when the soldiers had left it was clear to me that the situation
was a lot worse than I had ever imagined.
I am willing
that this statement may be used for publication or for purpose
that the N.I.C.R.A. approve of.
Bridge of 10 Tremore Gardens, Creggan, Derry states:-
1. I am
aged 25 years and am a labourer and present unemployed. I was
a steward of the CRA march on 30 January 1972. I was asked to
take an armband coming down Southway. The march was orderly
till it reached the William Street barricade. There was there
some stoning and rubber bullets were fired. A water cannon sprayed
us with purple dye and CS gas was used. All this time with the
other stewards I was trying to control the crowd.
2. The platform
lorry went down Rossville Street announcing a meeting at Free
Derry Corner. I was affected by gas. I went down the alley into
the waste ground. I was sick there. Then I went back into William
Street. At the corner of Chamberlain Street I was hit with a
rubber bullet. I went and sat down in Chamberlain Street for
perhaps 10 minutes or so. People started shouting that the Saracens
were coming. Everybody ran over Chamberlain Street. I went to
Eden Place. I went down Eden Place and looked into the open
ground. I saw the first soldiers there. They were jumping out
of the back of a Saracen. The Saracen was parked at the rear
of the houses in Chamberlain Street with the rear facing towards
Eden Place. The two soldiers who jumped out began firing in
the direction of William Street and Eden Place. Beyond, I remember
that soldiers were attacking civilians on the open ground.
3. I turned
to get back up Eden Place. A soldier appeared behind me, round
the corner of Eden Place. He fired a shot. An old man fell down,
but he got up again and I am certain he was shot. I was making
my way up Chamberlain Street towards the Rossville Flats when
someone came running towards me shouting that someone had been
shot in the car park at the Flats. I made my way into the car
park and noticed a body lying fairly near the end of the low
wall. As I approached the body I cannot remember hearing any
shooting. I got within a few yards of the body. I turned and
started shouting towards the soldiers. At this point I was aware
of shooting very close to me. I was hit in the leg.
I was standing in the car park, just before I was shot, I noticed
a Saracen parked in the waste ground between the rear of the
houses in Chamberlain Street and the high flats in Rossville
Street. I also noticed a soldier in a kneeling position with
his rifle aimed into the car park at the corner of the Rossville
Street flats. There was another soldier standing a few feet
from the rear wall of one of the houses in Chamberlain Street.
He had his rifle in his shoulder in an aiming position. I noticed
that he did not have a riot visor down over his face. There
was no camouflage paint on his face.
5. I was
taken to 33 Chamberlain Street and given first aid and subsequently
to the Altnagelvin Hospital.
3.55pm., away from the riot at the bottom of William St., Paratroopers
opened fire. 5 shots were fired from a derelict building on
William St. 2 men, 59 year old John Johnston and 15 year old
Damien Donaghy, were hit.
John Johnston aged 59 of 50 Marlborough Street, Londonderry
On the 30
January 1972 I was walking down William Street with the intention
of calling on a man in Glenfada Park. Because of CS gas I went
through wasteground south of the old bakery. I saw soldiers,
in firing position, in a burnt out house almost opposite to
this waste ground and north of William Street. As I was crossing
this waste ground I turned and looked at the soldiers I heard
a crack of a shot. I was hit in the right leg near the hip and
then another shot hit me in the left shoulder. At first I thought
I was hit by a rubber bullets. Another shot, which I believe
was a ricochet, grazed my hand but I have no idea when this
happened. Just before I was hit I saw a boy fall near the corner
of the waste ground and William Street. I was taken to a house
of people named Shiels in Columbcille Court. The boy was already
there lying wounded on a couch. I was attended, I believe, by
Docter McClean and the Knights of Malta. Also I was attended
by Father Carolan who drove me to Altnagelvin Hospital.
I did not
have a weapon of any kind nor did anybody else including the
wounded boy, as far as I could see. I can not see any reason
for the troops to assume that any offensive action was being
taken against them by a civilian.
no other shooting and I heard no nail bombs or anything similar.
of Damien Donaghy, 144 Rinmore Drive, Creggan Estate, Derry
aged 15 years.
I was coming
down William Street on Sunday 30 January 1972 at about 4.00
pm. I noticed a cloud of CS gas around the junction of William
Street and Rossville Street. As I reached the "Nook Bar"
in William Street I looked over to my left andI saw three soldiers
lying on a ledge at the rear of the Great James Street Presbyterian
I also noticed
two soldiers inside the former premises of Abbey Taxis in William
Street. The soldiers on the ledge had their rifles aimed towards
the direction of Columbcille Court. I went round the corner
of the "Nook Bar" and into the waste ground beside
it. I was walking towards Columbcille Court then. I heard the
sound of a rubber bullet being fired and I saw it bounce off
the wall on my right and I then ran to pick it up. As I was
bending down to pick it up I heard a shot ring out and I felt
a twinge in my left hip. I fell to the ground and saw the blood
coming from a hole in my trousers just above my right knee.
I then realised that I was shot. Some of the men came and I
shouted to them that I was shot. Just as these men were coming
to pick me up I heard two more shots and they were not rubber
bullets shots. Some men then picked me up and carried me to
a house in Columbcille Court and I was eventually taken to hospital
in Father George Carolan's car. At no stage did I have a gun
or a nail bomb in my possession.
approximately 4.07pm. the order was given for the 1st Battalion
the Parachute Regiment to begin an " arrest " operation.
3 minutes later soldiers of the Support Company began firing.
By 4.40pm the firing had ceased.
Address: 218 Carnhill Derry
Occupation: Chemical Operator
I was in
William St. and C.S. gas was fired at the crowd. I moved up
to my aunt's house at Kells Walk and went into the living room.
Whilst in the house I heard that a young boy and man had been
shot in William St. I was in the house about 10 minutes when
four Saracens and 2 lorries came into Rossville St. They were
traveling very fast. Behind that came two other Saracens which
parked I front of the house. Two soldiers came down Rossville
St. with a man in a black suit - half walking and half dragged
receiving blows from the muzzle of the soldiers gun and from
the butt of the other soldier's gun. When they got behind one
of the Saracens, I saw him struck on the body and fall. Whilst
on the ground, I saw him kicked by two other soldiers. They
lifted him and threw him bodily into the Saracen. One of the
same soldiers struck him on the face with the fist and with
the edge of the soldiers helmet.
I saw another
young boy arrested on the waste ground facing the house. He
was only struck once with the butt of a rifle. They sat him
inside the Saracen.
a fellow with blue denim jacket and jeans standing on the waste
ground facing me. He was empty handed and he looked confused
as if he did not know where to run. One paratrooper close to
the flats gave a signal to another one to arrest him. The paratrooper
went towards him but didn't touch him. The young boy seemed
to be pleading with him. The paratrooper who had given the signal
ran back behind the boy and hit him on the back of the head
with the butt of his rifle. The other paratrooper moved towards
the boy and grabbed him and as he marched him to the Saracen
kept hitting him with the muzzle of the gun. When he was behind
the Saracen he was kicked towards William St. where another
soldier was waiting. He made a run at the boy and pulled him
bodily to the ground with such force that he fell himself. On
rising, he hit the young lad a ferocious kick on the backside
and he stumbled towards William St.
I heard gunfire and we all hit the floor. When we got off the
floor again I glanced out the window and I saw a soldier in
a kneeling position, firing straight up Rossville St. towards
the barricade. He seemed to have fired a full magazine before
he arose and ran back into William St. I stayed away from the
window after that.
I did not
hear any nail bombs or petrol bombs. I noticed a camera man
filming from below the Saracens in Rossville St. (about Aden
a true statement of what happened to me on 30.1.72. I grant
permission for this statement to be used in any investigation.
Flats Car Park
the Paras advanced 2 people, 18 year old Alana Burke and 53
year old Patrick Campbell were hit by military vehicles. Rubber
bullets were initially fired and then the unmistakable sound
of live rounds was heard. 17 year old Jackie Duddy lay dying
and Margaret Deery, Micheal Bridge, Micheal Bradley and Patrick
McDaid had been wounded.
McChrystal 11 North Street Derry Aged 42 Storeman.
I was in
Chamberlain Street behind a crowd of youths who were throwing
stones. I looked across the waste ground and saw a Saracen tearing
across Rossville Street. I was running back towards the flats
when I heard a rifle report from William Street direction and
a bullet chipped the wall above my head. Someone shouted at
reporters who were running with us 'That's not a rubber bullet
- 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 back wall of the courtyard.
When I arrived at the youth's side there was no evidence of
any weapon, gun, nail-bomb, or stone.
the youth up either High Street or Harvey Street to Waterloo
Street. We spread out the coats and Mrs. McCloskey spread eiderdown
which we laid him on. He was dead at this time. His name was
Patrick Harkin 15 Elmwood Road Derry Aged 42 Occupation: Machine
I was in
parade and had got as far as Macari's when parade was stopped.
When they shot the first lot of gas, I cut across a lane into
what was previously Pilots Row. I made my way to my mother's
house in Garvan Place (high flats). When I got in, I was looking
out the window into William St. for a few minutes. There was
stone-throwing still going on in William St., but main body
of the crowd had moved towards Free Derry Corner.
four Saracens came flying up Rossville St. and one drove into
car park at the rear of the flats, into the crowd. They could
have mowed down several of the crowd, but luckily only one boy
whom I couldn't identify, but he was taken into the first house
in Chamberlain St. He was aged about 18 years.
or six soldiers came out of this Saracen and started to attack
people with their gun butts. Two soldiers caught hold of one
man aged about 50 years. I don't know his name but he was a
bin man with the corporation. They beat him about the head with
their rifles. They took him around by what was Eden Place.
five other soldiers then took up positions along the back wall
of Chamberlain St. and started shooting with automatic weapons.
They had no rubber bullet guns or any other weapons. They seemed
to aim most of their fire in the direction of the opening between
the intersection of the flats in line with the telephone kiosk.
shooting at a fleeing crowd going in direction of Free Derry
Corner. I noticed then there was a young boy bleeding in the
car park in the rear of Rossville St. Flats. He didn't appear
to have anything in his hands. I then saw a man coming to his
aid and Fr. Daly administering the last rites. Each time these
four or five soldiers emptied the magazines of their guns, four
or five others replaced them and continued firing. This went
on for about ten minutes. During this time there was no question
of any nail bombs or petrol bombs being thrown.
Patrick O'Reilly (22 Garvan Place, Derry), was a witness with
me to above statement and will be willing to verify. At the
time of this shooting, I noticed a civilian standing alongside
the soldiers. He appeared to be carrying a camera. It was obvious
at the time that the soldiers were not being fired at as they
were standing in upright position and didn't try to find cover.
my statement and I grant permission for it to be published or
used in any investigation.
people fled for safety the shooting continued. Hugh Gilmore
was murdered as he sought safety in the Rossville Flats. Paddy
Doherty was murdered as he tried to crawl to safety and Barney
McGuigan, hearing the dying man's cries, was murdered as he
attempted to go to his aid.
Frances Christina Richmond, 5 Swilly Gardens, Creggan Estate,
1. I took
part in the march on 30 January. When it was halted in William
Street I went onto the ground round Rossville Street to get
away from the CS gas.
2. I was
between Eden Place and Pilot Row, near a man whom I did not
know then, but whom I now know was Hugh Gilmore. Someone shouted
"They're in, they're in" meaning soldiers had come
into the Bogside. I saw some Saracens coming into Rossville
Street. We all started running down Rossville Street. Up to
this time I had heard no shooting at all, except the rubber
bullets and the gas.
Gilmore was running beside me. He was going away from the soldiers
and he had no weapon. The soldiers jumped out of the Saracens
and started shooting. Some were standing or kneeling as they
shot, they were not lying down or taking cover. There were a
lot of people running to get away.
as Mr. Gilmore and I reached the main section of Rossville Flats,
he said "I'm hit, I'm hit". I said "Try and keep
running". He started to stumble. I got my two hands under
his arm at the shoulder and supported him till we got round
the corner of the building. I was looking round as we ran. There
was continuos firing all the time. People kept falling. A lot
of them were diving for cover but I think at least one of them
was shot by the wall of the flats along Rossville Street.
5. We got
round the corner and against the end wall of the building near
a telephone box. I put Mr. Gilmore down and opened his shirt.
I saw a bullet wound in the lower part of the stomach, a small
entry wound and a big exit wound. I knew it must be a fatal
wound and in fact he died in a few minutes.
were about half a dozen people beside the telephone box taking
cover. A man took me from Mr. Gilmore's body along towards the
box. At this time we could hear the cries of wounded at the
other end of the shops (the centre block of Rossville flats).
There was firing down Rossville Street and also between the
two buildings from the waste ground in front of Chamberlain
Street. This kept us pinned where we were.
7. A man
was shouting out that he did not want to die. We wanted to go
to him but could not because of the gunfire. Mr. Barney McGuigan
said "I'm not going to let him die by himself. If I take
my white hankie they'll not shoot me". We tried to dissuade
him but he took out his handkerchief and moved out from the
wall a few paces waving it on front of him. We shouted to him
to come back because the shooting did not stop. Then he was
hit, just about 4 paces out from the wall. He fell and he was
dead as he hit the ground. He was hit in the back of the head.
8. I could
not remember much after this. I was taken to hospital and treated
for shock. He was in a blue anorak coat with a white shirt and
grey suit. He was in the Peace Committee and on the Tenants'
association. He was certainly carrying no weapons.
taken and witnessed by J L Heritage 24 February 1972
Rubble Barricade, Rossville Street
McElhinney was shot as he tried to crawl to safety in the Rossville
Flats. Micheal Kelly fell at the rubble barricade, as did John
Young, William Nash and Micheal McDaid. Three of these young
men may have been shot from Derry's walls by British Army snipers
and Alexander Nash, the father of William, was wounded as he
went to his son's aid.
and Margaret Johnston 69 Creggan Rd. Age: 31 Occupation: Dispatch
standing at the mouth of Rossville St. when the soldiers started
firing C.S. gas. I started to move back along Rossville St.
and we saw a young boy who had been badly struck by a gas canister
on the face. We crossed over to see if we could help. There
was enough people there to look after him. So we crossed back
to Glenfada (opposite Rossville St. flats). Then we heard Saracens
coming in and we moved back because at the same time we heard
gunfire. Then we moved into a small alleyway where there were
a number of people already there. From where we were standing
we could see the remains of a barricade. Lying at the barricade
were three men all on top of the other. Immediately beside them
on his back was an elderly man. He appeared to be alive as his
arms were moving. I asked some of the men, could they not pull
him in. They said it was much too dangerous and the other three
were dead. Then the chippings came off the wall where the bullets
were striking the wall by where we were standing. So we decided
to try and move on. We moved to the next alleyway where there
was already some people including Fr. Bradley. The fire continued.
On the opposite side of the street at the High Flats two boys
were crawling along the road. The first one made it up to the
doorway. The second one appeared to get shot. He was jerking
and when he got to the door he stopped altogether. We were all
screaming to the boy inside the doorway to reach out and pull
the other lad in, which he did.
called to me to get behind the wall and I noticed a small boy
sitting against the wall. He had blood all over him. I asked
him if he were all right. He said, "They shot me mate beside
me." He seemed to be in a dazed condition. Then when I
looked to the other side of me in the courtyard four men were
lying face down. They appeared to have been shot while running
away from the army. As I said Margaret to look at the four fellows,
a tiny flat (?) soldier came round the corner. He said, "Fucking
bastards, move," We immediately moved. One of the soldiers
reached for Fr. Bradley and Margaret yelled at them that he
was a priest. Then the soldiers started kicking us. One made
a lunge at me again. Margaret got between him and myself. The
soldier immediately beside him struck Margaret on her head with
his rifle butt. One then on my left came running at me again.
Margaret got between the soldier and myself again, the soldier
behind yelled, "This way." I turned round and said
which way. He indicated that we move away from the boys who
had been arrested. We moved away then. We went to Dr. Swords
and told him about the men. He went over to where the men were
lying. Then we just tried to help where we could.
Margaret A. Johnston
people sheltered in Glenfada Park, away from the carnage on
Rossville Street, they were unaware that 4 Paras were approaching.
When these soldiers came into view the crowd attempted to escape.
Joe Friel, Daniel Gillespie, P. O'Donnell and Joe Mahon were
Wray, wounded and unable to move, lay just yards from his grandparents
home. A Para murdered him as he lay wounded and defenceless.
Gerard Donaghy, Gerard McKinney and William McKinney were killed
as they sought to escape the murderous advance.
Malachy Coyle 13 Nicholson Sq. Derry City Occupation Pupil of
St. Joseph's Derry Age 14 years Dated 1/2/72
is a statement taken on behalf of Mr. Malachy Coyle by Leonard
Friel, 19 Garden Place, Derry City.
I was at
the front of the march on Sunday 30th January 1972. The steward
went forward and was arguing with the soldiers. The officer
in charge paid little attention to his words. He turned his
back on the steward and the soldiers moved forwards. The crowd
ran when they saw this, and the soldiers started firing gas
and spraying dye. People were running everywhere caught by the
gas and dye. I went towards Colmcille Court to get some fresh
air. When I reached Colmcille Court I heard that a man and a
boy had been shot. I stood around for about five minutes, when
everyone started running. I ran into Glenfada Park and stood
behind a row of garages. I knew at this time that the army had
fired live bullets at the crowd. I could hear the gunfire coming
closer and I ran for an opening in Glenfada Park. Before I reached
the opening I man pulled me into a backyard. We hid behind a
dustbin and looked out to see if we could see the army. I could
see three unarmed men lying on the ground in Glenfada Park.
One of the men had his left eyebrow shot away. He was lying
face down on the ground.
I made a
move towards this man but the man in the yard with me pulled
me back. We then tried to get into this house, but the man said
we should not as the door of the back yard was open and the
army would be able to see us. We looked towards the wounded
men on the ground and the man with the eye wound looked up at
us and exchanged a few words with the man in the yard with me.
I heard another shot coming from the direction of the soldiers
and I then knew that the man had been shot again in the back
of the left-hand shoulder. He gave a groan and I could then
see that the man was dead. I looked across the court, and saw
about eight soldiers running across from my left to right. The
first soldier looked around the corner and saw a group of women
taking shelter from the army gunfire. He shouted that he was
going to shoot them. He also called them bastards. The man in
the yard with me said that we show ourselves as the army would
shoot us if they had seen us in the yard. I followed the man
out with my hands on top of my head. We stood looking at the
soldiers who were still threatening the women. I saw a youth
wearing a dark blue suit panic, and start running. One of the
soldiers shot him in the stomach before he had even made a step.
The soldier had shot him from almost point blank range. On seeing
this, I panicked and ran towards the opening on my right hand
side. I heard more shooting but I kept running until I was well
away from the gunfire danger.
my statement. Malachy Coyle.
the immediate aftermath of Bloody Sunday the British Army claimed
that they had come under sustained attack from gunmen and bombers.
Not one soldier was treated for injuries received on Bloody
Sunday. No weapons or explosives were seized by the military
save for 4 nail bombs that were planted on Gerard Donaghy by
Raymond Manassas Rogan of 10 Abbey, Londonderry say -
On 30 January
1972 I was in my house. During the afternoon I heard firing
coming from beyond Glenfada Park. I looked out of my window
and I saw two men lying on the ground with people round them
on the footwalk which ran at right angles to my house. I opened
the door and gestured to the people to bring them in. A young
man whose name I later learnt was Gerald Donaghy was brought
into my sitting room. He was unconscious and badly wounded in
the lower left abdomen. A man who said he was a doctor was present.
The doctor told me that he would have a chance of living if
he was got to hospital soon. I volunteered to take him in my
car and I set off for Altnagelvin Hospital with the wounded
man in the back seat. Mr. Leo Young accompanied me. As I drove
off my car I was aware of further shooting coming from the same
direction as before. I drove down Fahan Street, turned right
down Lecky Road, left into St. Columbs Wells, left into Lone
Tower Street and then into Barrack Street where I was stopped
at an army barricade by the Royal Anglican Regiment. I was immediately
pulled out at gunpoint, thrown against a fence. I attempted
to protest as I had a wounded man but was told to shut up or
I would be shot. After half an hour I was made to sit down and
after another half hour we were taken to an army compound on
the Craigavon Bridge. My car had been driven away but I didn't
see this being done. I had asked an officer to contact the RUC
but he told me he was contacting nobody and also told me that
if I made a move I was dead as one stiff wasn't enough for them.
At the Army
compound I was searched and photographed with a soldier named
Poole who was put down as the arresting soldier although this
was not correct. I put this to Poole but he just said that he
was there. I was then handed over to the RUC and made a statement
to Detective Sergeant MacTaggert. The statement related exactly
the same facts that I have made above. I was then stripped and
searched and tested with a jellysniff and I heard the operator
say it was negative. I was then told by MacTaggert that a bomb
had been on the wounded man in my car and that they had broken
open the boot of my car. I protested about this as they had
the keys. There was then an explosion and MacTaggert indicated,
but didn't actually say, that it was of the bomb found on the
wounded man being detonated.
I was then
transferred to Victoria Barracks and was kept there for about
2 1/2 hours. I was there told that I was being detained under
the Special Powers Act for questioning by the Special Branch
and the reason given was that explosives had been found in my
car. I then identified myself as the Chairman of the Abbey Street
and Area Tenants Association and as such was known to Inspector
McCullough and asked for him to be informed of my arrest. After
half an hour the sergeant told me I was released and that I
had to go to the compound to get my car. I was there my MacTaggert.
He came with me in my car to the police station. He told me
my car would have to be checked and he would arrange for this
to be done that night. During the time of checking I was told
by MacTaggert that the wounded man was dead and I was told to
claim for damage to my car.
taken and witnessed by C G Leonard 23 February 1972.