– BLOODY SUNDAY – REACTION TO EVENTS
of Bloody Sunday
Coffins of the victims in Creggan Chapel.
National and international reaction to Bloody Sunday, which
included worldwide protests led to a clash between the Stormont
government and Westminster.
Faulkner, a hardline Unionist who had become the Prime Minister
of N.I. in March 1971, wanted even stronger security measures.
British PM Edward Heath demanded complete British control of
security, law and order and the judiciary.
of Direct Rule. The Stormont government was suspended
on 24thMarch 1972 and responsibility for the running of NI now
rested with Westminster.
in violence. In the 3 years prior to Bloody Sunday
210 were killed in troubles. In the 11 months after Bloody Sunday
445 people lost their lives.
Inquiry launched. The English Lord Chief Justice, Lord
Widgery, was appointed to investigate the events of Bloody Sunday.
announcing the inquiry the English PM, Edward Heath, met Lord
Widgery and told him it must be quick and that a military and
propaganda war was being fought in NI. The Nationalist community
was unaware of this meeting and unaware of what Lord Widgery
decided at this meeting.
Widgery decided the inquiry should:
Examine if the army shot indiscriminately at the crowd or
only at certain identified targets, not if the people shot
only at the events of a limited time span on the day itself,
from the first shot to the last.
Take as little time as possible.
people in Derry were angry that a British judge had been appointed
to investigate the actions of the British Army. Some advised
that the Inquiry should be boycotted but the majority of people
decided to attend. As a result the people of Derry co-operated
with the Inquiry but they were amazed at the results of the