British and unionist politicians fumed at the existence of Free Derry. But internment had stiffened the community’s resolve. An anti-internment march was planned for 30 January 1972.

Fifteen thousand people gathered in Creggan on a bright, crisp winter’s day. There were rumours that paratroopers were amongst the heavy British Army presence in town, but the mood was cheerful. A peaceful day (by Derry standards), was expected.

The march began shortly after 3pm. A little over an hour later, 13 men and boys lay dead - innocent and unarmed marchers shot down by members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment; a 14th man died later from his wounds. Seventeen others, including two women, were injured. Some were shot in the back as they tried to flee. One victim was shot a second time and killed as he lay injured, others were shot as they tried to help the injured and dying.

  • The marchers reach the top of Westland Street in the Bogside (Robert White)

    The March

    On 30 January 1972, 15,000 people gathered in Creggan to march against internment. The weather was crisp, bright. Reports circulated of barbed wire across all exits from the Bogside, and of paratroopers behind the barriers.

  • Behind the army barricade in William Street (William Rukeyser)

    The Shootings

    At 3.55pm, away from the riot in William Street, the British Army opened fire. John Johnston (59) and Damian Donaghy (15) were hit. John Johnston died from his injuries five months later in June.

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    In Glenfada Park

    The shooting continues as paratroopers advance into Glenfada Park, a quiet cul-de-sac in the Bogside.

  • Barney McGuigan's shoes, removed before Last Rites could be administered, lie at the spot where he died (William Rukeyser)

    The Aftermath

    The British Army labelled the victims gunmen and bombers. They claimed their soldiers had met a “fusillade of fire”, even though no soldier or vehicle had been hit.

  • Funeral Mass at St Mary's Church, Creggan (Derry Journal)

    The Funerals

    The Bloody Sunday funerals were massive events, attended by political, civic and religious representatives from around the world.

  • A Model of the Bogside constructed for Widgery Tribunal

    The Widgery Tribunal

    On 1 February, a public inquiry headed by Lord Chief Justice Widgery was announced by British Prime Minister Ted Heath. He told Widgery in a secret memo that they were “…fighting not only a military war but a propaganda war.”