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tankie
26 May 10,, 14:56
I was stationed in Lurgan at the time , the word about what was happening spread thro the province like wild fire , we were all on edge , everyone was wide eyed and ready , and we all received a hard long night of running fights and petrol bombs , Crooks , i hope the guy that gave the order to open fire is prosocuted for murder :frown:


Reuters

The report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry will be published on June 15, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson said on Wednesday, ending a long and painful wait for families of the victims.

The inquiry into the 1972 killings of 13 civilians by paratroopers in Londonderry was launched by former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998. It lasted until 2004, hearing 900 witnesses and costing some 200 million pounds.

"I will allow an opportunity for members of the families of those who died or were injured on the day, and for the soldiers most directly involved, to see the report privately ... some hours before the report is published," Paterson said in a statement.

Prime Minister David Cameron will make a statement to the House of Commons at the time when the report is published.

Bloody Sunday was one of the most traumatic events in Northern Ireland's 30-year "Troubles," fuelling suspicion of the authorities among the Catholic minority and prompting dozens to join the IRA's violent campaign against British rule.

An original 1972 investigation exonerated the paratroopers who shot marchers at a civil rights demonstration in Londonderry, the province's second city.

Thirteen people, all unarmed Catholics, were killed when the soldiers opened fire in the staunchly nationalist Bogside area of the city. A 14th victim later died from wounds. The troops said they shot at people armed with guns or nail bombs.

Families of the victims had been pressing the government for years to publish the inquiry report.

The previous government had said it aimed to publish the document before the May 6 general election, but later said it would not be able to do so because the report had to be checked for legal and security reasons.

The Northern Ireland Office has said the checks had not resulted in any changes being made to the report.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Steve Addison)

gunnut
26 May 10,, 18:32
Why did the troops open fire? Did the march turn violent?

StevoJH
26 May 10,, 18:58
Why did the troops open fire? Did the march turn violent?

Paratroopers doing the job of riot troops. Don't remember much from when I last googled it to say much more then that. There is a movie/documentry called "Bloody Sunday" though.

crooks
26 May 10,, 21:23
It was an act of savage brutality that was never punished or questioned, I grew up in an Armagh Republican family, and still am a proud Republican/Nationalist, 'Para' is the dirtiest swear word we have.

It was cold-blooded murder, and if anything made people in my community believe that armalite was the answer it was seeing English soldiers mow down peaceful protesters (My father and grandfather were heavily involved in the civil rights movement and were only not present in Derry that day by chance, they knew the families of a few who were killed).

I believe they'll have to answer for what they've done to a power far greater than a report and government that will no doubt shield the worst when they pass away, that's the only comfort I can take from such things.

Parihaka
26 May 10,, 21:25
Why did the troops open fire? Did the march turn violent?

Yes it did, the troops shot indiscriminately. ;)

Apparently a rumour started that an IRA sniper was operating in the area (which there wasn't) so the troops were on edge.
The protest was relatively peaceful with nothing but the usual rich Irish epithets being thrown at the troops when a squad was sent into Bogside apparently with the order to use live fire. One IRA member was seen to draw a pistol after the fighting began.
Subsequently some of the corpses were photographed with nail bombs but John Major (PM) issued this statement in 1992

"The Government made clear in 1974 that those who were killed on 'Bloody Sunday' should be regarded as innocent of any allegation that they were shot whilst handling firearms or explosives. I hope that the families of those who died will accept that assurance."

Essentially what appears to have happened is a bunch of soldiers, in an intense environment, got given an order to use live fire by persons un-named and did so. Over 100 rounds fired, 13 dead.

I'll be interested to see if the inquiry identifies where those orders came from.

gunnut
26 May 10,, 21:48
Notice with all the guns and a heavily armed population here, our marches and protests rarely involve firearms. Especially the pro-2A, anti-Obama protesters openly carrying weapons, acted in a very civil manner.

bigross86
26 May 10,, 23:09
I've been on the receiving end of quite a few protests and marches, form all sides of the spectrum: Religious right wingers, fanatic left wingers, and of course the peace loving Palestinians. We've never had to open fire using live ammo, though we all had permission to (sometimes depending on the CO's or Battalion CO's order) though there were very often weapons to be seen and we were plastered many a time with rocks and Molotov's. The worst we've ever done is rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Fact of the matter is, it's very hard to stand there with an angry mob in front of you, knowing that someone in that mob has a weapon and wants to kill you. Even if they don't have weapons, lynch mobs can still kill somebody, even an armed soldier. Sending elite Paratroopers to be riot troops is not only bad for morale, it's also dangerous sending soldiers to do something they might not have been properly trained to do. A Bloody Sunday was bound to happen sooner or later, and I'm honestly surprised that more of them didn't happen, if on a smaller scale of only a few victims as opposed to over a dozen

Bigfella
27 May 10,, 09:21
I've been on the receiving end of quite a few protests and marches, form all sides of the spectrum: Religious right wingers, fanatic left wingers, and of course the peace loving Palestinians. We've never had to open fire using live ammo, though we all had permission to (sometimes depending on the CO's or Battalion CO's order) though there were very often weapons to be seen and we were plastered many a time with rocks and Molotov's. The worst we've ever done is rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Fact of the matter is, it's very hard to stand there with an angry mob in front of you, knowing that someone in that mob has a weapon and wants to kill you. Even if they don't have weapons, lynch mobs can still kill somebody, even an armed soldier. Sending elite Paratroopers to be riot troops is not only bad for morale, it's also dangerous sending soldiers to do something they might not have been properly trained to do. A Bloody Sunday was bound to happen sooner or later, and I'm honestly surprised that more of them didn't happen, if on a smaller scale of only a few victims as opposed to over a dozen


The protest on 'bloody Sunday' didn't even require modern riot gear - it was peaceful & relatively good natured. Sending in the Paras tooled up & aggressive was the worst possible thing to do. As you point out - they have the wrong attitude & skill set. Someone suggested during the late 80s that Israel's first rate Army made a tenth rate police force. Using soldiers for crowd control is risky unless they've been specifically trained for it (not to mention a poor use of highly trained personnel).

When Bloody Sunday took place the 'Troubles' were only 4 years old & the possiblity of a political solution still existed (though far from easy). Those events were one of the biggest factors in the hardening of attitudes & turn to violence that prolonged the conflict for a generation (though there were others). The Provisional IRA couldn't believe their luck - they could never have created such a successful recruiting tool.

Such a bloody waste.

bigross86
27 May 10,, 12:42
Someone suggested during the late 80s that Israel's first rate Army made a tenth rate police force. Using soldiers for crowd control is risky unless they've been specifically trained for it (not to mention a poor use of highly trained personnel).


I wouldn't say that we make a 10th rate police force, not anymore. Many lessons were learned from the first Intifada that were put to excellent use in the Second Intifada and after that as well. The sad reality is that now during basic and advanced training the IDF teaches the soldiers riot control and non-lethal weapon use. Most units in the IDF will at some point or another do infantry stuff in the West Bank and around the settlements, areas prone to a riot at any given moment. While every unit still has it's calling (infantry, armor, artillery, etc...), almost every combat unit in the IDF can function quite well at a riot. Like I said, we've been attacked with Molotov's, which is a perfectly valid excuse to open fire with live ammo, but instead we used non-lethal and captured the guys instead.

Bigfella
27 May 10,, 16:45
I wouldn't say that we make a 10th rate police force, not anymore. Many lessons were learned from the first Intifada that were put to excellent use in the Second Intifada and after that as well. The sad reality is that now during basic and advanced training the IDF teaches the soldiers riot control and non-lethal weapon use. Most units in the IDF will at some point or another do infantry stuff in the West Bank and around the settlements, areas prone to a riot at any given moment. While every unit still has it's calling (infantry, armor, artillery, etc...), almost every combat unit in the IDF can function quite well at a riot. Like I said, we've been attacked with Molotov's, which is a perfectly valid excuse to open fire with live ammo, but instead we used non-lethal and captured the guys instead.

BR,

I dated the quote deliberately. It was made during the 1st Intifada & I suspect it was pretty close to the truth then. Fortunately things have changed, but as you pointed out earlier, you need the right men with the right training & right attitude for a given task. The Paras were not those men on Bloody Sunday.