Residents of Londonderry and Derry in Northern Ireland are commemorating 50 years since Bloody Sunday when British soldiers opened fire on a crowd of protestors. This is now one of the most important events in The Troubles.
Family members of the Jan. 30th 1972 victims were presented with roses and took part in a walk to remember them, according the Derry Journal. Video of hundreds of people walking along the streets, with some holding images.
The newspaper reported that St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry also rang 14 times its bells — one for each victim — during the shooting. 13 people were killed on that day, and one victim died later from his injuries. Another fifteen were also injured.
“Today, we remember all the victims of the atrocity #BloodySunday50. It was one of the darkest times for this island,” Micheal Martin , the Irish Prime Minister, said in a tweet. “We also pay tribute the families of victims, whose dignity has never wavered in their search for justice and truth.”
The violence occurred during a march by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. A public inquiry later found that British soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters, even though no one was a threat to them.
The murders took place during increased tension between Catholic nationalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to be a part of a united Ireland, and Protestant unionists loyal the United Kingdom.
Bloody Sunday was a catalyst for hostilities and increased support for the Irish Republican Army. Over the four-decade conflict, 3,700 people were killed.
Two British soldiers were accused of taking part in the Bloody Sunday shootings. They were identified anonymously as Soldier F or Soldier B. However, the cases were dropped last.
“Walking shoulder-to-shoulder with the Bloody Sunday families. These families embody courage and strength, and they are an inspiration to those who struggle for truth and justice in Ireland. Michelle O’Neill, deputy first Minister of Northern Ireland, stated in a statement.
She added, “We will continue supporting their campaign for truth & justice.”