The Columbus Free Press

Bloody Sunday remembered

by Caoimhin O'Conchuir, Jan 30, 1999

Irish American activists across the U.S. will this weekend mark the 27th anniversary of the 1972 British Army massacre of 14 Irishmen in Derry, Ireland, a day known the world over as Bloody Sunday.

Members of the Irish Northern Aid Committee will join the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other Irish American groups in highlighting nearly 30 years of British injustice in the occupied Six Counties.

On January 30, 1972, thousands of nationalists from around Ireland gathered in Derry to protest the policy of internment without trial, a government policy aimed exclusively at Catholics that left hundreds of men between the age of 16 and 45 in the cages of Long Kesh without charge or trial.

The British government, in an effort to undermine the fledgling civil rights movement in Ireland, ordered troops of the First Parachute Regiment to teach the protesters a lesson. Unarmed and unprotected, the demonstrators were defenseless when army sharpshooters opened fire from the Derry Walls high above the Bogside.

In the end, 14 civilians were killed, many shot in the back. The British government, while promising a new investigation into this massacre, has been slow to act. The government has yet to apologize for these 14 murders, leaving many to wonder if the life of an Irishman is worth anything at all in the eyes of Westminster politicians.

The Columbus Diarmuid O'Neill Unit of INA, honored the slain innocent Irish civilians in a well attended quiet "Bloody Sunday" ceremony Friday night at a local Social Hall. "These 14 innocent Irishmen who were ruthlessly murdered by their British oppressors shall never be forgotten. That is the least we can do for them," said David Fanning, President of the Diarmuid O'Neill Unit at the event.

The names of those who were shot dead by the British Army in an unprovoked massacre on Bloody Sunday 1972:

  • Jack Duddy, 17, hit by single bullet as he ran across courtyard of Rossville Flats.
  • Michael Kelly, 17, shot in stomach as he stood on pile of rubble near entrance to Glenfada Park, off Rossville Street.
  • James Wray, 22, shot and wounded as he ran through alleyway from Glenfada Park to Abbey Park, then shot again and killed.
  • Gerald McKinney, 35, shot and killed by bullet to chest has he ran with hands raised toward soldiers in Glenfada Park.
  • Gerald Donaghey, 17, shot in abdomen, as he ran up to flat in Abbey Park. Died on way to hospital.
  • William McKinney, 26, shot and killed as he bent over Gerald McKinney in Glenfada Park.
  • John Young, 17, hit by bullet in head and killed as he stood beside rubble barricade across Rossville Street.
  • Michael McDaid, 20, shot dead standing by same barricade.
  • William Nash, 19, shot in chest and killed. At same barricade.
  • Patrick Doherty, 31, shot in buttock while crawling toward Rossville Flats. Bullet traveled up spine and exited chest, instantly killing him.
  • Bernard McGuigan, 41, killed instantly when hit in back of head as he crawled toward body of Pat Doherty near Rossville Flats.
  • Hugh Glimour, 17, killed by bullets that passed through his elbow and across his body as he ran up Rossville Street.
  • Kevin McElhinney, 17, killed as he crawled to a doorway in Rossville Flats. Bullet enter his buttock and traveled through his body.
  • John Johnson died later from illness associated with injury suffered on that day.

The New York-based Irish Northern Aid Committee, founded in 1971, is a non-profit humanitarian organizations which raises funds for the families of Irish political prisoners in British, Irish and American jails.

Vol. Diarmuid O'Neill Unit, Irish Northern Aid Committee
PO Box 29604
Columbus OH 43229
Contact: David Fanning, Chairman, 614-488-3914, Email

Irish Northern Aid Committee
National Office: 363 Seventh Avenue, Suite 405
New York NY 10001
212-736-1916, 1-800-IRELAND
Fax: 212-279-1916

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