Much has been made of Bloody Sunday in recent years by the Republican/Nationalist movement, of the SDLP and Sinn Fein sort. However little or nothing has been made of Bloody Friday, the Fortieth anniversary of which passed on Saturday last.
Nine people were killed in this atrocity and more than one hundred people were left injured. The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility, it first major terrorist act since its formation in 1969.
One could compare it to the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on the 9th September 2001. Al Qaeda had been formed some twelve years earlier and had also been responsible for an attack in 1998 on the US Embassy in Kenya. The 9/11 attack however was the most prominent of the two.
In 2002, the Thirtieth anniversary of the atrocity, the Provisional IRA issued a statement where by they said that they regretted the loss of life sustained by ‘non-combatants’ and argued that they were targeting ‘legitimate targets’, namely Soldiers (in uniform), Policemen, UDR men and so forth. Of the nine who were mercilessly killed only one of them was a Soldier, killed while trying to save others while those responsible looked on.
The bombings were in response to a series of talks held with HM Government, talks which included Gerry Adams, who was released from prison in order to attend them in London, as well as Martin McGuinness, then believed to have been a senior member of the Provisional IRA. (Similarly like Canary Wharf in 1996 which broke the IRAs 1994 ceasefire. This is known as ‘spoiler violence’ within the academic world.)
On the day of the anniversary itself the Belfast Telegraph led with an interview with Provo Spin Doctor, Danny Morrison. This was an appalling way to mark the murder of nine people and chaos it brought to bear, something the IRA must be held account for like so many others. In it he reiterated the words of the Provisional IRA some ten years ago but added that the Police did not ignore bomb warnings as the IRA argued on that fateful day in 1972; something which was clear on the day itself.
While others mark and highlight such atrocities/events/incidents (whatever you wish to call them) with parades showing banners, plays – including re-enactments (!) and protests, the families of the victims, as well as the hundreds of ordinary, decent people caught up in the carnage not knowing where to run for fear of death remain silent, remembering in their hearts or even just trying to forget.
Much is made of those who were ‘active’ in creating such carnage but little made of those who throughout ‘the Troubles’ just put up with it, went to work and about their daily lives as best they could while those responsible continued to bomb, shoot and murder.
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