A NUMBER of events will take place across Donegal this weekend to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday, including a vigil in Letterkenny.
On January 30, 1972, thousands of people took part in a civil rights march in Derry to protest against the policy of internment without trial.
Soldiers from the British army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on the peaceful protesters, killing thirteen people. A fourteenth died later from his wounds. Many others were injured. Eyewitnesses, including clergy and journalists, said the British soldiers fired indiscriminately and without provocation and that none of those killed had been armed.
The families of those murdered on Bloody Sunday campaigned for truth and justice for decades and in 2010, an inquiry established by the British government and led by Lord Saville, found that all of those killed had been innocent.
The then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, apologised and described the actions of British soldiers as “unjustified and unjustifiable.”
A vigil will be held in Letterkenny at 4pm at the Station Roundabout on Sunday to send a message of solidarity to the Bloody Sunday Trust Campaign Group and remember those that were killed.
Cllr Gerry McMonagle has encouraged people to attend the non political event. He was just 15 on Bloody Sunday and described it as a day he will never forget.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Cllr McMonagle recalled the horrendous scenes in the City as the army came out from the town centre to Sackville Street and began firing shots.
“It was very frightening. There were bullets flying everywhere. I remember getting into a house around Abbey Street. When it died down I remember coming out of the house and seeing people shot and dead. The next three days were unreal.
“We went up to Creggan that night and we started hearing the names of those that were killed. Barney McGuigan was a neighbour of ours.”
Fifty years on Cllr McMonagle said an apology needs to come from the British Army’s Parachute Regiment. He condemned the erection of regiment flags in Derry in recent days, describing it as “disgraceful”.
Bloody Sunday resulted in widespread protests not just in Ireland but across the globe.
“The Bloody Sunday campaign group are asking people across Ireland to do the same on Sunday,” added Cllr McMonagle.
“Their campaign for justice has always been non political and has enjoyed widespread support across the island.”
An event is also being held at the Community Garden, Páirc Ghnó Ghaoth Dobhair at 4pm on Sunday. The ‘Time for Justice’ event is also non-political.
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