13 Civilians Killed Bloody Sunday 1972 – Big Jim Larkin – Luke Kelly at Today in Irish History

January 30: TODAY in Irish History:

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Fr. Edward Daly Bloody Sunday

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1972: Blood Sunday- 13 Civil Rights Marchers shot dead by British troops

13 civil rights marchers are killed in Derry when British troops open fire on unarmed civilians involved in an illegal march. (Northern Ireland authorities had banned all marches for the sake of public order. Nationalists saw this as an effort to quell the burgeoning civil rights movement.)

Fr. Edward Daly Bloody Sunday

Fr. Edward Daly waving white hankie, Bloody Sunday. Fellow marchers carry the first victim to be shot, Jackie Duddy who “was running away from the soldiers when he was shot.” Saville Inquiry 3.93

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Fr. Edward Daly, Bloody Sunday

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Despite initial attempts by British authorities to justify the shootings including a rushed report by Lord Widgery exonerating the army, the report of the Saville Inquiry published in 2010 found that British paratroopers fired the first shots without warning and that none of the victims were armed. Bloody Sunday was a watershed in the “Troubles” providing a massive recruiting boost for the IRA and further dividing Catholic and Protestant communities. Emotions in Dublin ran so high, the British Embassy was burned to the ground.

For a comprehensive overview of Bloody Sunday and the Saville report

See BBC

See RTE (including the June 15 2010 statement by British Prime Minister David Cameron apologising for Bloody Sunday in the House of Commons stating that the “events were in now way justified.”

See The Guardian Newspaper report on following day. For full Saville Inquiry report

The following video provides as objective a report as possible on a dreadful day. The priest you see in this video is Fr. Edward Daly who went on to become of Bishop of Derry.

Reconciliation: Bloody Sunday Remembrance Ceremony 2012.

Following is a clip from RTE on the 2012 Remembrance Ceremony. How far Northern Ireland has come since that dreadful day is evidenced by the comments in this clip of Tony Doherty whose father Patrick was killed on Bloody Sunday. The Saville Inquiry report on Patrick Doherty’s death states ” Further to the east Patrick Doherty was shot in the buttock and mortally wounded as he was attempting to crawl to safety across the area that lay on the southern side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats.” Source: Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday 3.112

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Other events on this day in Irish History

1845: Kitty O’Shea, mistress and later of wife of Charles Stuart Parnell is born.

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1947: Union Leader James Larkin dies quietly (unlike his life) in Dublin. In a beautiful tribute, Playwright Sean O’Casey said of Big Jim “He fought for the loaf of bread as no man before him had ever fought; but with the loaf of bread, he also brought the flask of wine and the book of verse.”

James Larkin was probably the most effective labor leaders in Irish history leading major strikes of 1907 (Belfast and Dublin), 1911, and the 1913 Dublin Lockout, a six-month ultimately failed standoff between Dublin workers and employers. In 1908, he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.

Big Jim Larkin
Big Jim Larkin

Larkin who stood well over six feet tall was an excellent orator. O’Casey said Larkin “had the eloquence of an Elizabethan, fascinating to all who heard him, and irresistible to the workers. He was familiar with the poetry of Shakespeare, Whitman, Shelley and Omar Khayyam, and often quoted them in his speeches.”

Unusual for his time in working class Dublin, Larkin was a proponent of the temperance movement and strongly anti-sectarian. “I have tried to kill sectarianism, whether in Catholics or Protestants. I am against bigotry or intolerance on either side.”

At the same time, he was somewhat blinded to the vices of the new Soviet regime, “Russia is the only place where men and women can be free.”

Big Jim was a thorn in the side of authority everywhere. While in the United States, he was indicted along with many other socialists for attempting to overthrow the government, a charge he denied. In 1920, he was sentenced to 5-10 years jail. He was pardoned by incoming New York Mayor Al Smith in 1922 and returned to Ireland.

Big Jim Larkin NY Police photo 1919
Big Jim Larkin NY Police photo 1919

Larkin won election to Dail Eireann on a number of occasions and was sufficiently reconciled with Irish society at the time of his death in 1947, that his funeral mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid.

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1984: Luke Kelly, beloved folk singer with the Dubliners dies in a Dublin hospital aged 44 following a brain tumor. Kelly left school when he was 13 to work as a messenger boy before going on to work as a docker, builder, drain digger and a furniture remover. Activities which provided passion and reality to many of gritty, working class songs he was so good at. He was a founding member of The Dubliners in 1962 with whom he gained fame and fortune.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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