Nearly 40 years after British soldiers shocked the world by shooting to death 14 protesters in Northern Ireland, an official investigation concluded Tuesday that the demonstrators posed no threat and that the killings were completely unjustified.
The massacre on the streets of Londonderry on Jan. 30, 1972, was seared in the British and Irish consciousness as Bloody Sunday and marked one of the most important turning points in the conflict in the British province of Northern Ireland. The incident radicalized Roman Catholic republican activists and ratcheted up the level of sectarian violence in “the Troubles,” which ultimately claimed more than 3,000 lives.
Tuesday’s long-awaited report overturned a government inquiry conducted immediately after the shootings, which acknowledged that the security forces’ actions might have “bordered on the reckless” but alleged that the victims had been armed with guns and homemade bombs.
Sunday Bloody Sunday” is the opening track from U2’s 1983 album, War. The song was released as the album’s third single on 11 March 1983 in Germany and The Netherlands.”Sunday Bloody Sunday” is noted for its militaristic drumbeat, harsh guitar, and melodic harmonies. One of U2’s most overtly political songs, its lyrics describe the horror felt by an observer of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly focusing on the Bloody Sunday incident in Derry where British troops shot and killed civil rights marchers. Along with “New Year’s Day”, the song helped U2 reach a wider listening audience. It was generally well-received by critics on the album’s release.
The priest, Edward Daly, who is now retired, told the BBC in Londonderry on Tuesday that the new report has given him “a sense of enormous relief that this burden has been lifted from my shoulders and off the shoulders of the people of this city. It’s wonderful when the truth emerges.”