'Understanding Bloody Sunday' Public Lecture at NUI Galway

Thursday, 24 January 2008

On Wednesday 30 January, the 36th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies will host a public talk entitled 'Understanding Bloody Sunday'. Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, author of From Civil Rights to Armalites and a lecturer in the University's School of Political Science and Sociology, will deliver the lecture at 8pm in the Joseph Larmor Theatre, Arts & Science Building.

Bloody Sunday, as it became known, took place on 30 January 1972 when thirteen civilians were shot dead by British soldiers at a civil rights march in Derry. This tragic part of history will be in focus again this year with the expected publication of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry report, also known as the Saville Inquiry.

According to Dr Ó Dochartaigh, "In the weeks before Bloody Sunday, efforts were made to use proven channels of communication between the security forces and the Catholic community to avert confrontation. These efforts were clearly and decisively rejected at the highest levels of the British army command structure in Northern Ireland."

During the talk, Dr Ó Dochartaigh will trace the development of British security policy in Derry in the months before Bloody Sunday, examining the way in which deep divisions between military and police commanders on the ground were reflected in changing policies at the highest levels of the British state. While some in the security forces desperately attempted to prevent the outbreak of violence at the march, others deliberately prepared to stage a major confrontation.

Dr Ó Dochartaigh will follow the development of this struggle through the decisions of the British government in the months before the march, in the shaping of the British army's plan to deal with the march on the day, and in the minute-by-minute details of the army operation on Bloody Sunday.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event. For further information contact the Centre for Irish Studies on 091 492051.

ENDS

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