The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland recently announced that no soldiers would face prosecution relating to the events on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1972. On January 30 of that year, 13 civilians were shot and killed, as a clash broke out between marchers and British soldiers who were there to maintain order.
The Daily Mail article about this incident indicates that the soldiers opened fire before projectiles were thrown at them. The scenario is a little reminiscent of the Kent State, Ohio incident in which National Guardsmen opened fire on students, four of whom died. But it may be more complicated than it appears.
Just an aside here, but these protests by the Northern Ireland Catholics were directly inspired by the activism of the Civil Rights revolutionaries in the U.S. The leadership of the activist groups openly said they emulated MLK et al.
The central story is, unfortunately, an example of how disparities within a population or a society seem inevitably to bring conflict and in worst cases, bloodshed. ‘Diversity’ is not a strength unless one thinks internal dissension and misunderstanding are desirable.
A common belief about the Northern Ireland problem is that it’s religious in nature. It is, but only partially. Religion is only one of the points of difference between the two longstanding populations, the Ulster folk, Ulster Scots, the people Americans like to call ‘Scotch-Irish’ and often misidentify as being one and the same as those we call just Irish. But besides the differing religions there is a different culture and history and mindset. As ever, people are not interchangeable.
And just to confuse things more, many of the ‘Scots-Irish’ are neither Scots (by blood) nor Irish; their ancestors, who were brought to Ulster in the 17th century, were from the English border counties, and were English. Some Southern Americans who claim ‘Scotch-Irish’ ancestry are in fact English, as DNA tests show, in the cases of some American celebrities I’ve read of.
The two peoples, the Catholic Irish and the Protestant Ulster folk differ on their religious beliefs, but if Northern Ireland is anything like the rest of former Christendom, religion is not as important as it once was. Ethnic identity used to be a strong motivator, and the Ulster Protestants identify as British. This is the part that many Americans don’t understand. This is why Northern Ireland felt so strongly at one time, that they not be merged into Catholic Ireland, living under liberal laws and rules, as Ireland has gone very left, being itself greatly weakened by a forced dose of diversity and socialism.
It’s a complicated situation, but it looks as though, if the self-styled elites have their way, there will be no more nations/states, just a monolithic world regime, so the whole national question would in theory be moot.
But back to the central issue here: is it right that the men who shot and killed the protesters should be exempt from prosecution? First I am sure that the Prosecutors in Northern Ireland have all the information, and we get just dribs and drabs from our sometimes incompetent, always dishonest media. I don’t feel qualified to judge here, as to what ideally should have happened.
To put this on more of a human basis, I have met (through friends on the other side of the pond) men who served as very young soldiers in Northern Ireland. Not all those who served there were battle-hardened soldiers. Some were quite green and they were often threatened by civilians there. That may have been a factor.
And of course show business had to exploit the deaths. Something like 11 years afterward, the Irish rock band U2 recorded the song, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” though they said the song was not political, not taking sides. Interestingly, the Kent State shootings in the 70s also were the subject of a rock song, ‘Ohio.’
And finally here is one more take on this story via AltNewsMedia.