This Happened—January 30: Bloody Sunday
On January 30, 1972, the worst mass shooting in Northern Irish history took place when British soldiers opened fire during a protest march.
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What caused Bloody Sunday?
Following political and religious unrest in the area, the city of Derry in Northern Ireland was perceived by many Catholics and Irish nationalists deprived of public investment and legislative care. The motorways were not extended to the city, a university was opened in the smaller (Protestant-majority) town of Coleraine rather than Derry and the city's housing was in a consistently poor state.
What happened on Bloody Sunday?
In response to rising levels of violence across Northern Ireland, internment without trial was introduced on 9 August 1971 to try to quell protesters. Following its introduction, protesters reacted poorly to the internment laws and violence increased and clashes with authorities caused multiple civilian deaths. On the day of Bloody Sunday, a large protest march was organized, where further clashes with authorities occurred. In all, fourteen people were killed and many others seriously injured.