1. Sources A to C are not very useful to somebody that wants to find out the truth about the situation in Northern Ireland in January 1872 before “Bloody Sunday”. This is because they are all drawn by either an Irish or an English person. For example, source A must have been drawn by an English man because it shows a well dressed man – English and a giant man – Irish who looks like a peasant, holding a knife at the English man.
This drawing is titled “The Irish Frankenstein” and because the English hated the Irish at the time so the Irish man is shown in an evil and dominating way. Also if this cartoon was shown to English people at the time then they would have believed it and this could be a factor in the reasons that cause the English hate for the Irish.
Source B is an advertisement for a film; it is called “The Ultimate in Psychopathic Horror the Irish”.
Under this title there are the names of several Irish terrorist organisations – IRA, INLA, UDF, UDA, etc. Because of this biased view against the Irish and English person must also have drawn this as once again it shows the Irish as being very evil and bad people.
Finally source C shows English soldiers interrogating and holding Irish citizens at gunpoint. This would have been drawn by an Irish person it shows the English to be bad, evil people.
However, these sources may be useful in telling the truth of what the English and Irish though of each other. This is because in each source the side that the artist isn’t on is shown worse than the side that the artist is on. In source A the artist must be English because it shows a huge blindfolded man in peasant clothes attacking a small man in upper class clothes who is probably English.
2. Sources D and E disagree about who stared shooting because one’s
Written by a Protestant and the other by a Catholic. Although this doesn’t mean they can’t be used as evidence because it shows the views of both sides, and this will be the case with all evidence. Every piece of evidence will be biased towards the Catholic or Protestant, depending whom wrote it.
Source D is an eyewitness account made by the Commander of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. He says that when they got to the Roseville Flats they came under fire and had petrol-bombs thrown on them and acid poured down on them from above and had to protect themselves form the attacking Irish. Because he doesn’t say anything to make what they did wrong then these comments may not be completely true.
Source E is a complete contrast to source D; it’s an eyewitness account by Father Bradley, a Catholic priest. He says, “It was a massacre”, and he saw nobody shooting at troops. They just shot indiscriminately and everywhere without provocation.
These sources could be used as evidence to find out what each side think of the other due to them being in favour of the side that the witness is on and the fact that at the time all Protestants hated all Catholics and visa versa.
Although they don’t tell the truth about what actually happened on Bloody Sunday, so they can’t be used as evidence in deciding the truth about what happened.
3. Source F is an eyewitness account, which a newspaper reporter for The
Guardian wrote, English newspaper. The article is about what the reporter saw on “Bloody Sunday”, he says that he didn’t see the IRA open fire first apart from a shot fired in William Street. He saw three people get shot, but didn’t see any guns or hear any petrol or nail bombs being thrown. Because an English man has written this I think that it is a very reliable piece of evidence. This English reporter was doing what not many other English people where doing when this was written, blame the English for opening fire first, and not the IRA. The reporter doesn’t only say that the English opened fire first, he says that they opened fire on the crowds of innocent people. As the reporter’s comments are blaming his own country for the problems on “Bloody Sunday” this article has to be a very reliable piece of evidence. However it is possible that the reporter doesn’t agree with what the British Army were doing in Northern Ireland, therefore has written the article in the IRA’s favour and doesn’t like the British Government.
4. Sources G and H give different interpretations of the actions of the
British Army on “Bloody Sunday”. Source G say that all soldiers that spotted armed gunmen shot them in accordance with the standing order in the Yellow Card and that each soldier had to judge whether or not he had seen a gunman. He also says that there were some soldiers that fired at lots of people and some that didn’t fire many times at all. Source G was from the Widgery Report, a special investigation ordered by the British Government after “Bloody Sunday”
On the other hand, source H says that the army shot without thinking of what they were doing. They shot innocent people, even if they were part of a parade that had been banned but that didn’t justify the firing of live rounds indiscriminately. Then he says it was “sheer unadulterated murder”. The Londonderry City Coroner, at the inquest made these comments on the 13 deaths.
These source both say that the British Army shot people in the parade but they say it in different ways. Source G says that the British Army shot gunmen because they were a risk to the safety of others, but they would say this because they were the British Government defending their own army, who were defending them from the Irish.
Source H says that the British Army shot any of the Irish that were in the parade even if they were completely innocent and harmless. The witness was Irish and a Catholic so would have defended the Irish people like the British Government defended the British Army.
Therefore I think that these sources differ because one is written by a Protestant and the other by a Catholic, and because Protestants and Catholics hated each other so much at the time, they would do all they could to defend themselves and give their opposition a bad name.
5. After studying all of the sources A-H, I think that you could make a fairly
Accurate judgement about what actually happened on “Bloody Sunday”. Although you couldn’t make a completely accurate judgement about what happened because not all of the sources are completely reliable. The most reliable source is probably Source F, and eyewitness account from a newspaper reporter for The Guardian, an English newspaper. I think this because the reporter that wrote the article was an English Protestant but was blaming the British Army for what happened on “Bloody Sunday” and not the IRA. Out of all the other sources not on of them has the writer or artist blamed their country for what happened on “Bloody Sunday”. Therefore I think that because of this, Source F is the most reliable.
The sources written by Protestants all somehow blame the Catholics for “Bloody Sunday”, these are Sources A, B, D and G. Sources A and B are both pictures drawn by English cartoonists and show the Irish to be violent, evil and deranged people. Source D is an eyewitness account made by the Commander of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment; he only puts the blame on the Irish he says, “We came under fire from the bottom of the flats. We were also petrol bombed, and some acid in fact was poured on us from the top of the flats. When we’re fired at, we must protect ourselves”. In this source I don’t think that the Commander is telling the whole story in order to make the blame be put on the Irish.
Source G is part of the Widgery Report, a special investigation ordered by the British Government after “Bloody Sunday”. This report says that the soldiers were ordered to shoot anybody that had a gun and were responsible for their own actions. It says, “At one end of the scale, some soldiers showed a high degree of responsibility: at the other, firing bordered on reckless”. This means that some soldiers were responsible about what they shot and some just shot anything.
However Sources C, E and H are written by Catholics and blaming Protestants. Source C is a picture of English soldier’s interrogation innocent Irish people. The English are shown this way because it shows them as bullies to the Irish and this would cause more Irish people to hat the English Protestants.
Source E is an eyewitness account made by Father Bradley, a Catholic priest. He says that “Bloody Sunday” was a massacre. He says that he saw nobody shooting at the English soldiers but they just kept shooting indiscriminately.
Finally Source H includes comments made by the Londonderry City Coroner, at the inquest into the 13 deaths. It says that the British Army was shooting innocent people in the parade. But even though the parade was banned the Coroner didn’t feel that the shooting was justified.
In conclusion I think that these sources can be used as evidence to find out the truth about what happened on Bloody Sunday if they are all used together. If analysed separately then they can be used to find out what the relationship between the Catholics and Protestants was like, and what they thought of each other.
Cite this essay
Bloody Sunday Sources Questions. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/bloody-sunday-sources-questions-new-essay