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'Bloody Sunday', 30 January 1972 - A Chronology of Events
Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh and Fionnuala Mckenna
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change
This is a draft (v2) of some of the main events which took place
in the lead up to, and in the wake of, 'Bloody Sunday', 30 January
1972. This list has been compiled from a number of sources.
Saturday 5 October 1968 (Start date of the current 'Troubles')
A civil rights march in Derry,
which had been organised by members of the Derry Housing Action
Committee (DHAC) and supported by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights
Association (NICRA), was stopped by the Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC) before it had properly begun. The marchers had proposed
to walk from Duke Street in the Waterside area of Derry to the
Diamond in the centre of the City. Present at the march were three
British Labour Party Members of Parliament (MP), Gerry Fitt, then
Republican Labour MP, several Stormont MPs, and members of the
media including a television crew from RTE. Estimates of the number
of people taking part in the march differ. Eamonn McCann (one
of the organisers of the march) estimated that about 400 people
lined up on the street with a further 200 watching from the pavements.
The RUC broke-up the march by baton-charging the crowd and leaving
many people injured including a number of MPs. The incidents were
filmed and there was world-wide television coverage. The incidents
in Derry had a profound effect on many people around the world
but particularly on the Catholic population of Northern Ireland.
Immediately after the march there were two days of serious rioting
in Derry between the Catholic residents of the city and the RUC.
Wednesday 1 January 1969
Approximately 40 members of People's Democracy (PD) began
a four-day march from Belfast across Northern Ireland to Derry.
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) and some
nationalists in Derry had advised against the march. The march
was modelled on Martin Luther King's Selma to Montgomery march.
The first day involved a walk from Belfast to Antrim. [Over the
next four days the number of people on the march grew to a few
hundred. The march was confronted and attacked by Loyalist crowds
on a number of occasions the most serious attack occurring on
4 January 1969.]
Saturday 4 January 1969
The fourth, and final, day of the People's Democracy (PD)
march took the marchers from Claudy to Derry. Seven miles from
its destination, the People's Democracy (PD) march was ambushed
and attacked by a loyalist mob at Burntollet Bridge. The ambush
had been planned in advance and around 200 loyalists, including
off-duty members of the 'B-Specials', used sticks, iron bars,
bottles and stones to attack the marchers, 13 of whom received
hospital treatment. The marchers believed that the 80 Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) officers, who accompanied the march, did little
to protect them from the Loyalist crowd. As the march entered
Derry it was again attached at Irish Street, a mainly Protestant
area of the city. Finally the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
broke up the rally that was held in the centre of the city as
the march arrived. This action, and the subsequent entry of the
RUC into the Bogside area of the city, led to serious rioting.
Saturday 11 January 1969
A Civil Rights march held in Newry ended in violence and there
were also disturbances in Derry. In Newry youths attacked the
Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and overturned and burnt several
of their vehicles.
Friday 18 April 1969
In a by-election to the Westminster parliament Bernadette
Devlin, standing as a Unity candidate in Mid-Ulster, was elected
and, at 21 years of age, became the youngest woman ever to be
elected as Member of Parliament. Devlin was a prominent figure
in the Civil Rights Movement and a leading member of People's
Friday 25 April 1969
Following a bombing campaign by Loyalist extremists, 500 additional
British troops are sent to Northern Ireland.
Monday 28 April 1969
As he was unable to regain the confidence of the Unionist
party Terence O'Neill, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, resigned
to be replaced later by James Chichester-Clark.
Tuesday 12 August 1969
As the Apprentice Boys parade passed close to the Bogside
area serious rioting erupted. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),
using armoured cars and water cannons, entered the Bogside, in
an attempt to end the rioting. The RUC were closely followed by
a loyalist crowd. The residents of the Bogside forced the police
and the loyalists back out of the area. The RUC used CS gas to
again enter the Bogside area. [What was to become known as the
'Battle of the Bogside' lasted for two days.]
Wednesday 13 August 1969
Serious rioting spread across Northern Ireland from Derry
to other Catholic areas stretching the Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC). The rioting deteriorated into sectarian conflict between
Catholics and Protestants and many people, the majority being
Catholics, were forced from their homes.
Jack Lynch, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), made a television
address in which he announced that 'field hospitals' would be
set up in border areas. He went on to say that: "... the
present situation is the inevitable outcome of the policies pursued
for decades by successive Stormont governments. It is clear also
that the Irish government can no longer stand by and see innocent
people injured and perhaps worse."
Thursday 14 August 1969
After two days of continuous battle, and with the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) exhausted, the Stormont government asked the
British government for permission to allow British troops to be
deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland. Late in the afternoon
troops entered the centre of Derry. [At this stage British Troops
did not enter the area of the Bogside and the Creggan. There was
a tacit understanding between the British Army and the Derry Citizens
Defence Association (DCDA) that if the RUC and the army remained
outside these areas there would be an end to the rioting. This
effectively saw the setting up of the 'no-go areas' where the
normal rule of law did not operate.]
John Gallagher, a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster
Special Constabulary ('B-Specials') during street disturbances
on the Cathedral Road in Armagh. [John Gallagher was recorded,
by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), as the first 'official'
victim of 'the Troubles'.]
In Belfast vicious sectarian riots erupted and continued the following
day. Many people were killed and injured, and many families were
forced to move from their homes. British troops took up duties
on the streets of west Belfast.
Sunday 29 March 1970
There were serious disturbances in Derry following a march
to commemoration the Easter Rising. The British Army later established
a cordon around parts of the Bogside.
Tuesday 2 March 1971
Harry Tuzo, then a Lieutenant-General, replaced Vernon Erskine-Crum,
who had been appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the
British Army in Northern Ireland on 4 February 1971, but who had
suffered a heart attack. [Erskine-Crum died on 17 March 1971.]
Saturday 20 March 1971
James Chichester-Clark resigned as Northern Ireland Prime
Minister in protest at what he viewed as a limited security response
by the British government.
Tuesday 23 March 1971
Brian Faulkner succeeds as Northern Ireland Prime Minister
after defeating William Craig in a Unionist Party leadership election.
[Faulkner's tenure of office was to prove very short.]
Thursday 8 July 1971
During rioting in Derry, two Catholic men, Seamus Cusack (27)
and Desmond Beattie (19), were shot dead by the British Army in
disputed circumstances. The Army claimed the men were armed but
local people maintained that they did not have any weapons at
any time. The rioting intensified following their deaths. [The
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) withdrew from Stormont
on 16 July 1971 because no inquiry was announced into the killings.]
Monday 9 August 1971
Introduction of Internment. In a series of raids across Northern
Ireland, 342 people were arrested and taken to makeshift camps.
There was an immediate upsurge of violence and 17 people were
killed during the next 48 hours. Of these 10 were Catholic civilians
who were shot dead by the British Army. Hugh Mullan (38) was the
first Catholic priest to be killed in the conflict when he was
shot dead by the British Army as he was giving the last rites
to a wounded man. Winston Donnell (22) became the first Ulster
Defence Regiment (UDR) solider to die in 'the Troubles' when he
was shot by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Clady, County
Tyrone. [There were more arrests in the following days and months.
Internment was to continue until 5 December 1975. During that
time 1,981 people were detained; 1,874 were Catholic / Republican,
while 107 were Protestant / Loyalist. Internment had been proposed
by Unionist politicians as the solution to the security situation
in Northern Ireland but was to lead to a very high level of violence
over the next few years and to increased support for the IRA.]
Monday 6 September 1971
Beginning of an Anti-Internment week throughout County Derry
organised by the Social Demcoratic and Labour Party (SDLP). All
Catholic schools closed to enable staff and students to give their
support. Early in the evening as crowds were dispersing towards
Free Derry, rioting began. During a lull in the rioting a 14 year
old girl was shot in the back of the head by the British Army
and killed. Rioting escalated and continued through the night.
Thursday 4 November 1971
At 5.00am in the morning, the British Army again moved in
large numbers into the Catholic areas of Derry; Bogside, Creggan
and Shantallow, breaking their way into homes, and taking a further
17 men away for internment. The following day, Derry was at a
standstill with factory workers going on strike, and schools and
shops etc., closing. Rioting began again on the streets of Derry.
Friday 26 November 1971
General Ford, then Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland,
is believed to have issued orders to Andrew MacLellan, commander
8 Infantry Brigade (who was in overall command of the troops on
'Bloody Sunday'), that he should try, "so far as possible,
to recreate the state of law in the Creggan and Bogside as and
when he could" (Insight, The Times, 23 April 1972).
Tuesday 18 January 1972
Brian Faulkner, the then Prime Minister
of Northern Ireland, banned all parades and marches in Northern
Ireland until the end of the year.
Saturday 22 January 1972
An anti-internment march was held at Magilligan strand, County
Derry, with several thousand people taking part. As the march
neared the internment camp it was stopped by members of the Green
Jackets and the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, who used
barbed wire to close off the beach. When it appeared that the
marchers were going to go around the wire, the army then fired
rubber bullets and CS gas at close range into the crowd. A number
of witnesses claimed that the paratroopers (who had been bused
from Belfast to police the march) severely beat a number of protesters
and had to be physically restrained by their own officers. John
Hume accused the soldiers of "beating, brutalising and terrorising
Monday 24 January 1972
Frank Lagan, then Chief Superintendent of the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) notified Andrew MacLellan, then Commander
8 Infantry Brigade, of his contact with the Civil Rights Association,
and informed him of their intention to hold a non-violent demonstration
protesting against Internment on 30 January 9172. He also asked
that the march be allowed to take place without military intervention.
MacLellan agreed to recommend this approach to General Ford, then
Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland. However Ford had
placed Derek Wilford, Commander of 1st Battalion Parachute
Regiment, in charge of the proposed arrest operation. [The broad
decision to carry out arrests were probably discussed by the Northern
Ireland Committee of the British Cabinet. Edward
Heath, then British Prime Minister, confirmed on 19 April
1972 that the plan was known to British government Ministers.]
Tuesday 25 January 1972
General Ford, then Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland,
put Andrew MacLellan, Commander 8 Infantry Brigade, in overall
command of the operation to contain the march planned for 30 January
Thursday 27 January 1972
Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers, Peter Gilgun
(26) and David Montgomery (20), were shot dead in an attack on
their patrol car in the Creggan Road, Derry. The Democratic Unionist
Party (DUP) association in Derry announced that it was going to
hold a public religious rally at the same place, on the same date
and at the same time, as the civil rights march planned for 30
Friday 28 January 1972
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), in
an effort to avoid a repeat of the violence at Milligan Strand
on 22 January 1972, placed "special emphasis on the necessity
for a peaceful incident-free day" at the next NICRA march
on 30 January 1972 (Irish News, 28 January 1972). [According
to a Channel 4 documentary Secret History: Bloody Sunday,
broadcast on 22 January 1992, Ivan Cooper, then a Member of Parliament
at Stormont, who was involved in the organisation of the march,
had obtained assurances from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that
its members would withdraw from the area during the march.]
Sunday 30 January 1972
'Bloody Sunday' refers to the shooting dead by the British Army of 13 civilans (and the wounding of another 14 people, one of whom later died) during a Civil Rights march in Derry.
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) march against internment
was meant to start at 2.00pm from the Creggan. The march left
late (2.50pm approximately) from Central Drive in the Creggan
Estate and took an indirect route towards the Bogside area of
the city. People joined the march along its entire route. At approximately
3.25pm the march passed the 'Bogside Inn' and turned up Westland
Street before going down William Street. Estimates of the number
of marchers at this point vary. Some observers put the number
as high as 20,000 whereas the Widgery Report estimated the number
at between 3,000 and 5,000. Around 3.45pm most of the marchers
followed the organisers instructions and turned right into Rossville
Street to hold a meeting at 'Free Derry Corner'. However a section
of the crowd continued along William Street to the British Army
barricade. A riot developed. (Confrontations between the Catholic
youth of Derry and the British Army had become a common feature
of life in the city and many observers reported that the rioting
was not particularly intense.)
At approximately 3.55pm, away from the riot and also out of sight
of the meeting, soldiers (believed to be a machine-gun platoon of Paratroopers) in a derelict building in William Street opened fire (shooting
5 rounds) and injured Damien Donaghy (15) and John Johnston (59).
Both were treated for injuries and were taken to hospital (Johnston died on 16 June 1972). [The most recent information (see, for example, Pringle, P. and Jacobson, P.; 2000) suggests that an Official IRA member then fired a single shot in response at the soldiers in the derelict building. This incident happened prior to the main shooting and also out of sight of Rossville Street.]
Also around this time (about 3.55pm)
as the riot in William Street was breaking up, Paratroopers requested
permission to begin an arrest operation. By about 4.05pm most
people had moved to 'Free Derry Corner' to attend the meeting.
4.07pm (approximately) An order was given for a 'sub unit' (Support
Company) of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment to
move into William Street to begin an arrest operation directed
at any remaining rioters. The order authorising the arrest operation
specifically stated that the soldiers were "not to conduct
running battle down Rossville Street" (Official Brigade Log).
The soldiers of Support Company were under the command of Ted
Loden, then a Major in the Parachute Regiment (and were the only
soldiers to fire at the crowd from street level).
At approximately 4.10pm soldiers of the Support Company of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment began to open fire on people in the area of Rossville Street Flats. By about 4.40pm the shooting ended with 13 people dead and a further 14 injured from gunshots. The shooting took place in four main places: the car park (courtyard) of Rossville Flats; the forecourt of Rossville Flats (between the Flats and Joseph Place); at the rubble and wire barricade on Rossville Street (between Rossville Flats and Glenfada Park); and in the area around Glenfada Park (between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park). According to British Army evidence 21 soldiers fired their weapons on 'Bloody Sunday' and shot 108 rounds in total.
[Most of the basic facts are agreed, however what remains in dispute is whether or not the soldiers came under fire as they entered the area of Rossville Flats. The soldiers claimed to have come under sustained attack by gunfire and nail-bomb. None of the eyewitness accounts saw any gun or bomb being used by those who had been shot dead or wounded. No soldiers were injured in the operation, no guns or bombs were recovered at the scene of the killing.]
Monday 31 January 1972
Reginald Maudling, then British Home Secretary, made a statement
to the House of Commons on the events of 'Bloody Sunday': "The
Army returned the fire directed at them with aimed shots and inflicted
a number of casualties on those who were attacking them with firearms
and with bombs". Maudling then went on to announce an inquiry
into the circumstances of the march.
Tuesday 1 February 1972
Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, announced the appointment
of Lord Widgery, then Lord Chief Justice, to undertake an inquiry
into the 13 deaths on 'Bloody Sunday'. The response of the people
of Derry to this choice of candidate, was for the most part one
of scepticism and a lack of confidence in his ability to be objective.
Indeed a number of groups in Derry initially called for non-participation
in the tribunal but many were persuaded later to given evidence
to the inquiry.
There was an Opposition adjournment debate in the House of Commons
on the subject of 'Bloody Sunday'. During the debate the then
Minister of State for Defence gave an official version of events
and went on to say: "We must also recognise that the IRA
is waging a war, not only of bullets and bombs but of words....
If the IRA is allowed to win this war I shudder to think what
will be the future of the people living in Northern Ireland."
The Ministry of Defence also issued a detailed account of the
British Army's version of events during 'Bloody Sunday' which
stated that: "Throughout the fighting that ensued, the Army
fired only at identified targets - at attacking gunmen and bombers.
At all times the soldiers obeyed their standing instructions to
fire only in self-defence or in defence of others threatened."
Wednesday 2 February 1972
The funerals of 11 of the dead took place in the Creggan in
Derry. Tens of thousands attended the funeral including clergy,
politicians from North and South, and thousands of friends and
neighbours. Throughout the rest of Ireland prayer services were
held to coincide with the time of the funerals. In Dublin over
90 per cent of workers stopped work in respect of those who had
died, and approximately 100,000 people turned out to march to
the British Embassy. They carried 13 coffins and black flags.
Later a crowd attacked the Embassy with stones and bottles, then
petrol bombs, and the building was burnt to the ground.
Monday 14 February 1972
Lord Widgery arrived in Coleraine, where the 'Bloody Sunday'
Tribunal was to be based and held a preliminary hearing. During
this initial hearing Widgery announced that the tribunal would
be "essentially a fact-finding exercise" and then when
on to narrow the terms of reference for the tribunal.
Monday 21 February 1972
The first session of the Widgery Tribunal was held in Coleraine,
County Derry. A total of 17 sessions were held between the 21
February 1972 and the 14 March 1972. 114 witnesses gave evidence.
A further three sessions were held at the Royal Courts of Justice
in London on the 16, 17 and 20 March.
Tuesday 22 February 1972
The Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) exploded a bomb
at Aldershot military barracks, the headquarters of the Parachute
Regiment, killing seven people who were mainly ancilliary staff.
[This bomb was thought to be an attempted retaliation against
the regiment who had carried out the 'Bloody Sunday' killings.]
Friday 24 March 1972
The Stormont Parliament was prorogued, and Direct Rule from
Westminster was imposed on Northern Ireland, much to the outrage
of Brian Faulkner and Unionist politicians.
Monday 10 April 1972
Lord Widgery submitted the report of his findings to Reginald
Maudling, the then Home Secretary.
Tuesday 18 April 1972
The Widgery Report on 'Bloody Sunday', Report of the Tribunal
appointed to inquire into the events on Sunday, 30th
January 1972, (HC 220) was published. [The findings of this
report caused outrage among the people of Derry and is often referred
to by them as the "Widgery Whitewash".]
Wednesday 19 April 1972
Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, confirmed that the plan to conduct an arrest operation,
in the event of a riot during the march on 30 January 1972, was
known to British government Ministers in advance.
Sunday 23 April 1972
The Sunday Times Insight Team published their account
of the events of 'Bloody Sunday'.
Friday 16 June 1972
John Johnson (59) who had been shot twice on 'Bloody Sunday'
died. His family was convinced that he died prematurely and that
his death was a result of the injuries he received and the trauma
he underwent on that day.
Tuesday 4 July 1972
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) forwarded a file on about
the killings on 'Bloody Sunday' to the Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP) for Northern Ireland. The Attorney General made a statement
about this file on 1 August 1972.
Tuesday 1 August 1972
The Attorney General published in Hansard an answer, in response
to a Parliamentary Question, about the file sent to the Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for Northern Ireland by the Royal
Ulster Constabulary (RUC) on the matter of 'Bloody Sunday'. The
conclusion was that there would be no prosecution of any member
of the security forces as a result of the killings on 30 January
1972. Charges in respect of riotous behaviour against some civilians
were also dropped.
Monday 1 January 1973
Lieutenant Colonel Wilford, the Commanding Officer of the
First Parachute Regiment on 'Bloody Sunday', was awarded an OBE
in the New Year's Honours List.
x August 1973
The inquest into the deaths on 'Bloody Sunday' (30 January
1972) was held.
Tuesday 21 August 1973
Major Hubert O'Neill, then Coroner of the inquest into the
deaths on 'Bloody Sunday' issued a statement: "This Sunday
became known as Bloody Sunday and bloody it was. It was quite
unnecessary. It strikes me that the Army ran amok that day and
shot without thinking what they were doing. They were shooting
innocent people. These people may have been taking part in a march
that was banned but that does not justify the troops coming in
and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without hesitation
that it was sheer, unadulterated murder. It was murder."
Thursday 5 December 1991
The Channel 4 television Secret History series broadcast
a programme about 'Bloody Sunday'.
Around the twentieth anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday', relatives
and friends of those who had been killed made fresh appeals for
an independent inquiry into events on that day. The Prime Minister,
John Major, refused to allow such an inquiry.
Tuesday 29 December 1992
John Major, then British Prime Minister, wrote a letter to
John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
(SDLP), which stated that: "The Government made clear in
1974 that those who were killed on 'Bloody Sunday' should be regarded
as innocent of any allegation that they were shot whilst handling
firearms or explosives. I hope that the families of those who
died will accept that assurance."
Saturday 29 June 1996
Relatives of those who had been killed on 'Bloody Sunday'
wrote to Prince Charles. In their letter,
they asked him, in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Parachute
Regiment, to condemn the soldiers' actions, and to apologise for
the deaths of their relatives. However, the reply to this letter,
which came from the Princes private secretary, merely stated that
it was "necessary to move on, rather than dwell on past tragedies".
New evidence came to light that soldiers were actually shooting
from the top of the Derry walls, as well as ground level. In a
new book published by Don Mullan (Eyewitness Bloody Sunday: The Truth) evidence was provided which showed
that at least three of the victims of 'Bloody Sunday' were shot
from the Derry walls. This evidence was available to the tribunal
in 1972 but was ignored by the Widgery Tribunal.
Friday 23 January 1998
Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), laid a wreath at the ‘Bloody Sunday’ memorial in the Bogside during a visit to Derry. He called for a full independent Inquiry into the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’.
Saturday 24 January 1998
A march to commemorate the dead of ‘Bloody Sunday’ took place in London. Anthony Farrar-Hockley, former commander of British Army land forces in Northern Ireland, said that he saw no need to apologise for the killing of 14 people in Derry on ‘Bloody Sunday’.
Thursday 29 January 1998
Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, announced that there would be a new Inquiry into the events of 'Bloody Sunday'. The Irish government published its report of the new evidence on the events of 'Bloody Sunday'.
Friday 3 April 1998
The second inquiry into the events surrounding 'Bloody Sunday' in Derry on 30 January 1972 was opened in the Guildhall in the city. The new inquiry was headed by an English Law Lord, Lord Saville, and the other two members of the panel were Edward Somers, a retired New Zealand judge, and William Hoyt, a judge from Canada. At the opening session the Chairman read an opening statement.
Friday 24 July 1998
In a ruling on the conduct of the new inquiry into the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’ the chairman Lord Saville said that soldiers giving evidence would be entitled to "partial anonymity".
Friday 27 November 1998
British soldiers who were serving in Derry on 30 January 1972 were offered immunity from prosecution when they provide evidence to the Saville inquiry into the events of 'Bloody Sunday'.
Friday 7 May 1999
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry ruled that British Army soldier who had fired their weapons on 30 January 1972 would not be allowed to remain anonymous. [The soldiers later managed to have the decision reversed in the Court of Appeal.]
Saturday 29 May 1999
There was further controversy at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry into the killings on 30 January 1972 when it became clear that George Robertson, then British Secretary for Defence, was supporting 17 members of the Parachute Regiment who were claiming anonymity on the grounds that they would be in danger if their names were revealed.
Wednesday 9 June 1999
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry admitted that during the autumn of 1998, 73 sets of documents presented to the original Widgery Inquiry had been released to interested parties' solicitors which included statements by five ex-Paratroopers who were involved in the events but did not open fire. The statements contained the soldiers' names, ranks, and army serial numbers.
Thursday 17 June 1999
The High Court in London passed a ruling (by 2 to 1) that the 17 former soldiers giving evidence to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday could remain anonymous. The ruling was criticised by relatives of the victims.
Tuesday 6 July 1999
Lawyers acting on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry began an appeal to the High Court in London over the decision to grant anonymity to members of the Parachute Regiment. Derek Wilford, who had commanded Paratroops on Bloody Sunday, was interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 during which he described the relatives of those killed as "representing the republican organisation". Families of the dead reacted angrily to the remarks.
Tuesday 20 July 1999
There was an announcement that the start of the main hearings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry would be delayed by six months from 27 September 1999 to 27 March 2000. The delay was blamed on impending court cases.
Wednesday 28 July 1999
Relatives of the 14 men shot dead and 13 people wounded by British soldiers in Derry on 30 January 1972 expressed disappointment at an Appeal Court ruling that the soldiers who opened fire would not be named during the proceedings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
Wednesday 15 September 1999
Research showed that the forensic testing for use of firearms was flawed. The ‘paraffin’ test had been used to find traces of lead particles, for example on the hands or clothing of people suspected of firing weapons. However, research that had been commissioned by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry found that such testing was "flawed" because, for example, exposure to car exhaust could show a ‘positive’ result.
Thursday 16 September 1999
There was forensic evidence presented to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry which indicated that Jim Wray, one of those killed on 30 January 1972, had been shot in the back as he lay wounded on the ground.
Monday 27 September 1999
Interlocutory hearings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry took place in the Guildhall in Derry. The hearings were chaired by Lord Saville and discussed the issue of anonymity for up to 500 security force witnesses to the shootings on 30 January 1972. [The first of the main hearings began on 27 March 2000.]
Monday 27 March 2000
The Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday began public hearings at the Guildhall in Derry. The hearings began with a statement by Christoper Clarke (QC), then counsel to the Inquiry.
Tuesday 1 August 2000
Edward Somers (Sir), then one of the three judges on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, announced that he was stepping down for personal reasons. [John Toohey was appointed to replace Somers.]
Thursday 3 May 2001
Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), formally confirmed that he had been the "second-in-command" of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Derry when the events of 'Bloody Sunday' took place on 30 January 1972. The statement was made in advance of his expected appearance at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
Thursday 2 August 2001
Former soldiers who were involved in the shootings in Derry on 'Bloody Sunday', 30 January 1972, announced that they would seek a judical review of a ruling by the Inquiry that they must give their evidence in Derry rather than in Britain. [The soldiers had won an earlier ruling allowing them to retain anonymity when giving evidence.]
Friday 16 November 2001
Thirty-six former and serving soldiers who were due to appear at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Derry have won a case at the High Court in London allowing them to give evidence by video-link from England. Lord Saville, then chairman of the Inquiry, had originally ruled that the soldiers should given evidence in person in Derry. In their case at the High Court the soldiers argued that they would be targeted by Republicans if they were forced to travel to Derry.
Tuesday 11 December 2001
The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday began an appeal in the Court of Appeal in London against a decision that military witnesses should not have to travel to Derry to give their evidence. Soldiers who were on duty in Derry on 30 January 1972 had claimed in the High Court that their lives would be in danger if they were forced to attend the Inquiry in the Guildhall in Derry. The High Court had ruled in their favour and against Lord Saville. [The appeal lasted two days. The court's decision was announced on 19 December 2001 when the Court upheld the decision of the High Court that the soldiers would not have to travel to Derry to give evidence.]
John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he would challenge in the High Court the new rates of pay awarded to Queen's Councils (QCs) and barristers at the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday. The new daily rate for a senior barrister was set to rise by £250 to £1,750. The barristers can also claim up to £250 per hour, to a maximum of £750 per day, for preparation work and £125 an hour travelling to and from the Guildhall. Junior barristers' daily fees will rise from £750 to £875, and preparation rates from £100 to £125 an hour. They also receive £62.50 for travelling time. [The cost of the Inquiry to date has been estimated at £60 million.]
Sunday 20 January 2002
Independent Television (ITV) in the United Kingdom (UK) broadcast a film entitled 'Bloody Sunday' that portrayed the events in Derry on 30 January 1972. [Prior to broadcast the film had been criticised by some Unionists in Northern Ireland and by some members of the Conservative party in Britain. The film was also given a limited cinema release.]
Wednesday 23 January 2002
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry announced that it would temporarily move to a location in Britain in order to hear the testimony of British Army paratroopers who fired the fatal shots in Derry on Bloody Sunday (30 January 1972). The 36 soldiers had won court cases that supported their wish not to have to travel to Derry to give evidence.
Thursday 7 February 2002
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry granted permission to police officers to give their evidence from behind screens. [Many of the 20 former and serving officers had applied to be screened from the public gallery. It was also believed that 2 officers would ask to given their evidence in Britain.]
Thursday 14 March 2002
John Taylor, then Ulster Unionist peer (Lord Kilclooney), told the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that he believed in 1972, and still believed, that 13 gunmen were killed by the British army on Bloody Sunday. Later during questioning he partially qualified his assertion and said: "There are those who now say that innocent people were shot. If that is so it is a tragedy, but at that time I believed that all of those who were shot were shot because they were endangering the lives of the security forces, and that they were armed."
Tuesday 23 November 2004
The main hearings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry closed in Derry.
27 January 2005
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry held a special session at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to hear testimoney from Witness X.
8 February 2008
Shaun Woodward, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, revealed that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was still costing £500,000 a month although it has not held hearings since 2005. The total cost of the Inquiry had reached £181.2m (by December 2007).
6 November 2008
Lord Saville, then chairman of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, stated that his final report into the events of Bloody Sunday would not be completed for at least another year.
Wednesday 23 September 2009
Lord Saville, then chairman of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, announced that the final report would not be handed to the British government until March 2010. He said he was "extremely disappointed" at the delay.
Wednesday 24 March 2010
The report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was handed to British government lawyers to allow them to check for evidence which might be considered a threat to national security.
Thursday 6 May 2010
The calling of a British general election meant that the publication of the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was postponed until after the establishment of a new government.
Wednesday 26 May 2010
It was announced that the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry would be published on 15 June 2010.
Tuesday 15 June 2010
Publication date of the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.