By Brian Conway (auth.)
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Additional info for Commemoration and Bloody Sunday: Pathways of Memory
These grievances were sparked off by Britain’s colonial project and a chronicle of this antagonistic Anglo-Irish colonial relationship helps to provide a socio-historical context to the events of 1972 and to place them in the context of a long history of division and discord. To fully understand the political claim-making and counter-claimmaking – for example, between nationalists and Catholic Church sources, between nationalists and unionists, and between republicans and the British state – that took place at Bloody Sunday commemorations one is pushed back into Irish history.
Not all had direct, first-hand, personal and unmediated experience of Bloody Sunday, but most had. Younger interviewees experienced the event indirectly via their participation in the annual commemoration, the media and popular culture. 69 To help address this possible presentist bias, where possible I cross-checked respondent accounts of the past against available textual accounts. For example, I interviewed some respondents about the Guildhall stained-glass window and questions asked about who was involved in promoting it, the stages it passed through in the decision-making process, whether it set off controversy or not, and so on.
Memory choreographers worked hard to ensure it wasn’t. Newspaper coverage in the mid-1970s around the time of the anniversary tended to recycle earlier original images of the public funerals of the dead and of their coffins lying in repose before the altar of St Mary’s Catholic church in the Creggan or images of the dead men. On the nearest 4 Commemoration and Bloody Sunday Sunday to 30 January every year throughout the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, the memory of Bloody Sunday was activated and re-activated via a march along the route of the original march.
Commemoration and Bloody Sunday: Pathways of Memory by Brian Conway (auth.)