On 30 January 1972, British Army soldiers in Derry, Northern Ireland fired on Catholics demonstrating for civil rights.
They killed 14 men, seven of them teenagers, in the event that came to be known as Bloody Sunday. The Army maintained that they had been shot at, and an early government inquiry into the event, the Widgery Report, took their side. Not until 2010 did the Saville Inquiry find that those who had been killed were unarmed, calling the killings “unjustified and unjustifiable”.
At the time, the Workers’ Fight newspaper, forerunner of Solidarity, produced the front page below and commented:
“The 13 dead men [a 14th died later] shot down in cold blood on January 30th in Derry City will have as powerful a posthumous effect on Irish politics as did the ‘16 dead men’ killed in cold blood after the 1916 Rising.”
The Provisional IRA’s armed campaign had begun almost a year before, but the Bloody Sunday murders gave it a big boost in membership.