Rarely-seen, haunting images show the horror of Bloody Sunday in a city which hasn’t forgotten the scars of its past
It is a haunting picture of a young man, face ashen as he walks past the body of Michael Kelly, shot dead moments before by members of the parachute regiment.
Seconds later Michael McDaid would also be dead.
In a geographical area no bigger than two football pitches the bodies of 11 further victims would add to the death toll.
With exclusive access to pictures used by the Saville Inquiry, the Belfast Telegraph looks back at 12 minutes on January 30, 1972 that would become known as Bloody Sunday.
It was an event that arguably extended the Troubles and helped radicalise a new generation of young men and women, changing Northern Ireland for ever.
Derry may officially be a city but as immortalised in the words of Phil Coulter, it is really just a big town, a place where everyone knows someone who was present on Bloody Sunday.
The city centre is now a buzzing tourist attraction, full of bars and restaurants offering the warmest of welcomes.
But the city doesn’t sanitise its past.
There are reminders everywhere, in the murals that adorn the gable walls of the Bogside, in the famous Free Derry corner, the museums and even the bullet holes that remain on the walls of the maisonette flats, still standing just as they were 50 years ago.
The small wall where soldiers F and P took cover before opening fire is also still there, exactly as it was on the day.
Pictures taken during the shooting show the uniformed paratroopers crouched behind the wall, taking careful aim at nearby civilians.
In July last year the trial against Soldier F collapsed. While another blow for the families of the dead, it was not unexpected given the opposition they have faced on every step of their journey for truth and justice.
With them throughout that journey was a team of solicitors who had to become detectives, finding witnesses, and piecing together the story of what happened.
Ciaran Shields of Madden and Finucane solicitors has dedicated his professional career to achieving justice for the victims of Bloody Sunday.
Without referring to notes he can point out every step, every victim, their age, their injuries, where they fell, who the witnesses were and what soldier the inquiry linked to their death using cyphers.
In August 1989 the Bloody Sunday Initiative met for the first time. Present was solicitor Peter Madden of the law firm Madden and Finucane. His business partner Pat Finucane had been shot dead by loyalists in February of the same year.
Brothers Fearghal and Ciaran joined the team shortly afterwards. From the Creggan estate, their parents and grandparents had marched on Bloody Sunday.
It was this local knowledge that was to prove invaluable in helping identify and trace more than 400 witnesses to the atrocity. They enlisted the help of postmen and barmen, of taxi drivers and priests.
Those who fled a troubled Northern Ireland shortly after the shootings in search of a better life were tracked down in America, Canada, Australia and Germany.
Using old black and white pictures from the time they identified as many marchers as possible and then called to each home individually to take statements about their memories of that day. Stop any Derry native in the street and they will have a story about Bloody Sunday, a dead or injured relative, a story of survival or how a relative attended to the injured on the day.
Ciaran Shiels has hundreds of those stories all photographically preserved in his memory.
“There were army barriers at all the routes going into the city centre”, he says pointing at buildings that remain as they were 50 years ago.
“The first person injured on the day is Damien Donaghy — he was 15 and was shot in the leg”.
Shortly after 4pm on January 30, 1972, as people made their way towards what is now known as Free Derry Corner as Bernadette Devlin and Ivan Cooper were preparing to address the march, the Army moved in.
Four heavily-armoured Humber ‘Pigs’ vehicles used by the Army from the 1950s, along with a vehicle with a machine gun mounted on top and two Bedford lorries moved in.
The soldiers were from the mortar platoon and the anti- tank platoon of the Parachute regiment.
And then the shooting started.
“The mortar platoon fired 42 shots, within the area around the carpark of the flats,” says Mr Shiels.
“Just after Jackie Duddy was shot, he’s the first fatality, Peggy Deery is shot in the back of the leg, she was one of the worst wounded”.
In Chamberland Street, immortalised in a picture of Fr Edward Daly waving a bloodstained white handkerchief as the mortally wounded Jackie Duddy was carried by others, the terrace houses remain as they were 50 years ago.
Number 36 acted as a makeshift hospital, Peggy Deery being tended to in the living room and a local man Micky Bridge, given First Aid in the back yard after being also shot in the leg.
“Five people were shot in this area and 18 people arrested out this house,” Mr Shiels adds.
Five minutes has passed and at the opposite side of Rossville Street, soldiers were now firing on protesters from behind a low wall.
“F opens fire and he shoots Michael Kelly in the stomach, the bullet stays in his spine so it can be traced back to F’s weapon, but he doesn’t know that yet, so when F makes his first statement he denies firing at the rubble barricade”, says Mr Shiels.
“You have soldier F,G,P and E all firing from here.
“Hugh Gilmore is hit by Soldier U and starts shouting, ‘I’m hit, I’m hit’ and he is pulled around the corner but bleeds out.
“Michael McDaid, John Young and William Nash are all hit very quickly.
“Kevin McElhinney is crawling away and then he’s shot”.
At this stage the ceasefire order is called but some of the soldiers continue to fire in Glenfada Park where the injured were carried.
“Every one of the injured in this area has a right to left wound, none were hit front on”, he says.
“William McKinney is shot, Joe Mahon is wounded along with Jim Wray, he also wounds Joe Friel in the chest and he shoots Michael Quinn.
“Jim Wray is still alive there is a woman on the balcony of the flats saying ‘son pretend you’re dead’ but he keeps moving and is shot in the back by Soldier G”.
The marks of some of the bullets can still be seen in the wall of what is now the Museum of Free Derry.
Soldier G was himself shot dead in 1976 while working as a mercenary in Angola.
Gerald Donaghy and Gerry McKinney are next to be shot in Abbey Park.
“At this stage people are running for cover terrified, they’ve seen all of this happen.”
Across the road where people have run for cover, Paddy Doherty is shot crawling away.
“He’s shouting, ‘I don’t want to die on my own’ and so two other men come to his aid, and they’re shot as well.
“Barney McGuigan, goes out with a hankie but gets the head blown off him.
“The strike marks are still on the walls”.
One other man is injured and then the shooting stops.
In total it lasts no more than 12 minutes, 13 people are dead, seven of them teenagers and the city of Derry would never be the same again.