As they have for almost four decades, residents throughout the borough will honor the memory of the Derry 13 and make a resounding call for peace and justice in Northern Ireland during an annual Bloody Sunday commemoration.
Gathering at the Irish Haven at the corner of Fourth Avenue and 58th Street on February 14 — Valentine’s Day, of all days — mourners carrying bone-white crosses bearing the names of those killed in Derry, Northern Ireland, during the 1972 massacre will march — for the 38th time — to Our Lady of Perpetual Help on 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, where a mass will be held in the victims’ honor. The march kicks off at 12:30 p.m. The mass begins at 1 p.m.
Bloody Sunday recalls the events that took place in Derry Ireland on January 30, 1972, when British troops opened fire on 20,000 civil rights protestors seeking equality for an oppressed Catholic minority. Thirteen people fell under a hail of bullets. A fourteenth protestor died from his wounds a few days later.
Commemoration participants usually spend the march remembering those who were lost, pray for a lasting peace and celebrate recent positive developments, such as the re-opening of the Saville Inquiry, which was charged with investigating the bloodbath.
But, since its inception in 1998, the Saville Inquiry has been mired in controversy and has dragged on without anyone held accountable, protestors explained.
To this day, the British government has never apologized to the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday.
“We will march and pray until justice is finally done for those innocents murdered in 1972,” said Mary Nolan, director of the Bloody Sunday march committee. “Reconciling the worst injustices committed by Britain during the Troubles is necessary to build a future based on equality, justice and mutual respect.”
Anyone wishing to know more about Sunday’s march can contact Nolan at (718) 833-3405.