Bloody Sunday Commemorations

Bloody Sunday Commemorations

This week marked the centenary of Bloody Sunday and the events which surrounded it on November 21st, 1920, during the War of Independence. The boys observed and discussed video clips, online media resources and related handouts on these events. It was an important lesson to show the boys that there were atrocities committed by both sides during the conflict. 14 suspected British intelligence agents were killed by the IRA on that morning in their flats, boarding houses and hotel rooms. The attacks were carried out by Michael Collins' "Squad", a special duties unit which Collins, the Director of Intelligence had formed from the Dublin brigade of the IRA. That afternoon a calculated, co-ordinated reprisal saw a plan for British officers to enter Croke Park, where a Gaelic football match was being played between Dublin and Tipperary, stop the game and perform searches of the men in attendance. However, shots were fired on the crowd and chaos ensued. Following 90 seconds of shooting by a combination of Auxiliaries, RIC and Black and Tans many innocent civilians who had been at the match and one player, Michael Hogan from Tipperary lay dead. In total, 14 civilians were killed by the British forces in Croke Park, the youngest of which was Jerome O'Leary, aged ten. This was particularly emotive for the boys as they realised how young some of the victims were.

Later in the week, the boys were treated to a veritable treasure trove of priceless artefacts kindly brought into the school by Charles James in Mr. O'Neill's class. These were set up on display and included letters, pictures, a gun, medals and newspaper accounts during these times. The boys poured over the historical artefacts and were careful not to touch them in order to preserve their excellent condition. Ms. Heslin was also on hand to explain all of the events in the years leading up to Bloody Sunday and also spoke to the boys about the Irish Proclamation of Independence and the seven signatories. We are extremely thankful to Charles James and his family whose family heirlooms really brought our history to life. This is a link created by the GAA to mark the occasion of the centenary and the loss of the 14 lives on that day.

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