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On Bloody Sunday: A New History Of The Day And Its Aftermath By The People Who Were There

Julieann Campbell

7 Reviews

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The first ever complete oral history of one of the darkest episodes of modern times.


'There have been many books written about the events of Bloody Sunday, however, none has wrenched the reader as violently back to those CS gas-choked streets, dumping them right in the heart of the screaming, running, shooting and crying, as Julieann Campbell's On Bloody Sunday. A powerful chronicle of one of the darkest episodes of modern times.' - Sunday Times

'Powerful and moving' - Irish Times

'Meticulous.... On Bloody Sunday possesses a veracity and cumulative power that sets it apart from previous accounts' - Observer

'A momentous chronicle, timely and vital' - Michael Mansfield QC, who represented a number of families during the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

'It is a vital record of the time, the city, and its people, and more impressive still it does so almost entirely in their own words, their heartbreak, their anger, their resilience, their humour. Julieann Campbell has given their voices, so long silenced, the dignity they deserve. It is a staggering achievement.' - Seamas O'Reilly

'A wonderful, wonderful book.' - Jimmy McGovern, BAFTA winning screenwriter, creator of 'Sunday' (2002)

In January 1972, a peaceful civil rights march in Northern Ireland ended in bloodshed. Troops from Britain's 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment opened fire on marchers, leaving 13 dead and 15 wounded. Seven of those killed were teenage boys. The day became known as 'Bloody Sunday'.

The events occurred in broad daylight and in the full glare of the press. Within hours, the British military informed the world that they had won an 'IRA gun battle'. This became the official narrative for decades until a family-led campaign instigated one of the most complex inquiries in history.

In 2010, the victims of Bloody Sunday were fully exonerated when Lord Saville found that the majority of the victims were either shot in the back as they ran away or were helping someone in need. The report made headlines all over the world.

While many buried the trauma of that day, historian and campaigner Juliann Campbell - whose teenage uncle was the first to be killed that day - felt the need to keep recording these interviews, and collecting rare and unpublished accounts, aware of just how precious they were. Fifty years on, in this book, survivors, relatives, eyewitnesses and politicians, shine a light on the events of Bloody Sunday, together, for the first time.

As they tell their stories, the tension, confusion and anger build with an awful power. ON BLOODY SUNDAY unfolds before us an extraordinary human drama, as we experience one of the darkest moments in modern history - and witness

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Praise for On Bloody Sunday: A New History Of The Day And Its Aftermath By The People Who Were There

  • Julieann Campbell works with her interviews like a woman knitting an Aran jumper - the complexity of the pattern in the end is simply beautiful. This is a vital book by someone who knows the significance of Bloody Sunday in her heart, her mind and her soul.

  • A momentous chronicle, timely and vital, which highlights that the burden of change rests, as always, upon the shoulders of those who suffered and yet, have nurtured the desire that lessons be learned.

  • So many people - judges, politicians, generals, journalists - have had their say on Bloody Sunday. his book allows the voices of the people of Derry to be heard. Their accounts are exciting, tragic, infuriating, but, above all, authentic. The fear, anger and grief leap off the pages.

  • This was a day like no other in my lifetime ... a day that affected the lives of countless thousands on this Island.

  • The technique used - multiple voices speaking directly to us - is very simple but it has a profound effect. It puts us into the middle of the chaos of Bloody Sunday and keeps us there throughout the grief and anger that follow. A wonderful, wonderful book.

  • Bloody Sunday was a pivotal moment in Irish history. Julieann Campbell places it perfectly in its time and place. The dominant notes are of anger and grief, and admiration for the indomitable spirit of the families and other campaigners who strove against daunting odds to vindicate the memory of the murdered.

  • Heartbreaking, poignant, powerful.

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Julieann Campbell

An award-winning author, Julieann Campbell's seventeen-year-old uncle, Jackie Duddy, was the first person to be killed on 30 January 1972. For more than a decade, Julieann has worked to document and archive the collective experiences of that day. As a former Chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust, she took on the role of family press officer ahead of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in 2010.

She is a PhD Researcher at Ulster University's School of Law exploring impact of post-conflict storytelling and is a director of the Pat Finucane Centre for Human Rights.

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