'BLOODY SUNDAY' PICKET , DUBLIN , SATURDAY 26TH JANUARY 2013 : BRIEF REPORT AND PICS.
Under the watchful eyes of six uniformed Garda members and at least three armed members of the 'Special Branch' political police, the RSF-organised picket in commemoration of the 1972 'Bloody Sunday' massacre in Derry was held on Saturday 26th January 2013 in Dublin , on the traffic isle facing the GPO in O'Connell Street.
At 11.30am that morning, RSF members began handing out leaflet 'packs' at three locations in the city centre - at the GPO , in the vicinity of the O'Connell Bridge area and in and around Parnell Square. In total , 1,200 republican leaflets (350 leaflet 'packs/booklets') were distributed in a period of 135 minutes and each of the three leaflet teams reported that they could have distributed even more, had they had them to hand.
RSF President Des Dalton and Dublin PRO , John Horan , both delivered in-depth speeches during which the name and age of each of the 13 men and teenagers that were massacred that day by the British Army Parachute Regiment was read out in O'Connell Street , and a brief description of the wounds inflicted on each person was given. Also mentioned was the fact that the only female victim of those shootings , Margaret Deery, was a then-37-year-old mother of 13 children who was left crippled for life after being seriously wounded in the leg. This lady was shot by a British Army Para from a distance of 25 yards after he calmly took aim at her.
An intercepted letter to the commander of the 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment , Lt. Colonel Derek Wilford , which was printed on the front page of 'The Sunday Press' newspaper on the Sunday following the massacre in Derry was read out at the Dublin picket - the letter was written on February 1st , 1972, by Brigadier F.P. Barclay , DSO , MCDL , Colonel , The Royal Norfolk Regiment , and stated -
Dear Wilford ,
As an ex-parachute Brigade Commander I write to say how proud it made one feel to see the way , on TV , which your lads went into action against those blighters last Sunday . They looked splendid and , as usual , bang on the ball.
It seems to me and many others that prompt retaliatory action such as this is long overdue . It will have , I've little doubt , a most salutory effect . Should have happened long since!
I sincerely trust you successfully weather those thoroughly unjustified but seemingly inevitable brickbats and recriminations emanating mostly from those who either have no sense of law and order , duty or perspective , or who are spineless .
With best wishes to you and yours ,
Peter Barclay ,
Little Dunham Lodge ,
Kings Lynn , Norfolk.'
As stated at the Dublin picket, those on that day in 1972 who obviously lacked a "sense of law and order , duty and perspective and who were spineless..." were the foreign gunmen who opened fire on unarmed Irish civilians.
A full report and more pics will be published in the February 2013 issue of 'Saoirse' , which goes to print on Wednesday 6th of that month.
Thanks for reading,