Derry public encouraged to light a candle for Bloody Sunday victims

People have been asked to place a candle in their window at the time shooting began on Bloody Sunday.

The Covid lockdown means that Bloody Sunday families cannot hold the usual minute’s silence at the memorial on Rossville Street.

This year the families and Bloody Sunday Trust have asked the public to put a candle in their windows at 4.10pm on Saturday, January 30, to mark the time when the first shots were fired in 1972.

On Sunday, January 31, the Museum of Free Derry will release a video at the time the normal memorial service is held.

Bloody Sunday families will remember their loved ones at home in line with the current restrictions.

Speaking to the Derry News this week, John Kelly said he will mark his brother Michael’s anniversary with the same reverence but it will be done at home.

“Normally we go to Mass, then we go to the morning service and hold a minute’s silence.

“But obviously due to the restrictions this year, physically we can’t do that so what I’ll be doing along with my family is remembering what happened that day.

“Even though it was 49 years ago the memory is still embedded so as a family we’ll certainly be thinking of Michael and all those who died that day and all those who were injured.

“It’s just a pity that we can’t do what we normally do but we have to think of the health of people.”

John’s brother Michael would have been 66 years-old earlier this month.

Michael was just 17 years-old and the seventh child in a family of thirteen when murdered on Bloody Sunday. 

He had spent his weeks in Belfast training to be an electrical engineer, returning home to Derry at the weekends.

Michael had no interest in politics and the anti-internment march on 30 January 1972 was the first march he had ever attended.

The 17-year-old was shot and murdered at the rubble barricade on Rossville Street, alongside John Young, Michael McDaid and William Nash.

Covid has stopped John from working in the Museum of Free Derry, a job he loves and one that brings him comfort.

“I’ve missed it, it’s a big part of my life and has been for many years.

“As one of the people who was involved from day one as the Education Officer I’ve seen thousands upon thousands of people over the years - I certainly miss it.

“And the sooner we get back the better.”

John feels it is incumbent on him to relay the truth of what happened on that day to visitors.

He described next year’s 50th anniversary as a ‘massive commemoration’ and one that is being considered already.

“The next now is in March when committal proceedings of Soldier F will begin. 

“But papers went in to the High Court just before Christmas on the PPS decision not to prosecute the rest of the soldiers, so we’re looking to see the outcome of that as well.

“There is a lot of work to do, this year is going to be very, very busy.”

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email or at any time.

Read more from Derry Now.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.