The only source that I think is reliable is Source I because it is the only source that is not biased or exaggerated in some way it just says that cold hard facts and that is that the reporter didn’t see anything because he was one of nearly one hundred people pinned to the ground and this source only tells you that there was gun fire of some description, but can’t help you to find out who started bloody Sunday because the reporter doesn’t know and he couldn’t see who started firing first either. This is also a good guide to the behaviour of others and helps us to understand the why so many eyewitnesses can not be trusted and are confused.
Source A is a picture it shows us a picture of the Irish Frankenstein a big beast which is towering over a cowering scared little Englishman about to be killed by the big Irish beast. This picture is greatly exaggerated because it says ‘the Irish’ meaning all of the Irish but it was only some who were the bad party. The picture is also biased because it only portrays the English viewpoint of the Irish the pictures main weakness is that it is biased, but the picture is also ninety years before bloody Sunday.
This source doesn’t help us to find out what actually happened on bloody Sunday because it is ninety years before the event but it does tell you some long-term facts. Source B is a picture it shows us a mock movie poster showing the Irish in a bad light it also says they are psychopathic the picture is greatly exaggerated because again it say’s the Irish meaning all but it is only some who were the bad people. The picture is biased because it is only the English viewpoint of the Irish its main weakness is that it is biased but it is also after the event (the tenth anniversary).
This picture does help us to find out what actually happened on bloody Sunday because it shows us thirteen crosses which represent the thirteen deaths and it Also shows us the escalated violence in Ireland leading up to bloody Sunday. The picture also shows us the opinion of the English, which was that the Irish were to blame. Source C is a picture showing us some English soldiers hanging an Irish man. The sources main weakness is that it was made around 192 years before bloody Sunday. The source is also very biased because it only shows you the Irish point of view.
The picture does not tell us what happened on bloody Sunday itself but does show us some of the long term causes leading up to bloody Sunday for example it shows us how the Irish were harshly treated and how they were hung, supposedly for no reason otherwise the picture would not have been used. Source D is a picture showing us five English soldiers holding an Irish woman at knife point up the wall while another soldier is preparing a noose to hang her. The sources main weakness is that it was made around 192 years before bloody Sunday. The source is also very biased because it only shows you the Irish point of view.
The picture does not tell us what happened on bloody Sunday itself but does show us some of the long term causes leading up to bloody Sunday for example it shows us how the Irish were harshly treated and how they were hung, and after all this is only a lady what could a poor defenceless woman do to a soldier let alone six, again I think the idea of the picture is to make the hanging look like it is supposedly for no reason otherwise the picture would not have been used because it would look better to the audience if they thought the hanging was for no reason therefore I think this source is also exaggerated because the army would not hang a defenceless woman for no reason. Would they?
Source E tells us ‘the facts’ some of which are useful for example it tells us the date that bloody Sunday occurred and how many people got shot but the source contains too many opinions for example it says that the civilians were unarmed but they might have had there guns taken off their bodies by some of the other rioters and it also says that the march was illegal but if the march was illegal then why was it allowed to go ahead, and for a piece of writing supposedly about ‘facts’ is miss-leading.
The main strength of this piece of writing is that it is based on facts but then it also uses a lot of opinions, which is the pieces main weakness. The piece of writing is also very biased which is another one of the sources weaknesses. The source is greatly exaggerated in some places for example it says that it was a punch but really it was a slap and the source also says the embassy was burned down but really it was only set on fire, not burned down to the ground like you are first lead to believe. The main motive of this source is to defend the British soldiers. The audience is mainly school children from England and Wales.
The source does not really help us to find out what happened on bloody Sunday because it doesn’t say who shot first and it contains to much bias and opinion, it also contains too much exaggeration like the ‘slap’ and the ‘fire’ which was also after the event of bloody Sunday. But the source is useful in a couple of ways because it tells us the date of bloody Sunday and how many people died. Source F is an eyewitness account told by the army commander he said that when he got up to William Street he came under fire from the Rossville flats he and his troops were petrol bombed and had acid poured on them from the top of the flats, he went onto say that when the army are attacked they must protect themselves.
This source is exaggerated because the way the commander makes the acid incident sound is that he had bottles full poured on him but really it was only drips of acid. The source is also very biased towards the English and against the Irish. This source is not totally reliable because this is an agreed statement some time after the actual event of bloody Sunday. The audience for this source is mainly the English and possibly the Irish but also the Americans, who at periods of time have felt sorry for the Irish. This does help you to find out what happened on bloody Sunday because it gives you one point of view about what happened on bloody Sunday it allows you to compare to opposing views like the one in Source G.
Source G Is another eyewitness account this time it is a catholic priest who says he saw no-one shooting at the troops and if anyone had he would have seen it, he also says he only saw the army shooting, and that the British should hang it’s head in shame. The priest went onto say that the army shot indiscriminately and without any provocation. The priest also said that during the shooting he was administering the last rights to a boy of only 15(he was actually nearer 17) who was shot by soldiers. This source is exaggerated because it says that the army were not provoked in any way. The source is also very biased for the Irish and against the English.
The source is not totally reliable because it is too emotional this is because his statement was probably very soon after the event possibly even on the same day the priest would probably be confused. This source does help us to find out what happened on bloody Sunday because it gives you one point of view about what happened on bloody Sunday it also allows you to compare to opposing views like the one in Source F. Source H is another eyewitness account, this time from a newspaper reporter from the guardian. The reporter said he didn’t see the IRA open up fire first, other than one shot. The reporter carried on to say that even that one shot did not justify the return of live rounds into a packed square of people.
The reporter went on to say that he did not see any guns and he did not hear any nail or petrol bombs he said he has heard many of these this shows he is experienced. The reporter speaks like one shot doesn’t matter and is very biased for the Irish and against the English. The source is not very reliable because the reporter said there was no shots except one this point also shows exaggeration. I think the purpose of the source is to help get the reporter a better persona or job. This source helps us to find out what happened on bloody Sunday because it gives us a point of view, which we can compare to opposing opinions. The point of view is biased against the English and it is an English person writing it, which is not what we expect but makes the source a bit more reliable.
Source J is a widgery report by the British government it says that there was no general breakdown in army discipline the soldiers identified gunmen and took them out each soldier was his own judge whether the Irish person was there to cause trouble. The newspaper report goes onto say that some soldiers were highly responsible and others firing bordered on the reckless. This source is biased towards the English and against the Irish. This source is not totally reliable this is possibly because the army have to protect their reputation and the soldiers left in Ireland. The source is exaggerated because at the start it says there was no general breakdown but at the end it says that some soldiers were reckless. This source leaves out some opposing evidence to protect the army.
This source is an official report that tells us a biased point of view for the English but it helps us to understand what happened on bloody Sunday because it give us a point of view and this can also be compared to opposing opinions and views like the one in Source K. Source K is a Londonderry coroner’s report it says that the army ran amok and they shot with out thinking. The report goes onto say that even though the people took part in a parade that was banned it did not justify the firing of live rounds. The coroner also said with ‘sheer reservation’ that bloody Sunday was sheer unadulterated murder. This source is exaggerated because the coroner said that during bloody Sunday the army ran amok but if they had there would have been a lot more damage and deaths than there was.
This source is also an official report that tells us a biased point of view for the Irish this is not what we expect because the coroner is probably a protestant and is against the marchers, but again it helps us to understand what happened on bloody Sunday because it give us a point of view and this can also be compared to opposing opinions and views like the one in Source J. Therefore I conclude that although I have got many different opinions of what happened on bloody Sunday I can’t say for definite who fired the first shot and started bloody Sunday, but I can say that from the evidence I have seen and read I think that the Irish took the first shot and the army fired upon known or identified targets to protect themselves and other innocent people in the surrounding area’s.