We have had the Decade of Centenaries. It was little more than an attempt by (some) academics to help us “understand” the background of the Troubles (which began in 1969) thru seminal events like the Ulster Covenant, Easter Rising, First World War and so on.
Realistically nobody has any real grief over events and deaths that happened a hundred years ago.
It was a controlled narrative to produce a faux notion of “shared history” and by extension a “shared future”.
It was deemed “helpful” to look again at our history.
To me the Decade of Half Centenaries…….the series of “50th Anniversary of….” from 1969 to (say) yesterday is actually much more relevant.
Why? Because these events are actually within living memory. I was 17 years old when the Troubles began.
Yesterday was of course the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. As a consequence of that single murderous event, fourteen people were killed. Traumatic for the families involved and the broader nationalist and Catholic community.
The problem with mass murder ..memorable …is that obscures the pain of single murders. Yet the pain is just as horrible.
Aside from Bloody Sunday, thirteen people were killed in January 1972.
Three members of the IRA were killed…two (one an old school friend of mine) in gun battles with the British Army in West Belfast. The third died as a result of a premature explosion.
Three British soldiers died. All killed by IRA.
Three members of RUC died, including two killed in a gun battle in Derry with IRA a few days before Bloody Sunday. The third was off duty and killed by IRA in North Belfast.
Two RUC reservists were shot dead by IRA. One in North Belfast. The second shot dead at his workplace in a “Catholic” part of West Belfast. As I knew that latter area well, I found that very disturbing.
A Catholic man was shot dead at his home in North Belfast.Killed by Loyalists.
A Protestant bus conductor who had witnessed a bus being hijacked and was called to testify was shot dead by IRA in East Belfast.
Those who had families are still mourned by elderly parents, elderly widows, middle aged children and by grandchildren they maybe never knew. And some who were maybe single are maybe forgotten.
SOURCE: CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths.