Bloody Sunday became a touchstone in the Irish civil rights movement because it provoked a rise in IRA membership and rekindled the violence known too long in Ireland as The Troubles.
Ireland has had centuries of mistrust and conflict and is divided into two countries, Northern Ireland and the republic of Ireland. Unionists mainly come from the Protestant community. Which is the population of Northern Ireland. They wish to retain the links with Great Britain and the crown as belief that the United Kingdom offers better social services and opportunities for economic development. Unionists are opposed to the Catholic community, as they fear that they would dominate an al l- Ireland state and that their beliefs would be ignored.
Nationalists are mainly drawn from the minority catholic community. They hope that Ireland will be united and independent of Britain. They feel that British control in Ireland has held back their economy and that they are treated like a colony. They are opposed to the Protestant community as they feel that they are treated like second-class citizens.
On August 9, 1971, the British government introduced a new policy in Northern Ireland, one of internment without the benefit of a trial. There was much resentment and anger on the part of the Irish people as citizens were imprisoned without due process. .
Demonstrations protesting this unjust policy erupted throughout Northern Ireland. On January 30, 1972, the Derry Civil Rights Association organized a march as means of peaceful protest. The marchers were to wind their way from the nationalist Creggan estate to the centre of Derry. .
An estimated 20,000 men, women and children took part in the march in a 'carnival atmosphere'. Members of the British Army prevented the march from entering the city centre. The main body of the march then proceeded to 'Free Derry Corner' to attend a rally when some young men began throwing stones at soldiers in William Street.