The political and social impact of Bloody Sunday runs deep in Northern Ireland. To this day people still refer back to the occurrences of the 30th of January 1972, which evokes rather harsh and painful emotions. It is vital to examine the events of Bloody Sunday in order to understand the impact in which it had on the public and the entire political system for decades to come. It is then possible to see the political changes and the over all tensions and division grow among the people, which led to the bloodiest year in Northern Ireland's "troubles", which was only calmed by the eventual inquiries that took place nearly twenty-five years later.
Bloody Sunday took place during a civil rights march in the famed are of the "Bogside" in Londonderry. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association organized it, which drew over 10,000 protesters. The march was held in protest of the new policy of "internment without trial." The march was illegal because the Stormont Parliament had banned all such protests. As the protesters marched through the streets of Londonderry, British Paratroopers began to seal off certain roads, cutting off the marches progression. A confrontation soon began, with many different stories being told on how the action actually commenced. The British insist that they were fired upon from civilians with small arms, while the protesters claim that they were openly fired upon in an illegal and defenseless situation. Twenty-five minutes after the confrontation began, there were 13 dead Catholics on the Bogside streets. This is where the division was set in motion and to this day divides much of Northern Ireland's political and social situations.
The events that occurred nearly thirty years ago, still effect present day politics. Before Bloody Sunday there was a steady rise of young Catholic IRA members, but nowhere near the numbers after the fateful day. The London Times comments, "the actions of the Parachute Regiment in shooting dead 13 unarmed civil rights protestors immeasurably strengthened Irish republicans' arguments within their own community and provided the Provisional IRA with a flood of fresh recruits for its "long war".