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AIBU to be shocked that I had never heard about 'Bloody Friday'?

(116 Posts)
sashh Mon 24-Nov-14 04:42:02

On the thread about public information films WeShouldOpenABar mentioned a film and I went to find it on youtube.

One of the films that popped up in the side bar is about 'Bloody Friday'. This happened when I was a small child, and I know my mum stopped us watching the TV news after my brother was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up and gave the answer, "An IRA sniper".

Anyway I have heard about Bloody Sunday, have a vague recollection of seeing the priest with a white hanky on TV and I am probably aware of it more from the campaign for justice for those shot.

I'm just wondering how much else I missed / am not aware of. I remember some bombings being reported extensively such as the one at Omahg and Enniskillen, I know these were much later so I was older or an adult.

So how many of you dear mumsnetters have heard of this? And if you have are you outside NI?

Andrewofgg Mon 24-Nov-14 04:51:08

I remember it. 21 July 1972. As horrible a day as any in the Troubles. I'm in London.

waithorse Mon 24-Nov-14 07:24:02

I'm outside NI and it was way before I was born, but I'd be shocked at anyone not knowing about it, unless very young.

ProfYaffle Mon 24-Nov-14 07:28:53

I've never heard of it, I was born in 1972, knew about Bloody Sunday but not Bloody Friday. I've just googled it and am really shocked I didn't know about it.

treaclesoda Mon 24-Nov-14 07:30:25

Is the priest with the white hanky footage not Bloody Sunday in Derry? That would also tie in better with the comment about wanting to be an IRA sniper.

There was a day known as Bloody Friday in Belfast though, early 70s, when loads of bombs went off more or less simultaneously and there was carnage.

I've (obviously) heard of both. Plus almost any other bomb in NI. But then that's where I'm from and I lived through a lot of them and even was caught up in a couple, so no surprise. Wasn't born when Bloody Friday, or Sunday, happened though.

treaclesoda Mon 24-Nov-14 07:31:55

Sorry, I totally misunderstood your post! Yes, you knew about Bloody Sunday, but had only just discovered bloody Friday.

sashh Mon 24-Nov-14 07:58:20

treacle yes that's bloody Sunday and I have a vague recollection of it, but I do not think I have ever heard about bloody Friday.

Like ProfYaffle I'm shocked. How can 20 bombs in one city in a couple of hours have been almost wiped from history?

GooodMythicalMorning Mon 24-Nov-14 08:01:03

Never heard of it. I was born in 1985. Will look into it when im properly awake.

treaclesoda Mon 24-Nov-14 08:05:32

I think people sometimes don't realise how massive an effect these things had on the places they happened. If you look at the population of Omagh for example, if there had been the same casualties in London, as a proportion of the population, it would, I think, work out as something like 7000 deaths. On one day.

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 24-Nov-14 08:09:56

Never heard of it - I'm 33 and grew up in the Middle East with 1 British parent. I'm now living in the UK (South East).

I consider myself reasonably well-informed so am a bit blush

JanineStHubbins Mon 24-Nov-14 08:10:13

It hasn't been 'almost wiped from history'. It featured heavily in the news at the time (with graphic news-footage that you simply wouldn't see on mainstream outlets now) and plenty of historians have written about it since.

Perhaps the problem is 'atrocity overload' and the NI conflict has, sadly, many of those. La Mon, Darkley, Greysteel, Claudy, to name just a few.

DustInTheWind Mon 24-Nov-14 08:13:19

I did, but I was an army child at secondary school, and I spent a lot of the 70s expecting the IRA to be trying to kill us. Loomed larger in my life than fears of nuclear war.
Took me years not to recoil in fear at a Southern Irish accent.

ProfYaffle Mon 24-Nov-14 08:14:54

I'm shocked because I consider myself quite aware of these things. I grew up in an era when mainland IRA bombs were common, my town was bombed twice. Bloody Sunday always seemed to be mentioned in the 'context' pieces on the news but I don't recall Bloody Friday at all.

DustInTheWind Mon 24-Nov-14 08:17:03

'Bloody Friday is the name given to the bombings by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Belfast on 21 July 1972. Twenty-six bombs exploded in the space of eighty minutes, killing nine people (including two British soldiers) and injuring 130. The majority of these were car bombs, driven to their detonation sites that same day. The bombings were partly a response to the breakdown of talks between the IRA and the British government.'

They apparently apologised for harming civillians...30 years later.

treaclesoda Mon 24-Nov-14 08:48:05

this probably works both ways actually. I grew up in NI in the 80s and I had no idea until reading on mumsnet that IRA bombings were common in England. I knew about Harrods, about Hyde Park, the Birmingham pub bombings, Brighton and Warrington. And the one at the army base in Deal. Yet I've seen loads of people on mumsnet say that when they were growing up, bombs were common. We were pretty much seeing bombs and/or shootings on a daily basis when I was wee and I remember longing to live in England, I thought it sounded like a magical place where you could walk past cars parked in the street without wondering if they would blow up.

I'm almost 40 and I still feel mightily pissed off at having been brought up here.

DustInTheWind Mon 24-Nov-14 08:52:31

treaclesoda, the little brother of a friend of mine made a male security guard cry. He was around 4 and Christmas shopping in London, on holiday from NI.
The guard said some light-hearted comment to him, and the child put both of his arms up so he could be searched. Automatic response.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 24-Nov-14 08:52:39

"Took me years not to recoil in fear at a Southern Irish accent"
and what is one of those anyway?
no wonder my poor dad did his best to iron out his accent back in the 60s and 70s with attitudes like that about.

DustInTheWind Mon 24-Nov-14 08:54:54

Yup, it was prejudice.
Just like so many have now with niqabs, hijabs and burqas. Blanket fear of a peceived threat, instilled in children who had a very limited understanding of why the IRA set bombs to kill civillians.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 24-Nov-14 08:56:14

and treaclesoda there were really not many IRA bombs in London in the 80s just one or two as I recall; i remember one small one in Camden Town (yeh logical right) and one on a bus in the 90s that killed one Irish guy.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 24-Nov-14 08:57:42

yes I think that is a fair comparison of attitudes dustinthewind

DustInTheWind Mon 24-Nov-14 08:59:05

1981 10 October: The IRA detonated a bomb outside the Chelsea Barracks, killing two and injuring 39.

1981 26 October: The IRA bombed a Wimpy Bar on Oxford Street, killing Kenneth Howorth, the Metropolitan Police explosives officer attempting to defuse it.

1982 20 July: The Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings in London by the IRA killed eleven members of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Green Jackets.

1983 17 December: Harrods was bombed by the IRA. Six were killed (including three police officers) and 90 wounded during Christmas shopping at the West London department store.

1984 12 October: Brighton hotel bombing, 5 killed and several injured in an attempt by the IRA to kill Margaret Thatcher.

1989 22 September: Deal barracks bombing: Eleven Royal Marines bandsmen killed and 22 injured when base in Deal, Kent, was bombed by the IRA.

Selective memory?

skylark2 Mon 24-Nov-14 09:01:01

I'm not sure whether I'm confusing Bloody Friday and Bloody Sunday.

To be honest, though, I'm not that surprised if people outside of NI don't remember the specific name and details of one of many awful things which happened during the Troubles. I would be surprised if they weren't aware of them in general - for instance if they had never heard of the Troubles, or the IRA, or that there were lots of bombings.

DustInTheWind Mon 24-Nov-14 09:01:02

Want me to post the 90s atrocities?
And for every actual act, the amount of fear and terror and suspicion and prejudice generated is so much more. That's the point really.

ProfYaffle Mon 24-Nov-14 09:03:37

treacle I grew up in Warrington, it was that bomb I was referring to. tbf I think most of my memories were of bomb scares/bombs found and made safe rather than actual explosions. Warnings were generally phoned through and areas evacuated causing disruption rather than loss of life. I remember shopping centres being closed, trains not running etc rather than actual injuries. I can imagine that sort of stuff wouldn't make the news in NI when worse atrocities were taking place there.

ProfYaffle Mon 24-Nov-14 09:04:41

I'm talking about the north west by the way, not London.

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