Talk:Bloody Sunday (1920)

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The following comments were moved from Talk:Bloody Sunday. Originally posted November 2002.


It's a bit ridiculous to call Collins unqualified "Irish Finance Minister" and Brugha "Irish Minister for Defence", because these were not active roles in any sense. A more accurate approach would be to say something like "assigned the post of Minister of Defence in the Ministry of the First Dáil". The Dáil certainly had de facto legitimacy in being elected by the vast majority of the Irish people, but it had no ability to exercise powers at the time. Steve Graham (talk) 11:12, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

american dilomat[edit]

i have read that the american consul in dublin was playing cards with some of the cairo gang in their apartment the saturday night before (saturday 20th of november) till very late and had been offered a bed to sleep in by one of them the consul had been very tempted but decided not too and returned to his residence early next morning the ira struck this apartment killing all the men inside if the consul had been there he would probably have been killed by the ira members who with their adrenalin flowing were shooting first asking questions later needless to say this would have been a public relations disaster for the irish nationalist movement Bouse23 (talk) 20:48, 11 August 2008 (UTC)


An anonymous user wrote the following on Bloody Sunday (Ireland 1920):
It wasn't by the IRA, and it was the night before
apparently referring to the following text on this page.
following a series of assassinations of British agents carried out by the Irish Republican Army earlier that day.
Well, 'earlier that day' and 'the night before' aren't really contradictory. And investigation suggests that nobody contests that it was the IRA.

This is a pretty good summary of the 1920 Bloody Sunday with one very notable exception. The author emphasizes the "unathorized" and "unapproved" nature of atrocities committed by the Black & Tans and Auxiliaries. In actuality, however, these terrorists acted under the full authority of the British government for over 2 years. They were sent to Ireland by His Majesty's Government to terrorize the Irish population into submission. They did not engage in a single terrorist act (Bloody Sunday), they engaged in thousands, killing and brutalizing at random and also in carefully targeted operations. To claim that British Crown Forces could engage in illegal terrorist activities non-stop on a daily and even hourly basis for over 2 years without approval not only challenges the imagination but denies the existence of any semblance of a chain of command within the British Army. As the English themselves would say, "Not bloody likely." In short, this was state-sponsored terrorism of the first order.

I don't know anything about this subject, but "the author" (you reffered to) is you, be bold, click the "edit this page" and try to put it into the text, if you think your suggestions are more accurate and factual. Other users will review this (soon), don't worry. --Rotem Dan 04:22 21 May 2003 (UTC)
But please cite wherever you can (give a solid basis for statements presented) -- Rotem Dan 04:25 21 May 2003 (UTC)

Hey, I'm a big history buff and I recall hearing something about a bloody riot in the 1950's in Hungry being called 'Bloody Sunday'. Russian soldiers sent to quell the riot killed a whole bunch of people. Is this true?

-E. Brown 5 February 2005

About how many people do we think were killed on Bloody Sunday? The article says that 10,000 spectators were there, surely they weren't all killed. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

NPOV Tag[edit]

There is too much pov banter in the article which makes it sound like propaganda.The preceding unsigned comment was added by Doctorbigtime (talk • contribs) .

In accordance with the general principals of Wikipedia:NPOV dispute please provide an explaination of what is disputed; part of the article, all of it - what is pov banter? A NPOV tag is not the same as "I don't like the tone of the content and theirfore will tag it, and cannot be bothered editing it now or improving it" tag. Djegan 16:12, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I've removed the tag until such time as POV concerns are detailed here. --Ryano 13:19, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Wasn't the U2 song about the Bloody Sunday in Derry when British forces opened fire on civil rights marchers?

Number killed[edit]

If someone ever reads this talk page who knows more about the events than I do (which is nothing) would they please have a look at the Michael Hogan (sportsman) article and clear up how many were killed that day? This article and the Michael Hogan one disagree. Cheers, Mmoneypenny 15:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I.don't see that they disagree on numbers killed, unless you question whether Hogan, as a member of the I.R.A should be included in description 'civilaan'.

There IS disagreement between this page and the Cairo Gang article. This one says 14 members were killed (and 14 civilians); Cairo Gang says 12 were killed ("eight of whom were members of the Cairo Gang, a British Army Courts-Martial officer, the two police cadets and a civilian informant"). Lizconno (talk) 03:33, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

This article is correct: see Leeson's article in the Canadian Journal of History; and Anne Dolan, "Killing and Bloody Sunday, November 1920," Historical Journal 49, no. 3 (2006): 789-810.--Cliodule (talk) 17:34, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

One problem when stating the number of people who died at events like Bloody Sunday, is whether you only count people who die on the day or people who were mortally wounded. There are many conflicting figures for Croke Park. I finally got hold of The Bloodied Field by Michael Foley, and got the dates for the deaths of the mortally wounded.

In the morning of Bloody Sunday 1920, 14 people were killed and one was mortally wounded (Hugh Ferguson Montgomery died on 10 December).

There are many confusing figures for how many people died at Croke Park. The correct figures are given by O’Halpin in his chapter in Terror in Ireland, but he does not give a list of names or deaths, so I was not 100% sure until I got the book by Foley. 11 were killed on the day and 3 died later (Robinson and Carroll on 23 November and Tom Hogan on 26 November).

There are many incorrect figures. Some write 13. One of these sources gives a list that has left out Feery. That could be because he was only identified by his wife on the Thursday. That is probably also the reason why many sources, including Joe Devlin in Parliament on the Monday and Jane Leonard in her chapter in Terror in Ireland claim that 10 people died on the day.

Many sources (including Dolan) write 12. However, none of them give a list, so it is not clear who they leave out.

So 14 died in the morning and 11 in the afternoon. But if you include mortally wounded, you get 15 in the morning and 14 in the afternoon.

HelmerAslaksen (talk) 10:35, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Use of the word 'killing'[edit]

Certain editors are insisting on the use of the phrase "killing 14 people" (or sometimes 15 people) in the article's introduction, instead of the more neutral and accurate phrase "causing the deaths of 14 people."

This is POV.

On the one hand, two of the victims at Croke Park were not shot by the police--they were trampled in the panic that followed after the police opened fire. This makes the more general description "caused their deaths" accurate.

On the other hand, the article uses the passive voice throughout--especially in the section on the morning's assassinations. It's never "X killed Y"--it's always "Y was killed by X," or usually just "Y was killed," with no mention of the person responsible. Only in this one instance are editors insisting on the active voice, and with definitely assigning blame.

In my opinion, this insistence on having the police killing spectators, while the IRA's victims are merely killed by some mysterious unmentioned agency, constitutes the use of weasel words, and compromises the neutrality of the article.--Cliodule (talk) 14:01, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

No in this case killed is correct, the alternative to killed is murdered. They opened fire on unarmed people. --Domer48 (talk) 19:09, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with Killed it is neutral.--Padraig (talk) 19:45, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I think the point Cliodule is making concerns voice - passive vs. active. Victims of the IRA: victims are killed by the IRA; whereas victims of the police: the police killed the victims. It makes it seem as if the actions of the police are worse than those of the IRA, which removes neutrality (the actions of both sides are just as reprehensible as life was taken without real purpose). There is a reason your professors always told you to use the active voice; the passive voice makes it seem as if something just happened (I always have this image of spontaneous combustion when I think of the passive voice). This article needs to be fixed to return neutrality. Lizconno (talk) 03:51, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes. For the record, this is exactly what I meant. But since my complaint seems to have hit a brick wall of incomprehension and hostility, I'm just not willing to fight with people over this. I've already had to fight one ridiculous edit war, over the use of the term "enlisted men" in my article on the Auxiliaries, and, rather like the French in 1940, I don't have the stomach for a second. I'd much rather pursue a policy of appeasement in this case.--Cliodule (talk) 17:34, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

"Lives were taken without real purpose??" I'm not sure what you mean. These killings, whether you think they were callous murders or legitimate targets in a legitimate war, certainly proved very valuable in the IRA's efforts to paralyze British intelligence and give themselves some breathing room. And for the British, their shooting into the crowds was an expression to the outrage and helplessness they felt although it certainly was counterproductive to say the least. Overall a good article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

How about a compromise and call it murder? (talk) 18:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Reason for Croke Park[edit]

I've added a UCC web page to explain why Croke Park was chosen; the longstanding link between the GAA and nationalism (of all shades, moderate and extreme). (talk) 10:52, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Good sources but a more direct ref should be applied - preferably with quote. RashersTierney (talk) 11:02, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree with RashersTierney. The reference provided doesn't mention Bloody Sunday or Croke park. As such, it is a self realised conclusion to state a direct link/relationship between the GAAs association with nationalism, and the Croke park attack. If another verifiable and reliable published source is available that supports this conclusion, then you can consider re-adding. Without it however, the assertion fails WP:SYNTH. Guliolopez (talk) 11:46, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't help a reader who knows little about the background. If you needed a "verifiable and reliable published source" then half the article should be removed? I am new to Wikipedia. Would it be better to say that the reason for focussing the assault on Croke Park is unknown? (talk) 08:07, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
A ref from this page at Sport, sectarianism and society in a divided Ireland by John Sugden & Alan Bairner should contain sufficient material to fulfill requirements. RashersTierney (talk) 22:22, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Added this essay, a recent speech of September 2010 by Dr William Murphy showing mixed GAA support for the IRA across the country, but a bit more in Dublin. (talk) 12:33, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Conor Clune[edit]

The lead currently states, "That evening, three IRA prisoners in Dublin Castle..." but there seems to be a lot of doubt whether Conor Clune was a member of the organisation. Might we be better with simply "three prisoners"? Nick Cooper (talk) 13:27, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Or 'three IRA suspects' ? RashersTierney (talk) 13:43, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Done. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:16, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Killing of Dick McKee, Peadar Clancy and Conor Clune[edit]

Since there have been attempts by both an IP and an account to remove the term "allegedly" (and even the fact the men were beaten!) regarding their killing..

Virtually every source I have read on the subject makes it clear there are two versions of how they died. One is the Republican view that they were summarily executed, and the other is the British view that they were shot while trying to escape. Virtually every source presents both those as an allegation and does not tend to favour either, with the exception of one that hypothesises that as the men were safely imprisoned in Dublin Castle there would have been no need for a quick summary execution when they could have been tortured for much longer to extract information. As such it is completely and totally unacceptable for this article to claim that they were shot while trying to escape, and not present it as an allegation. O Fenian (talk) 15:30, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Croke Park. Why?[edit]

Just an observation, but this article doesn't realy explain why the British authorities went to Croke Park in the first place. Clearly they did not just randomly decide to go there and kill people.

Between the lines one can imagine that perhaps they did so because intelligence suggested that a virtual 'army' was gathering there, and that in view of the events earlier in the day that they were (mistakenly) very fearful that they might be fired on by numerous armed people there.

Reading the article, and the discussion, my sense is that this is still such an emotive subject that it makes it difficult for many to be wholly objective about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:05, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

World opinion please[edit]

FYI, doing the 1920 Akron Pros season I was researching 1920 newspapers, one in the small city of Youngstown, Ohio, the Youngstown Vindicator and it's all of the papers on page 1 and beyond. The words America or United States are not listed in this article. (talk) 08:32, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

What are you talking about? ---RepublicanJacobiteTheFortyFive 18:45, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Incomprehensible sentence[edit]

In the paragraph Background: "The events on the morning of 23 June 1999 were an effort by the IRA in China, under Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy to wipe out the British intelligence organisation in the city."

Both the date and the place seem wrong and "the events" is too vague. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Resolved. The 'errors' were introduced with this series of disruptive edits, now corrected. RashersTierney (talk) 19:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

"Picture" of the Cairo Gang[edit]

In his book "Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War: Britain's Counterinsurgency," J.B.E. Hittle disputes whether this picture is actually the Cairo Gang. He writes that it "probably depicts a different group of British operatives. None of the men in the group photo closely resembles any of the DDSB officers assassinated on Bloody Sunday and whose pictures appeared in the December 4, 1920 pages of the Illustrated London News." He however acknowledges the possibility that they were under IRA attention, as the photo had been found among the papers of an IRA associate, and the numbers seemed to indicate references in some file. Frank Lynch (talk) 02:44, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

It is something of a contradiction that the Cairo Gang page specifically disputes the attribution of the photograph, and says that it is probably rather the subsequent Igoe Gang. Nick Cooper (talk) 09:27, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
The photograph should be removed from this article because it definitely does not depict members of the Cairo Gang. ( (talk) 10:56, 24 December 2013 (UTC))


I have removed the photograph because it was certainly not of the Cairo gang or the Igoe gang. There are many discussions about this on the Internet. As the photograph does not show anyone who was killed on Bloody Sunday in 1920 it should not be included in this article. There is no way that undercover agents would have ever posed for a photograph, and certainly not together. ( (talk) 14:58, 27 December 2013 (UTC))

So let's wait the debate to end before we make any rash changes in the article, shall we? Coltsfan (talk) 17:22, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
This discussion on the real identity of the men in the photograph was very interesting: ( (talk) 18:15, 27 December 2013 (UTC))

So, it's really open for debate. We can't say who they are for sure, but the men on the pic are definitely irish collaborators, no doubt. The description of the photo already say's that they are not Cairo gang. This can be a long debate but for now lets keep the status quo of the page. Coltsfan (talk) 19:21, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

While the men photographed were certainly involved in trying to restore law and order in the south of Ireland, they were definitely not the Cairo Gang, and probably not the Igoe Gang either. There is no way undercover agents would have been photographed together, nor would they have wished to do so (due to the risk of assassination by the IRA). It seems pointless having the picture in the article when it does not directly relate to the subject matter. ( (talk) 15:46, 28 December 2013 (UTC))
But it is related to the subject. It's the only pic we have of irish collaborators. They probably played a similar role to the Cairo Gang, in some way. It's the closest thing we got. It's related. Even if indirectly, it's related. It is still better than nothing. Coltsfan (talk) 17:35, 28 December 2013 (UTC)


Two categories in this article I feel need quantified:

Whilst I would be inclined to agree that they were crimes, where is the evidence that they are considered crimes, especially "war" crimes? Without further justification I will be removing the war crimes category on the grounds of WP:POV/WP:OR. Mabuska (talk) 10:00, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Also this category Category:Massacres committed by the United Kingdom is so badly named. A more appropriate naming would be Category:Massacres committed by British forces seeing as the current one implies Government sanction. Mabuska (talk) 10:01, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Exactly what part of the events of the day do you regard as being in line with British law? Gob Lofa (talk) 10:01, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Your asking me for my personal opinion and speculation. I am asking you for reliable and verifiable third party sources to prove your claims. I have not seen mention anywhere in academic works that Bloody Sunday was a war crime or criminal act. Prove me wrong by supplying neutral, reliable and verifiable, 3rd party sources. If not cease and desist. Mabuska (talk) 11:36, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
It was you who introduced me to Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue; how would anyone contend that killing civil servants in their beds is legal? Gob Lofa (talk) 11:53, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
For something like a 'war crime' you need a clear third party source which supports it. If it is as obvious as you say then a third party source will have said it ----Snowded TALK 18:15, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue does not give carte blanche to insert your own personal opinion especially when it is something that it highly contentious and really does need sourcing. Mabuska (talk) 19:18, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I didn't add war crimes, I added crimes. Is it really highly contentious to describe paramilitary assassination of civil servants as crime? Gob Lofa (talk) 22:00, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
FIND A SOURCE, otherwise please stop wasting our time ----Snowded TALK 22:08, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Surely Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue applies here; how could it not? So please stop wasting my time. Gob Lofa (talk) 22:27, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sky is blue works when all other editors agree, this is not the case so no it does not apply. Your constant OR and synthesis wastes many a good editors time on Wikipedia. Mabuska (talk) 10:33, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

It's interesting you say that, because I seem to recall you arguing that it should be applied despite Snappy's insistent disagreement. What's changed? Can you give examples of this supposed OR and synthesis? Gob Lofa (talk) 10:53, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
This very discussion. Mabuska (talk) 16:50, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
If that's the best you can do, good luck. I asked you what's changed. Gob Lofa (talk) 04:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

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