BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 24 March, 2000, 12:54 GMT
Bloody Sunday's 'forgotten victims'
Bloody Sunday memorial
The Bloody Sunday memorial in Londonderry
By BBC News Online's Katherine Sellgren

Fourteen people died as a result of the shootings in Londonderry on 30 January 1972.

Thirteen were shot dead by British paratroopers. Another man died later in hospital from a brain tumour, believed to have been brought on by his injuries.

But what is less well remembered by the media, the authorities and the public is that 14 others were shot that day.

Three of them have since died.

But as the survivors prepare to testify before the Saville inquiry, some say that 28 years of suffering has been made greater because they feel forgotten.

Living hell

Mickey Bradley was 22 when he was shot in both arms and the lower chest.

He now has limited use of his right arm and hand after the nerves were shattered.
Mickey Bradley
Mickey Bradley: "Still traumatised"
He says the events of Bloody Sunday have never left him and have dictated the course of his life.

"I live, eat and sleep Bloody Sunday. It never goes away."

The strain of the events in 1972 have put immense pressure on his personal life.

A married man expecting his first child when he was shot, his first marriage later broke down.

He says his second marriage is under strain.

"I'm putting her under stress, I know I am, but I can't help it. It's all the stress and the pressure.

"Our wives are living a mental torture. She's the one who's there when I wake up in the night punching the pillow with all the anger coming out, shouting 'Why, Lord, why?'"
Mickey Bradley's wounds
A bullet severed the nerves in Mickey Bradley's arm
Mickey Bradley says that giving evidence to the Saville inquiry will be a traumatic experience he, as "a living victim", will not be spared.

"You can't dig up the dead. We're the people who are going to get insulted by this inquiry.

"We're the ones who're going to talk for the dead.

"There weren't 14 people shot that day - there were 28."

Not shot, but wounded

Apart from the shootings, there were other injuries on Bloody Sunday.

Alana Burke, who was 18, joined the march halfway through, "to see what fellas would be there".

When violence broke out, she tried to run away but was in collision with an army personnel carrier.
Alana Burke
Alana Burke: Living with her injuries
She was taken to hospital with crushed vertebrae.

"My solicitor gave me my file the other day and I went through it page by page and I was just in tears.

"I only fully realised then that I had been in an ambulance with two dead bodies.

"And the smell of blood - I can still smell the blood in my nostrils."

Alana, now 46, has had one child, but childbirth was complicated because of the damage to her womb.

I was in an ambulance with two dead bodies. I can still smell the blood in my nostrils

Alana Burke
She eventually had to have a hysterectomy and she and her husband adopted their second child.

Like Mickey Bradley, she says the trauma has affected her marriage.

"You try to talk about it, but you can't and you end up taking it out on all those close to you."

Power of the living

The living wounded may feel overlooked by the public, by the media and by the Widgery inquiry, but Alana Burke believes they will play a crucial role in the Saville inquiry.

"The wounded are overlooked, but that is our gem. They don't know what we're going to say.

"There's enough of us left to make a mark and the truth is going to come out, if we've got anything to do with it."

See also:

13 Mar 00 | Northern Ireland
'Shoot rioters' claim in Bloody Sunday memo
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories