Posted by David Farrell

Innocent Landscapes, Resumed Search, Wilkinstown, June 2010 

Innocent Landscapes, Resumed Search, Wilkinstown, June 2010 

It's difficult to do a minute's silence on a blog, but on a day when the Establishment rolls back on itself after a protracted period maybe a few words will do. There are eerie echoes in the two inventories of names below. The first list of fourteen people is of those killed on the 30th January 1972 now known as 'Bloody Sunday':

  • John Duddy
  • Patrick Doherty
  • Bernard McGuigan
  • Hugh Gilmour
  • Kevin McElhinney
  • Michael Kelly
  • John Young
  • William Nash
  • Michael McDaid
  • James Wray
  • Gerald Donaghy
  • Gerald McKinney
  • William McKinney
  • John Johnston

The second list of fifteen people is the most up to date list of those Disappeared in the Troubles:

  • Seamus Wright
  • Kevin McKee
  • Jean McConville
  • Peter Wilson
  • Eamonn Molloy
  • Columba McVeigh
  • Robert Nairac
  • Brendan Megraw
  • John McClory
  • Brian McKinney
  • Gerard Evans
  • Danny McIlhone
  • Charlie Armstrong
  • Eugene Simons
  • Seamus Ruddy

Unbeknown to most people at the time and subsequently, it came into being in the same year (October 1972) with the disappearance of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee and whose remains are currently being searched for at Wilkinstown. One group of people from one city (Derry), the other group mostly, though not exclusively, from another (Belfast). If you absent Robert Nairac due to the circumstances of his killing, you are left with an equal number of people from the same ‘community’ whose fate is inextricably bound to that one event. Numbers are strange things and this balancing feels slightly odd and prophetic.

Today a big public lie that wounded a city and its people and that created an inevitable, painful and discernible narrative has been expunged. In the meantime, in another place, a memorial card that is being swallowed by the simple growth of nature and yet stubbornly resists its full ingestion is a small reminder of what the ongoing resumed searches mean - an attempt to retrieve from time a small truth and an invisible history.

Report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry ▸

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