The Bogside bonfire was set ablaze on Sunday night. It has long been put about that the occasion for the Derry bonfire is the feast of the Assumption (which newspapers and radio stations have repeated, e.g. BBC | RTÉ | Irish Independent). This is an attempt to provide some cover for the “dissident” republican nature of the event, as evidenced by the King Billy, UDA, UVF, RUC and Star Of David flags on the bonfire, shown above. The triggering event is rather the introduction of internment on August 9th, 1971. (Sunday was also the same day as the ‘Fire In The Sky’ fireworks to mark the end of Féile (Derry Journal). The local féilte in Belfast – which in time became Féile An Phobail – were introduced as alternatives to the rioting that traditionally took place to protest the introduction of internment; the origins of Derry’s Gasyard Féile, which began much later (1993) but takes place in the same August weeks, are unclear – please comment if you know.)
Before it was lit the banner in the lower left of the image above – “Ronann [sic] Kerr first, Lee Anderson your [sic] next” – was removed; the other flags and banners remained (BBC). The banner had drawn criticism as Kerr, a Catholic PSNI officer, was killed by a car bomb just north of Omagh in 2011 (BBC | BelTel).
William Glasgow – see the image below – was the British Army soldier who shot and killed 15-year old Manus Deery in 1972 near the spot of the bonfire. His killing was ruled “unjustified” in 2017 (Irish Times); Glasgow died in 2001 (BBC). There are two plaques to Deery’s memory and he is included in the mural The Runner.
Click and click again to enlarge (to 1200 x 800)
Copyright © 2021 Andy McDonagh/Eclipso Pictures (ig | Fb)
Camera Settings: f8, 1/125, ISO 400, full size 5184 x 3456
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