July 4, 1999 issue of London’s The Sunday
Telegraph newspaper carried an excellent full page
account of Sheila’s experience when as a 16 year old
student touring Ireland she got caught-up in rioting in the
Bogside during which she took a photograph of children
making petrol bombs which were being used in the fracas.
The article described that event and a trip back 30
years later during which she located and interviewed the
children in the photograph. Sheila is the
daughter of Betty Tinneny of Killahurk, Carrigallen.
was August 12, 1969 and I stood in Rossville
Street, in the Bogside district of Londonderry,
surrounded by a Catholic crowd. Earlier in the day, the Apprentice Boys
had marched through the city, in their annual
comoration of the Siege of 1688. Tension between Catholics and Protestants
was palpable. Trouble was expected.
started with jeers and stone throwing.Within hours, it had escalated into
fierce rioting between Catholics and the RUC.
The Battle of the Bogside had begun,
marking the beginning of 30 years of violence.
stood, transfixed as a line of RUC officers 20
abreast, wielding batons and riot shields, broke
through makeshift barricades and charged
straight into us. A crowd of Loyalists taking advantage of
the breach, followed behind the catholic crowd
scattered in panic.
was not a rioter, I was an English schoolgirl
hitchhiking around Ireland in the summer
holidays with my friends, Pat and Laura. We each had Irish Catholic parents.
They believed Ireland would be a safe
place for our first solo holidays. We had simply fetched up in Londonderry
– the wrong place, the wrong time.
at facing a wall of charging policemen gave way
to panic. We
turned and ran. We scaled a high wall and sought
sanctuary in nearby flats.
was impossible to leave the Bogside that night.
A Catholic family, the Quiggs, kindly put
us up and we left the next morning.
knew little of Iri