Credit: The Telegraph

WATCH: Heaney’s searing poem about Bloody Sunday 

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot in Derry by soldiers of the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the British Army.  

Thirteen men, seven of whom are teenagers, would die immediately or soon after, while the death of another man four and a half months later is attributed to the injuries he received on that day.

Today many are sharing the searing, harrowing poem ‘The Road to Derry’  by Séamus Heaney about the killings by the British Army which shocked the nation.


The video interpretation was shot by Raw Nerve Films for Derry City Council.

Journalist Seán de Naipir said that “In 1972 Seamus Heaney drove from his home in Belfast to Derry on the day of the funerals of those murdered on #BloodySunday. The late Luke Kelly of the Dubliners later asked Heaney to write him a song about his feelings on the journey. Heaney wrote ‘The Road to Derry;.”

The Road to Derry by Séamus Heaney

Along Glenshane and Foreglen
and the cold woods of Hillhead:
A wet wind in the hedges and a dark cloud on the mountain
And flags like black frost
mourning that the thirteen men were dead
The Roe wept at Dungiven and the Foyle cried out to heaven,
Burntollet’s old wound opened and again the Bogside bled;
By Shipquay Gate I shivered and by Lone Moor I enquired
Where I might find the coffins where the thirteen men lay dead.
My heart besieged by anger, my mind a gap of danger.
I walked among their old haunts.
the home ground where they bled;
And in the dirt lay justice like an acorn in the winter
Till its oak would sprout in Derry
where the thirteen men lay dead.

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