Bloody Friday - Secret British Army files discovered by Paper Trail

Bloody Friday – New Evidence for Victims and Survivors

The 50th anniversary of Bloody Friday looms next month along with many others.

July 1972 was the most murderous month of the conflict and Bloody Friday one of our most devastating days.

The Irish Republican Army detonated over 20 bombs across the city of Belfast, killing 9 people and injuring 130.

Loyalist and British Army killings bracketed the horror so 21st July 1972 was a Bloody Friday for many families across the community.

Over 90 people were killed in July 1972 and hundreds more injured. All sides were guilty of the carnage and all sides suffered.

Following our discovery of secret British state files covering these terrible weeks, Paper Trail has been busy over the last few years supporting families and campaign groups impacted by the violence.

Paper Trail has also fought for and secured important information from closed files via the Freedom of Information Act (subsequent to prolonged information battles and Public Interest Tests).

These files also covered Bloody Friday and we have been working with a number of victims and survivors of that day.


In the run-up to the 50th anniversary of Bloody Friday, Paper Trail is opening these files to victims and survivors which will save family researchers hundreds of hours of work.

The files include previously unpublished British Army Brigade and Headquarters logs, intelligence summaries, and newspaper articles over the last half-century.

Important information includes timings of warnings and explosions; descriptions of suspects and suspect vehicles; and locations of British armed units.

Even though such military records tend to be prosaic and perfunctory, it is difficult not to discern the stress, panic, and horror as warnings and explosions are reported in real-time.

Victims and Survivors can access these historic bundles after filling in this online monitoring form and marking that you wish to access the Bloody Friday files.

We will then send you access details to Box (cloud storage) where you can read and download the files for your own research. Paper Trail does this manually so please allow a few hours at most to complete your request.


Paper Trail would like to ensure that you are safe to read these public records and that you have support networks in place.

Please exercise caution when reading any information relating to the conflict, especially information relating to you and your family.

Do not hesitate to contact Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) directly if you require support as there are a range of organisations that offer free and independent advice relating to your health and well-being.

VSS Telephone 028 90 279 100 I Lifeline 0808 808 8000
VSS Web Contact


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If you are a victim and survivor of the conflict in Ireland and Britain and have an email >>

3 Steps to Share the New Evidence


Complete the charity's Monitoring Form - your reason for contact: "Bloody Friday Archives" - and leave the details required by our funders.


Set up your own individual FREE account on Box Cloud Storage as this allows you to share and store the files we have stored there for this investigation.


Paper Trail sets you up as an individual User and emails you an invite to Box files. Click on the link, sign into Box, and access the files.


Follow the Paper Trail.

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