The posters, measuring about 8 by 11 inches, were replaced later in the week with almost identical ones that instead read “London Calling.”
An Antrim woman, Grainne Close, first spotted the posters on her way to work near the bar on Second Avenue, which is called simply The Bar.
She went inside and complained to the bar staff that the poster was offensive to Irish people, because of the association of the Union Jack with Bloody Sunday, the day in January 1972 when 14 unarmed Catholic civil rights marchers were shot dead by British soldiers in Derry.
“I found it offensive, knowing what Bloody Sunday was, and also knowing people who were affected directly by Bloody Sunday,” she said. “I went in and asked them did they realize what they were doing, and did they know what happened on Bloody Sunday. I’m shocked about it.”
The bar’s staff said that they were unaware of the significance of the term Bloody Sunday. After several more complaints the bar manager, who gave his first name as Alfio, agreed to take the posters down and said that he was sorry that the staff and person who designed the poster were unaware of the events in Derry on Jan. 30, 1972.
The issue is particularly sensitive as the film “Bloody Sunday” debuted in New York last week.
The movie, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt, won the coveted Hitchcock d’Or prize at a French film festival last weekend. It also won the Golden Bear in Berlin and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Its showing at the New York Film Festival last weekend sold out.
After the altered posters replaced the ones with the words “Bloody Sundays,” barman Alfio said that the designer of the posters has been attempting to contact Close and others to apologize for the poster’s lack of tact.