The Chairperson of the Bloody Sunday Trust, Conal McFeely, has announced he is stepping aside from the organisation, after 18 years as a trustee.
Mr McFeely said he felt the timing was right following the recent £2.2m funding allocation, which will secure the redevelopment of the Museum of Free Derry.
The highlight of Mr McFeely’s tenure was when he was given the responsibility to co-ordinate the public events in Derry surrounding the publication of the Bloody Sunday Report on June 15, 2010.
Mr McFeely said: “I have been very privileged to be associated with the Bloody Sunday Trust (BST) over the past eighteen years.
“For me there have been many ups and downs during my time with the BST but 15 June 2010 was a day one will never forget - it was a good day for the truth, a good day for families, a good day for Derry, a good day for people power.
“After 38 years - the Saville Tribunal despite its shortcomings and failings regarding my friend Gerald Donaghy - finally unearthed the truth and removed the appalling injustice of the Widgery Report from the annals of British justice.”
The Bloody Sunday Trust was established in 1996 as a social enterprise to create a legacy project (The Museum of Free Derry) and a major regeneration initiative for renewal and revival of the local community. This was carried out in tandem with the campaign for truth and justice for the families.
Mr McFeely said the Trust had endured as a powerful example “of community engagement and local ownership”.
“It would be remiss of me not to thank all those who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the BST in helping the trust achieve its objectives,” he said.
“There have been so many people involved over the years, it is impossible to name them all. I would, however, like to pay special mention to: the former chairperson Eamonn McCann, Tony Doherty, John Kelly, Julieann Campbell, Michael McKinney, Jean Hegarty and Adrian Kerr, the current and previous trustees of the BST, the families of those killed and injured on Bloody Sunday, and the people of Derry who have continued to support the Trust through thick and thin.”
Since its foundation, the BST has worked hard to set up and establish the Museum of Free Derry (MoFD) and to safeguard the legacy of Bloody Sunday and the Civil Rights period in a way that is sensitive and consistent with the experiences of all those most directly affected by the events of Bloody Sunday.
Mr McFeely added: “A key component of any successful social enterprise is the process of succession planning. This allows for new members to come forward, with new skills and experiences to meet the challenges that will be encountered in the next phase in the work of BST.
“Finally I wish BST continued success in the years ahead it has been a great honour and privilege to part of your journey over the past 18 years. Go raibh maith agaibh uilig.”