The programme for this year’s Bloody Sunday commemoration weekend to mark the 39th anniversary of the massacre has been released.
The weekend of events will include lectures, discussion groups, a quiz, the anniversary Mass, and will culminate with the annual Bloody Sunday march, retracing the route taken by civil rights protesters in 1972.
It will be the first Bloody Sunday commemoration weekend since the publication of the Saville report in June which formally declared that all those murdered by British paratroopers on January 30 1972 were innocent.
A range of speakers from political parties and human rights groups will join legal experts and relatives of those murdered on Bloody Sunday to take part in the events.
The series of commemorative events will begin on Thursday with the launch of the black ribbon campaign at the Museum of Free Derry at 12.30pm. The Bloody Sunday Memorial Shield Quiz will be held in the Crescent Bar, Beechwood Avenue, later that evening at 10pm.
On Friday night a panel discussion focusing on the campaign for justice for the victims of Bloody Sunday will be held in the Guildhall at 7.30pm. Speakers will include; Mitchel McLaughlin, Patricia Coyle, Paul O’Connor, Eamonn McCann, Don Mullan, and Conal McFeely, as well as Bloody Sunday relatives; Gearldine Doherty, John Kelly, and Gerry Duddy.
The discussion will be hosted by Tony Doherty, founder member of the Bloody Sunday initiative, and local commentator and ‘Journal’ columnist Paul McFadden.
On Saturday, campaigners from Ballymurphy will join Bloody Sunday relatives and members of Relatives for Justice at a discussion at the Gasyard Centre at 11.30am. This will be followed by Gerry Adams addressing the Ogra Shinn Féin national conference at the same venue.
Economic matters and public service cuts will be discussed at the Lecky Road venue at 2.30pm and speakers will include SDLP MLA Pól O Callaghan, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty, economist, Michael Gallagher, and Roy Garland.
An Irish language panel discussion on the implications of the Saville report will be held in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin from 2-4pm, followed by a presentation from the Pat Finucane Centre on how weapons which went missing from security force bases were used in murders at 4.30pm.
The annual anniversary Mass will be held in St Mary’s Church, Creggan, at 6.30pm on Saturday. followed by a discussion on the Saville report chaired by Paul O’Connor from the Pat Finucane Centre.
On Sunday, wreaths will be laid at the Bloody Sunday monument on Rossville Street at 11am, followed by the last commemoration march from Creggan to the Bogside beginning at 2.30pm. Platform speakers will include Gerry Adams, Mark Durkan, Gerry Duddy, a Ballymurphy representative, before being brought to a close by renowned singer, Frances Black.