Hundreds gather in Derry to celebrate diversity

Mairead Page and her grandson Oran McChrystal were pictured during the Remove The Label event at Ebrington Square on Saturday. DER4014-179KM
Mairead Page and her grandson Oran McChrystal were pictured during the Remove The Label event at Ebrington Square on Saturday. DER4014-179KM

Hundreds of people gathered in Derry at the weekend for the “Disability Remove the Label Carnival” to celebrate diversity.

Crowds gathered at Ebrington Square on Saturday where a colourful carnival parade made its way across the Peace Bridge to the Guildhall in celebration of diversity.

The event included a number of acts at Ebrington Square followed by entertainment and market stalls at the Guildhall from local disability organisations.

Carey Ann Clarke, from Disability Action, said: “The event has been fantastic in bringing together such a wide range of disability groups, families and carers from the Strabane and Derry area.

“The carnival showed a real strength in the community coming together to put their message across and calling to change one thing. Even though today was about celebration and fun for all, there was very serious message that we were all trying to get across regarding the rights of people with disabilities.”
The line-up of activities included a parachute game, test driving accessible bikes, displays from Disability Sports NI, a circus skills workshop and face painting.

Foyle Disability Resource Centre Players, which is a local group of people with physical and sensory disabilities and people with acquired brain injuries, sang for the crowds.

They were joined by local group, the Tuned In Project, which supports young people with learning disabilities aged 14-20 from the Derry area.

They kicked off the parade with a composition of their own song, “I’ll go”.

The carnival was created after Disability Action’s work on the City of Culture celebrations last year.