Major new Civil Rights project

Marchers on January 30th, 1972, the day that would become known as Bloody Sunday.
Marchers on January 30th, 1972, the day that would become known as Bloody Sunday.

A major new project focusing on Civil Rights, Trade Union Movements and the Troubles is to be launched at Tower Museum in Derry.

The project will hone in on Derry’s reputation as the cradle of Civil Rights over the past century. It will include a digital archive of images collected over the past 40 years, relating to the Troubles in the north.

The ‘Speeches, Strikes and Struggles’, project will launch at the Tower on Wednesday, June 14. Key speaker will be Emmet O’Connor, a leading expert in history from Ulster University. He will provide an overview of the significant events that have occurred in the past relating to the project.

Mayor Hilary McClintrock said: “This event is free and is a great opportunity for visitors and residents to learn about how the Speeches, Strikes and Struggles project will engage with local communities and schools. These unique archive and museum collections will encourage learning, dialogue and debate around the significant movements and events that have influenced the recent history of our city.”

She added that collections such as the Bridget Bond collection, containing items that relate to the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) movement within Derry and Northern Ireland and archive material from the Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) and other civil rights related matters will be opened up to the public.

The Mayor added: “Also within the project is the Gerry Lynch Collection, which refers to the trade union and labour movements of the city and the Peter Moloney Collection that deals with the history of significant events in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, spanning over 100 years with a particular focus on the decades from the 1970s to the present day. There are 40,000 catalogued items within the Peter Moloney collection including posters, postcards, journals, badges and digital images of murals and parades.”

Margaret Edwards, Museums and Visitor Services Manager at Derry & Strabane Council, said: “Thanks to funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, Derry City and Strabane District Council has been able to recruit a learning engagement officer who will work exclusively on the project with the purpose of engaging with the community. I would encourage everyone to come along to the launch and get involved with the project.”

Anyone interested in attending the launch is asked to RSVP to tower.reception@derrystrabane.com or telephone 028 7137 2411, as spaces will be limited.