Twin Derry with Berkeley in California: Ó hEára

Berkeley in California.

Berkeley in California.

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Sinn Féin’s Gearóid Ó hEára has suggested Derry should be twinned with the US city of Berkeley in California.

Mr Ó hEára, the party’s Foyle candidate in this year’s Westminster election, said: “The city of Berkeley is known throughout the world for its promotion of civil rights, its famous university and its arts festivals.

“Derry has so much in common with Berkeley in terms of our history and the organic link between our two cities.

“One of Derry’s most famous and internationally recognisable landmarks, Free Derry Corner, adapted its iconic slogan from the civil rights struggles at Berkeley University in the 1960s.”

He says both cities have also produced many of the figures who became leading figures in our respective civil rights campaigns.

“Both cities have seen their economic fortunes rise and fall over the decades but the commitment to social justice has been constant,” he added.

“Berkeley, like Derry, is also known for its rich cultural history and promotion of the arts.

“I’ve been in contact with a number of prominent residents of Berkeley to explore the possibility of formalising links by twinning Derry and Berkeley.

“They’re supportive of the plan and say there is an appetite for twinning with Derry.

“I’m working with contacts in Berkeley to set up a working group there to further explore the possibility and to work towards making it a reality.”