Campaigners’ support for Civil Rights march

Minty Thompson, Carol Nic Conmara and Martin McConnellogue pictured with Foyle MP Elisha McCallion ahead of Saturday's Civil Rights March.
Minty Thompson, Carol Nic Conmara and Martin McConnellogue pictured with Foyle MP Elisha McCallion ahead of Saturday's Civil Rights March.

A Derry woman whose mother was shot dead by the British Army has urged people to join the 50th anniversary Civil Rights March planned for Derry this weekend.

Minty Thompson, whose mother Kathleen was shot dead by the British Army in 1971, also criticised the denial of rights to victims of the conflict, ahead of the march, which will assemble at Duke Street at 3 pm this Saturday.

She said: “It is scandalous that some families have been waiting 50 years for the basic right of an inquest into the death of their loved ones. We are talking about fundamental rights to truth and justice which are being blocked for political reasons. This society has been transformed immeasurably over the past 50 years, but that journey won’t be complete until we have full and genuine equality.”

Other local campaigners have also stressed the importance of attending the commemoration march. Gaeilgeoir Carol Nic Conmara from Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin said: “We have rights but we don’t have equality. We don’t have an Acht Gaeilge when such legislation is taken for granted in other parts of these islands as a crucial measure to protect the native language and the rights of those that speak it. That is an inequality that is unacceptable and must be challenged at every opportunity. The people of Derry stood up for what was right in 1968 and I have no doubt they will continue to stand up for what is right in 2018.”

The denial of Marriage Equality is also a totemic issue symbolising discrimination, added Martin McConnellogue, Chair of Unison LGBT and member of Foyle Pride. He said: “The ongoing refusal to implement marriage equality in defiance of the democratic majority and the experience everywhere else on these islands is disgraceful and a potent symbol of the discrimination which the LGBT community still faces.

“Saturday’s march is an opportunity to commemorate a hugely significant event in our history but also to demand an end to all discrimination.”