King says Derry can be inspiration to world

Several thousand people turned out in Guildhall Square in Derry this evening for the Bright Brand New Day event - and heard Martin Luther King III say that peace-building in Derry and Northern Ireland can have an impact around the globe.

The evening was a triumph for the city and in particular for Presbyterian Minister David Latimer, whose efforts were central to bringing it off.

A section of the large crowd at Guildhall Square for the Bright Brand New Day event.

A section of the large crowd at Guildhall Square for the Bright Brand New Day event.

Mr King said; “Clearly David Latimer is a man with a mission who has taken risks and worked tirelessly for the town he loves so much, so that it can become a better city for everyone.”

On a mainly bright and balmy evening, Guildhall Square proved the perfect location for a memorable occasion, from the opening ‘Shared Voices’ children’s choir to the ceremonial lighting of the peace flame in the nearby urban park. This is just the 15th such peace flame around the world.

The Bright Brand New Day event was hosted by BBC Radio Foyle’s Sarah Brett and ran like clockwork, including performances by Codetta, Best Boy Grip, The Priests, Phil Coulter and others, all featured on a big screen beside the stage.

At the heart of the event was a wide-ranging and at times impassioned speech by the special guest, Martin Luther King III. And he began with a special tribute to John Hume, who was on the platform alongside Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, local MP Mark Durkan, diocesan administrator Fr Frank Bradley, the Mayor Councillor Kevin Campbell, the Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, and others.

Mr King said that John Hume “represents peace for our entire world”. He added; “When you have a giant in your midst, it is always appropriate to say ‘thank you’.”

See extended report and full picture cover in Tuesday’s new look Derry Journal.