Launch of ‘50 Years of Free Derry Corner’

The original slogan daubed on the Bogside gable wall.
The original slogan daubed on the Bogside gable wall.

A commemorative event to mark 50 years of Free Derry Corner will take place in the city today.

The Museum of Free Derry is launching a new exhibition celebrating the iconic Bogside landmark.

This will coincide with a panel discussion on the 50th anniversary of the events at Burntollet when a four-days civil rights march from Belfast to Derry was attacked by loyalists and off-duty members of the B Specials.

As rioting erupted across Derry on January 4, 1969, the famous slogan, ‘You Are Now Entering Free Derry,’ was first daubed on a gable wall in the Bogside.

Fifty years to the day since the Burntollet attacks, a panel of experts will discuss what actually happened and its impact on subsequent events.

The panel will comprise Professor Paul Arthur, Chair of the 50th Anniversary Civil Rights Commemoration Committee, Grainne MacCafferty, former Principal of St. Cecilia’s College and Vincent McCormack, co-author of the seminal 1969 book, ‘Burntollet’, which outlines the events of the day and the aftermath.

The event will be chaired by Paul O’Connor, director of the Pat Finucane Centre, who met the march at Burntollet as a young man.

The panel discussion will take place this evening at the Museum of Free Derry at Glenfada Park at 7pm. All welcome. Admission free.

The Free Derry Corner exhibition will also be launched at the event.

Just last week, the Derry man who first painted the slogan on the gable wall at Foxes Corner passed away.

Liam Hillen, originally from the Bogside, died suddenly at his home. He was buried in the city on Tuesday.