Derry unites in song at ‘One City, One Voice’ event

Over 1,000 people gathered in Guildhall Square to express their hopes for a peaceful future through song in the wake of the killing of Lyra McGee.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 11:03 am
Sara Canning was among those who attended the event in Derry. (Photo by Gerry Temple)

The ‘One City, One Voice’ Sing for Peace cross-community event was attended by Pat Hume, musicians, politicians, clergy and members of the public who had gathered to lift their voices in unison for a series of stirring anthemic songs such as ‘We Shall Overcome’, ‘Give Peace A Chance’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ and ‘Jealous of the Angels’.

One of the organisers Dr. Nicola Herron and popular local singer, Conor McGinty, were among those to perform, the latter debuting his powerful new youth anthem ‘Moving On (No Going Back)’. The song, recorded with Eamon Karran, was inspired by peace pledges written by school pupils from N.I. and the border counties.

A few scattered showers failed to deter those gathered, which included Sara Canning, the partner of the late Lyra McKee, in addition to relatives and friends.

Reverend Dr. David Latimer said the event “enabled a hurting city to further express its sympathy to Lyra McKee’s family and her partner, Sara, who was in the crowd and to hope and pray for a bright brand new day.”

At the end of the event, men, women and children gathered inside the Guildhall where they queued to sign their names on rolls of wallpaper calling for peace across five long tables.

Reverend David Latimer’s letter, entitled ‘A Plea to Party Leaders’, is designed to strengthen the heartfelt cry from the citizens of the city to politicians to put peoples’ priorities before party preferences.

“We must lean towards the whispers of our hearts and do what we each know we need to do to bring about change and make a difference. The better nature of our city will yet prevail,” he said.

The letter can be signed every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at First Derry Presbyterian Church, from 11am to 4pm.