Students learn about Civil Rights Movement in Derry
Hundreds of local teenagers gathered in Derry yesterday for a special event commemorating the Civil Rights movement.
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Duke Street march of October 5, 1968, which is now heralded by many as the start of the Troubles.
The secondary school pupils took part in workshops with speakers from the academic world and contributions from some of those who were actually on the ground during the original civil rights activism of the late 1960s.
Local academic and historian Dr. Emmet O’Connor explained to the students what the Civil Rights Movement was about.
Representatives from the Nerve Centre, meanwhile, presented curriculum mapped resources from their Teaching Divided Histories Project.
Yesterday afternoon, Dr O’Connor chaired a Question and Answer session with Civil Rights activists who were some of the most prominent figures involved in the movement at the time. On the panel were Eamonn McCann, Aidan McKinney and Anne Devlin, and pupils had the opportunity to put their questions about the civil rights struggle here.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, said the event would give a unique insight into the era.
“To hear the story from some of the protagonists themselves will be fascinating and a unique opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of some of the events which changed the course of history at that time,” he said.
Jim McBride, local historian and teacher on the organising committee for this event, meanwhile said: “The content of the programme has been designed to meet the learning needs of the pupils studying the GCSE History curriculum, local study, Option 2: Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965–98.
“It is a unique opportunity for the students to question people about events 50 years ago,” Mr McBride added.