US Hibernians hear get a range of perspectives on Derry tour

Martin Galvin.
Martin Galvin.

A delegation of US Hibernians have been visiting Derry on a nine day fact-finding tour of Ireland.

The 35 strong group were led by the Ancient Order of Hibernians US National President Jim McKay and the Ladies’ Ancient Order of Hibernians US National President Carol Sheyer.

AOH Freedom for All Ireland Chair, Martin Galvin, said: “The American AOH is committed to helping achieve Freedom for all Ireland. Members of this delegation from across the US are inspired by those in Derry and across the north who will never give up on getting their right to freedom from British rule and injustice.

“We are in Derry to get a firsthand perspective from a broad range of political leaders, civil rights leaders, justice groups, prominent republicans and cultural figures so we can bring that knowledge back to America and become more effective advocates of Freedom for all Ireland.”

During their tour the group visited the George McBrearty and Mickey Devine murals in Cregganand heard from Bogside Artist Kevin Hasson on the significance of political street art and from former blanketman Tony O’Hara on his brother Patsy O’Hara’s death on hunger strike in 1981.

They also attended a talk by Eamonn McCann on the civil rights movement and were received by the Mayor John Boyle in the Guildhall on Thursday, before visiting the Museum of Free Derry, where they heard from John Kelly of the Bloody Sunday Trust and Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre.