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Blue Plaque programme to be launched at Tower Museum

25 April 2017

A five year ‘Blue Plaque’ programme for the city and district will be launched at the Tower Museum on Thursday 27th April by the Ulster History Circle and Derry City and Strabane District Council following the unanimous approval of the project by Council’s Business and Culture committee members.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock said, “I would like to commend the Ulster History Circle for bringing this proposal to Council. It is very important that we remember and commemorate those in our community who have made a positive contribution to our Council area. By installing these plaques in our public spaces, these six individuals, who have contributed significantly to our history and culture, can be recognised in a truly fitting way.”

Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle speaking ahead of the launch said, “The Ulster History Circle is delighted to enter into a five-year partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, which will fund an annual blue plaque to people of achievement associated with the council district. We are extremely grateful to the Council for providing this funding, which represents a significant joint venture for both bodies.

“The five plaques will honour a renowned WWI poet, the founding mother and a founding father of the Féis Dhoíre Cholmcílle and the Londonderry Feis, a pioneering astronomer and mathematician, and a teacher and composer. The Ulster History Circle has ensured that the spread of the plaques is across the whole council district, and we are particularly pleased that of these five persons of achievement, three are women.”        

Councillors agreed at the Council meeting to support a proposed five year programme plan for the erection of Blue Plaques by the Ulster History Circle in the Derry Strabane District Council area.

A total of six candidates were presented for special recognition including; Francis Ledwidge (1887 - 1917) an Irish poet and soldier, killed in 1917 at Boezibnge in Belgium. Ledwidge was stationed for six months during 1916 in Ebrington Barracks with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Annie Russell Maunder (1868 - 1947), an Irish astronomer and mathematician, born in Strabane; Mrs E.H. O'Doherty, founder of the Féis Dhoíre Cholmcílle in the city; Brigadier General Ambrose Ricardo (1866 - 1923), who held a distinguished war record and cofounded the Londonderry Féis; Dorothy Parke (1904 - 1990), a teacher and composer whose pieces are still performed at the Féis, her collection of songs, 'By Winding Roads' remains popular in many primary schools, she was born on Dunfield Road, Londonderry. The Ulster History Circle also gained approval to unveil a plaque at the Tower Museum to Mabel Remington Colhoun (1905 - 1992), Archaeologist, historian and educationalist.

Roisin Doherty, Curator at the Tower Museum and Derry City and Strabane District Council said "Everyone is welcome to attend the launch on Thursday 27th April at the Tower Museum. We are delighted with the partnership with the Ulster History Circle and the five year programme to recognise the lifetime contributions that these local individuals have made in their respective fields and also to local history and heritage."

The official launch of the blue plaques will take place on Thursday 27th April at the Tower Museum at 12.00pm. For further details on the Blue Plaque programme within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area visit www.derrystrabane.com.