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Leading commentators reflect on Civil Rights 50 years on

08 October 2018

A formidable line up of speakers gathered at the Guildhall over the weekend to take part in a special Festival marking 50 years since the inception of the Civil Rights movement in Derry. The festival was led by the NI Civil Rights Commemoration Committee with support from the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle.

On Saturday President Michael D Higgins received a standing ovation as he delivered the keynote festival address to a packed Main Hall, presenting a special tribute to veteran Civil Rights campaigner Ivan Cooper. Following on from this event, renowned BBC journalist and author Fergal Keane gave the John Hume Civil Rights lecture introduced by Pat Hume.

On Sunday morning a panel of leading human rights figures, including Gareth Pierce, Michael Mansfield QC, Baroness Nuala O’Loan and Lord Alf Dubs took to the stage to discuss ‘The British State, NI and the delivery of Civil and Human Rights: lessons and learnings’, chaired by Denis Bradley.

The festival concluded in the afternoon with reflections on the role of the media in Civil Rights in 1968, with well-known local journalists including Patrick Murphy, Martin Cowley, Deaglan De Breadun, Ben Lowry.

Further images from all the weekend events are available on request.