Commemoration of civil rights campaign

The 50th Anniversary of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association is to be marked with an event next Saturday (September 22).

Fittingly it will be held in Brackaghreilly Hall, the focal point of civil rights activity in south Derry during that period.

The evening is being organised by the local branch of the Workers Party and will include contributions from local people involved in the campaign.

Among them will be Marian Donnelly from Maghera, who was secretary of the local branch of NICRA at the time.

Reflecting on events at the time and since, Mrs Donnelly said: “Had the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and other progressive forces been allowed to pursue their legitimate demands, then those who engaged in the bloody and unnecessary carnage inflicted over three decades could never have purloined the issue of civil rights as a pretext to justify their despicable and unjustifiable campaign of terror.

“Thousands of lives were lost as we the opportunity for a united approach to tackling the social injustices of our society.”

She said 50 years on our community is still divided: segregated education and segregated housing are still with us. Low income aCre the nom.

The anniversary evening will include a short video on the formation and history of the Civil Rights movement which has been specially commissioned by the Workers Party in south Derry.

Everyone who was part of the civil rights campaign or who has an interest in it is welcome to come along.

Founding members of the civil rights movement association will be on hand to answer questions about the period.

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