Civil Rights commemorative website launched

by Democrat reporter

VETERANS OF the civil rights struggle in the six counties have launched a 40th anniversary commemorative website.

An event to launch the site was attended by the newly-elected Mayor of Derry, Cllr Gerard Diver and former mayor, Helen Quigley. Past residents of Springtown Camp and several 1960s' activists, including the former MP for Mid-Derry, Ivan Cooper, were also in attendance.

The website, which can be accessed at, includes a video on the early struggle for civil rights and details of the full commemorative programme of events across the north and beyond.

The site also includes obituaries of prominent civil rights figures. These include tributes to the late 'Vinny' Coyle, who was in charge of over 700 march stewards, Cathy Harkin who founded Derry's Women's Aid, the radical author John McGuffin and the late Mary Ellen O'Doherty who died in her 100th year last June, who was often referred to as the 'Mother of the Civil Rights'. Further obituaries and tributes will be added to the site over the coming months.

The local commemoration committee is appealing not only for other obituaries but also personal memories, photographs and other memorabilia of that dramatic era which led to major reforms across the six counties. It is feared that a great deal of historic material may be lost forever if such is not collected and properly recorded during this 40th anniversary year.

The commemoration committee can be contacted on 00 44 (0)28-71-286359 or by e-mail at

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