With 2018 marking the 100th Anniversary of Women achieving the right to vote, the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and with equal marriage rights, language rights and abortion rights still key issues across the country, the theme of this year’s Gasyard Wall Féile is 'rights'. Throughout the festival, discussions, debates and film screenings will examine various rights issues on a local, national and international basis. You can view the Féile programme at this link:
Some highlight discussions/talks are outlined below.
What is The Derry Model from a Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist perspective?
Tuesday August 7th at 1.00pm at New Gate Arts Centre, Hawkin Street Derry has addressed many of the difficult issues which remain, unresolved elsewhere in the North. Derry City Council became the first public body to embrace power-sharing in 1973. An agreement was reached on the issue of contentious parades in the city between the Apprentice Boys and the Bogside Residents in 2000. David Cameron made a statement of apology in 2010 for the deaths on Bloody Sunday following a twenty-year campaign by families and friends of those killed and injured. But what does this mean from a PUL perspective ? Hear from our visitors from East Belfast and across Derry. Join us for a lively informed discussion.
Féile Lecture: Fintan O’Toole - The Right to Dignity: Civil Rights and The Legacy of Martin Luther King.
Tuesday August 7th at 7.30pm at Pilots Row, Rossville Street Fintan O’Toole is a columnist with The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg Visiting Lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton. His writings on Brexit have won both the European Press Prize and the Orwell Prize for journalism.
Civil rights to Brexit: Continuing the Fight for Rights
Wednesday August 8th at 7.30pm at The Gasyard Centre, Lecky Road Fifty years ago people took to the streets of Derry and elsewhere to demand their rights in the Civil Rights campaign. Today the fight for rights is as relevant as ever with the Tory Brexit agenda threatening to undermine the rights that many take for granted. As part of this year’s Féile, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson hosts a discussion on rights and Brexit with civil rights activist and author of The Orange State, Michael Farrell .
Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination by Connal Parr
Thursday August 9th at 1.00pm at New Gate Arts Centre, Hawkin Street Connal Parr’s book, is an innovative and original exploration of Ulster Protestantism, focusing on the intersections of theatre, culture and politics and highlighting new perspectives which challenge some of the ideas which often circulate about 20th century Protestant culture.
Civil Rights at 50
Thursday August 9th at 7.30pm at Pilots Row Centre, Rossville Street 2018 marks 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement began and initiated events that would change Ireland forever. Invited panellists include Elisha McCallion, Colum Eastwood, Gary Middleton and Ben Lowry who will discuss the legacy of the civil rights movement, its successes, failures, it’s relevance in 2018 and the importance of rights and equality in 21st century Ireland.
Female Friday Brunch
Friday August 10th at 11am at The Community Marquee at The Gasyard Park Join us for a panel of local female activists who have stood up and challenged injustices and inequalities against women over the years not just within this city but across the world. Listen to their experiences and also their views on relevant issues affecting women today. Have your chance to ask questions or share experiences and views.
Impact of Parachute Regiment in Belfast 1970-73
Friday August 10th at 1pm at Museum of Free Derry The Pat Finucane Centre works with families whose members have been killed, injured, abused or tortured by the Parachute Regiment. They examined these cases with a view to exposing the ‘corporate identity’ and more importantly, the corporate responsibility of the Paras for their litany of abuses. The launch of PFC’s report on this work will contribute to an understanding of the culture, training and mind-set of the Paras which enabled them to operate as they were intended to by the political establishment in London. It is especially timely as we prepare for the new inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre. Followed by Q&A with Micheál Smith (PFC Caseworker), Pádraig O’Muirigh (solicitor) and a member of the Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign.
Language, Resistant and Revival
Friday August 10th at 3pm at Culturlann Ui Chanain, Great James St Dr. Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh discusses the groundbreaking linguistic and educational developments that took place among Republican prisoners in Long Kesh prison from 1972-2000. During a period of often bitter struggle between Republican prisoners and the British state, the Irish language was taught and spoken as a form of resistance during incarceration.