09 Aug 2022

Museum of Free Derry: The Battle of the Bogside – 50 Years On

Battle of the Bogside (Barney McMonagle)
The unique spirit of Free Derry is celebrated this month in a series of powerful exhibitions, talks, film screenings and events spanning the 50 th anniversary of the Battle of the Bogside. This week, the award-winning Museum of Free Derry attracted huge crowds to the launch of their Free Derry Lives exhibition at the Guildhall. Powerful, gripping and at times humorous, these stories help capture the essence and spirit of Derry folk who didn’t make headlines or history books.  The exhibition will now move to Pilot’s Row and remains open to nominations. Tonight, Thursday 8 August, we host a panel discussion at the Guildhall from 7pm entitled, ‘Battle of the Bogside: Connections’. US civil rights veterans Sandra and Charles Simmons will join director Sean Murray from Belfast and Paddy Bogside’s son, Hugh, to explore the significance of August 1969 and its place among the international struggles of the time. Hosted by Irish News’ reporter and lecturer, Seamus McKinney. Admission free. Thursday 8 August will also see the unveiling of an on-street exhibition along the fence of Pilot’s Row and documenting the 1969 battle in stunning photographs, curated by the museum. On Friday 9 August from 1pm-3pm, staff from the Pat Finucane Centre will take visitors on a virtual tour through secret British government archives at the museum in Glenfada Park, and later that night at 7pm, producer Anne Crilly and writer Micheal Kerrigan offer a script-in-hand reading of their new play ‘200 Yards’ at the museum, inspired by Micheal’s youth in the Bogside. Both are free admission As Derry’s battle subsided in August 1969, the conflict claimed its first child victim in Belfast - nine-year-old Patrick Rooney, who was shot and killed by RUC machine gun fire through the walls of his Divis Flat home. This Sunday 11 August, his brother Conn shares their story in, ‘Patrick Rooney: Lost Childhood’  at 7pm in the museum, hosted by Irish Times Northern Ireland Correspondent, Freya McClements. Admission free. Not to be missed. Full Programme – Battle of the Bogside 50th From Thursday 1 August Event: Lost Childhood? Photographic Exhibition Venue: Museum of Free Derry Using recently emerged photographs taken by French photographer Gerard Harlay in April and May 1972, this display highlights the experiences of children during the early years of the conflict. Monday 5 – Thursday 8 August Event: Free Derry Lives Venue: Main Hall, Guildhall, 9am-8pm The launch our latest initiative, Free Derry Lives, will take place in the Guildhall’s main hall, where visitors can walk among silhouettes of the past and see and hear various stories of people, places and incidents unique to Free Derry and the civil rights era of 1968-1972. After its launch, Free Derry Lives moves to Pilot’s Row and honours the contribution of those who didn’t always make the history books or the headline with a permanent, evolving installation in the museum. From Thursday 8 August Event: Battle of The Bogside – On-Street Exhibition Venue: Rossville Street, Bogside Curated by the Museum of Free Derry, this exhibition tells the story of the defence of the Bogside in August 1969 through a selection of stunning photographs taken during those few days. The exhibition will be sited on the fence at Pilots Row, in the area where the battle took place. Opens from 8 August. Thursday 8 August Event: Battle of the Bogside - Connections Venue: Main Hall, Guildhall, 7pm Join us as a panel of guests explore the significance of Battle of the Bogside, and its place among the international civil rights struggles of the time. Paddy Bogside’s son, Hugh Doherty, Belfast director Sean Murray and Detroit civil rights veterans, Charles / Sandra Simmons, will recall the events of 1969 and their importance both then and today. Hosted by Irish News’ Seamus McKinney. Admission free. (PFC EVENT) Friday 9 August Event: A virtual journey through the secret British government archives Venue: Museum of Free Derry, 1pm – 3pm Pat Finucane Centre staff will provide a, at times light-hearted, at times deadly serious guide to the thousands of declassified British government archives accessed by the centre over the years.   Friday 9 August Event: 200 Yards (Script in Hand Reading) Venue: Museum of Free Derry, 7pm Join us for a 'Script in Hand' Reading of the new play 200 Yards by Micheal Kerrigan and produced by Anne Crilly, inspired by Micheal’s experiences growing up in the Bogside during tumultuous years. Sunday 11 August Event: Patrick Rooney: Lost Childhood Venue: Museum of Free Derry, 7pm As British troops arrived in Derry, Belfast was in embers and the conflict claimed its first child victim. Nine-year-old Patrick Rooney was shot and killed by machine gun fire from an RUC armoured car – the bullets penetrating the walls of his Divis Flat home. Fifty years after Patrick’s death, his brother Con shares their story with Derry audiences. Hosted by Irish Times Northern Ireland Correspondent, Freya McClements. Admission free. Monday 12 August 2019 Event: Reflections of a former member of the ABOD Venue: Museum of Free Derry, 12.30pm The latest in our ‘In Conversation’ series, Terry Wright, former Ulster Unionist Party Chair in Derry and former Apprentice Boy discusses the impact and legacy of the Battle of the Bogside. Admission free. Tuesday 13 August 2019 Event: Book Launch – Clive Limpkin’s Battle of Bogside 50th Edition Venue: Museum of Free Derry, 7pm The Museum of Free Derry and Guildhall Press are delighted to announce the re-publication of Clive Limpkin’s iconic book The Battle of Bogside, featuring many newly discovered images. The publication marks 50 years since his arrival in Derry in August 1969, in time to photograph the momentous events of that month. Join us as Clive Limpkin returns to the city and shares his experiences of documenting the conflict. Admission free. All welcome.   (PFC EVENT) Wednesday 14 August Event: ‘In Their Footsteps’ exhibition Venue: Rossville Street, Bogside, 1pm – 4pm (weather permitting) Exhibition of shoes representing victims and survivors of the conflict.   Wednesday 14 August Event: Film Screening – Battle of the Bogside Venue: Museum of Free Derry, 7pm A screening of Vinny Cunningham’s acclaimed 2004 film, Battle of the Bogside, written by John Peto and featuring many local people who played a part in these historic events. Admission free.   Friday 16 August 2019 Event: Damien Dempsey Venue: Sandinos, Foyle Street Museum of Free Derry presents one of Ireland’s finest musicians, Damien Dempsey, for a unique Derry performance marking 50 years since the Battle of the Bogside. Tickets available from Cool Discs, Foyle Street.   CAPTION: Battle of the Bogside Picture from The Museum of Free Derry courtesy of Barney McMonagle.

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