Into the void: Marching for hearts and minds

In a follow up to yesterday’s ‘culture wars’ post in Derry, I noted with interest the (mainstream media and citizen journalist) coverage of the 40th anniversary Bloody Sunday ‘march in the city.

The committee of the Bloody Sunday Trust’s announcement last year  that (post-Saville) 2011 would represent the final march, suggested the end of the annual fixture in the city.

However a number of relatives, including Jim Keys left the committee before last year’s announcement. Ten days ago he wrote in the Derry Journal:

“What is suddenly wrong with a march commemorating Bloody Sunday? And particularly when this year’s theme is ‘March for Justice’? Is it not essential that we march given there is as yet not a hint of prosecutions, even for perjury, let alone murder, of any of the 10 soldiers the Saville Report asks us to believe were the only ones responsible for the whole thing?

“And essential too given there’s no ongoing legal or political outcry at its bamboozling conclusions that the nail bombs were not planted on Gerard Donaghy’s body and that there was no high-level conspiracy or cover up. Such conclusions fly in the face of the evidence.”

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Culture wars

Pic by Charlie McMenamin

‘Over 1,000 attended a Uniting Ireland conference in Derry’ will read the Sinn Fein press release after yesterday’s event in the Millennium Forum.

The conference (coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday), comes just days after the Sinn Fein led lobby for bringing the 2013 All Ireland Fleadh to Derry successfully won over the Comhaltas organisers (after much wrangling). The internal unease within the north/south split in Comhaltas in Derry and the reversal of the Ulster council’s initial decision, has somewhat tarnished the campaign to bring the Irish music festival into the six counties for the first time.

The stuttered process has provided oxygen for those unhappy with the UK City of Culture title and those opposed to Sinn Fein and the entire political process, including the Real IRA, who are most likely behind the bomb attacks on the City of Culture office (which brought plenty of negative coverage) and Derry City Council’s tourist HQ just last week.

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