Molloy urges people to take part in recreation of Civil Rights movement march
Following a panel discussion on the formation of the Civil Rights movement in Dungannon, Sinn Féin’s MP for Mid Ulster, Francie Molloy, has urged people to get involved in the 50th anniversary.
Speaking after the event, Mr Molloy said:
"It was heartening to see such a turnout of those who were around in the 1960s at our event.
"The first Civil Rights march happened between Coalisland and Dungannon, following the courageous and brave actions of a small group of like-minded individuals, all of whom had different backgrounds.
"We heard the testimony of people like Geraldine Gildernew and Angela McCrystal, both of whom were directly involved in the squatting protests in Caledon and Dungannon respectively. To hear them speak about the living conditions that nationalists were forced to endure at that time, and how this was the catalyst which drove them to take extraordinary measures, is inspiring.
"Civil Rights as a movement was driven by ordinary people, and they achieved an awful lot. When people joined together in peaceful protest, they were attacked on the streets- the violence came to us. We marched for our rights and that meant risking everything, but the foresight shown by a brave few is remarkable.
"Presently, with the deliberate denial of rights, a shortage of affordable housing, and the ongoing issue around constituency boundary proposals, it is clear that there is still a job of work to be done.
"The political situation at the time of the Civil Rights movement included gerrymandered constituencies, which led to systematic discrimination in the allocation of housing, jobs and rights- there can be no return to this. All of us have a responsibility to ensure that there is fair play and equality across the board.
"Join us as we recreate the march from Coalisland to Dungannon, throwing in at 3pm on Saturday 18th August, in the square in Coalisland."