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Bogside mural tribute to John Hume and Ivan Cooper

Derry civil rights leaders John Hume and Ivan Cooper at the unveiling of the mural in the Bogside. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

SDLP founders John Hume and Ivan Cooper came together again for the unveiling of a mural dedicated to the civil rights movement.

Painted by the Bogside artists, the two civil rights leaders have been added to the refurbished artwork, one of seven along Rossville Street in Derry depicting key events in the city's history.

Mr Hume said yesterday he was delighted to see the civil rights mural – which has stood for 20 years – being refreshed.

The Nobel Laureate said: “The civil rights movement in Derry in 1968 had people from all walks of life and all traditions and was totally anti-sectarian and non-violent.”

Mr Cooper, who served as a minister in the short-lived Sunningdale administration in 1974, said it was an honour to be remembered in a mural.

“I have very affectionate memories of the Bogside. I moved here as a 12-year-old boy," he said.

"When I was older John Hume and I spent many hours in the local fish and chip shop talking into the small hours and putting the world to rights."

Vincent Coyle – a son of the late Vinnie Coyle, a leading Bogside civil rights campaigner – said the area’s murals provide an important visual narrative.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said Mr Hume and Mr Cooper were “visionary, non-sectarian democrats”.

"They stood strong for the rights of all people and worked for what would be right for our whole people. This mural is therefore a welcome appreciation of the service, leadership and inspiration both men offered.”

The civil rights mural was refreshed with funding from the Housing Executive.

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