Northern Ireland news

Civil Rights to be remembered at AOH parade

Organisers of the Tyrone Hibernian Day parade including local president Gerry McGeough (top right)
Connla Young

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement when members gather in Co Tyrone this weekend.

Hibernians from across the north are expected to attend the annual Tyrone Hibernian Day parade in Coalisland on Sunday.

This year's event will focus on the emergence of the civil rights movement in 1968 and the 100th anniversary of the anti-conscription campaign of 1918, when nationalists resisted attempts to force them to serve in the British army during World War One.

A special presentation will also be made to civil rights veteran Patsy Gildernew.

In 1968 he along with former SDLP member Austin Curry and Joe Campbell, took part in a ‘sit in' at a house in Caledon which had been allocated to a single Protestant woman.

President of the Tyrone Hibernians Gerry McGeough said "both of these events marked pivotal phases in the course of Irish history”.

“The AOH asked why should Irishmen die in the mud and the blood of Flanders just to prop up a crumbling British Empire and protect the financial interests of the City of London?”

He also praised Mr Gildernew.

"Patsy's first hand account of this momentous episode has rarely been heard and we hope that our recognition of his crucial involvement will help to establish historical accuracy,” he said.

President of the South Carolina AOH, James Lawracy, will lead the parade through Coalisland, which begins on the Stewartstown Road a 3pm.

A collection will be held for the Air Ambulance during the parade.

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