Northern Ireland news

Former Labour leader to deliver Bloody Sunday lecture

"The Thirtieth of January", a new painting by Robert Ballagh marking the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, has been unveiled at Derry's Guildhall.
Seamus McKinney

JEREMY Corbyn will deliver this year's annual Bloody Sunday lecture, marking the 50th anniversary of the killings.

A full programme of events has been drawn up to mark the milestone anniversary of the British army's killing of 13 anti-internment protesters on January 30 1972. A 14th victim, John Johnston died later from his wounds.

Mr Corbyn served as leader of the British Labour Party and opposition from 2015 until 2020 when he was replaced by Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Corbyn was later suspended from Labour after he said anti-semitism in the party had been exaggerated. He also condemned any anti-semitism in the party. While the suspension was later lifted, the party whip was not restored to Mr Corbyn, denying his admission to the parliamentary party. He continues to sit as an independent MP.

Chairman of the Bloody Sunday Trust Tony Doherty said it was an honour to have Mr Corbyn deliver this year's lecture at Derry's Guildhall on Saturday January 29 (3pm).

While in Derry, Mr Corbyn will also take part in a discussion with former People before Profit MLA, Eamonn McCann on Friday, January 28. He will also visit the city's Rath Mór centre in Creggan and meet local people and residents' groups.

A new painting by renowned Irish artist, Robert Ballagh has also been unveiled to mark the 50th anniversary. One of Ireland's most accomplished artists, Mr Ballagh's new artwork, The Thirtieth of January went on display at Derry's Guildhall on Friday.

Mr Ballagh said many people of his generation were traumatised by Bloody Sunday. Following Bloody Sunday, the artist created 13 drawings in blood and chalk, presenting the 13 victims who were killed on the day.

"As an artist, my response was to create an art work that was controversial and challenging. As the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday approached, I felt impelled to revisit this atrocity. The painting in the Guildhall is the result of that undertaking,” he said.

Mr Ballagh's painting is open to public view from 9am to 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

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