John Hume and Ivan Cooper appear on Derry Bogside mural

  • Published
John Hume Mural
Image caption,
John Hume congratulated the artists on their work

Portraits of civil rights leaders John Hume and Ivan Cooper have been unveiled on a Londonderry mural on Friday.

The new portraits have been added to one of the city's existing Bogside murals, which have been fully restored.

Speaking at the event, the former SDLP leader John Hume said he was delighted to be honoured.

"The terrible injustices of the 1960s and the decades before underlined the inescapable need for political change."

"The civil rights movement in Derry in 1968 had people from all walks of life and all traditions and was totally non-sectarian and non-violent.

"I am delighted to be here today to see the refreshed mural which the Bogside artists have completed which honours all those who were active during these marches."

John Hume won the Nobel peace prize in 1998 for his contribution to the peace process.

Ivan Cooper was a founder member of the SDLP. Both men came to prominence through the civil rights movement in the late 1960s.

The mural is located at Rossville Street, beside Pilot's Row.

Image source, Housing Executive
Image caption,
The new portraits are part of a fully refurbished mural in the bogside

Deirdre Crawford from the housing executive said it had contributed £5,000 to the project in partnership with Derry and Strabane district council.

"We feel it's a very valuable contribution and a very valuable investment.

"It's about civil rights, iconic people who developed the project and it's the tenacity and courage of this community to stand here today and say this is anti-sectarian.

"We've done projects right across Northern Ireland and this is in line with that. It's cross community."

'Hugely important'

Vinnie Coyle, whose father was a leading civil rights campaigner, is also included in the mural. Mr Coyle said it was important to remember the contribution of Mr Hume and Mr Cooper to Derry.

"They were hugely important because of the leadership that they gave.

"They were two young men vibrant in the civil rights movement. Ivan was from the Protestant community and John from the Catholic community, both standing against sectarian violence.

"They gave leadership to people in a non-violent voice to come out and protest for their rights."

Image source, Housing Executive
Image caption,
Bogside artists Kevin Hasson and William Kelly hard at work