Paddy Doherty: Veteran civil rights activist dies

Paddy Doherty Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mr Doherty said his love for the city had driven him in his community work

The veteran civil rights activist Paddy Doherty, better known as Paddy Bogside, has died at the age of 89.

A carpenter and builder by trade, Mr Doherty, from Londonderry, was strongly active in the civil rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He went on to work with the Irish Foundation for Human Development in the city and founded the Inner City Trust.

In 2010, Mr Doherty received an honorary degree for his services to community development.

'Ambition'

He was on the front line during the so-called 'Battle of the Bogside' in 1969.

Three days of rising tensions between the nationalist residents of the Bogside in Derry and the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) over an Apprentice Boys parade brought British troops on to the streets of Northern Ireland for the first time.

After three days of fighting, a truce was called and the barricades surrounding the Bogside were replaced by a white line.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Martin McGuinness speaking to Paddy Doherty in Westland Street.

Mr Doherty went on to work with the Irish Foundation for Human Development in the city.

This led to the establishment of the Derry Youth and Community Workshop, the North West Centre for Learning and Development and the Inner City Trust.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he will be remembered by the older generation for his central role in the Derry Citizens Defence Association.

"It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of my good friend and legendary Derryman Paddy 'Bogside' Doherty.

"The younger generation will remember him as the driving force behind the many projects designed to regenerate our city and provide much needed employment to hundreds of young people."

SDLP MP Mark Durkan said he was a lion of civic ambition and community ethic.

"I mourn the sad death of Paddy Doherty after an illness which he bore so bravely.

"The whole city will join Paddy's family in their loss of a man of such warm inspiration and fond care.

"He was a true pioneer of methods of engagement and enablement which found wider practice with the development of the peace process."

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