Museum of Free Derry officially open
Published June 15, 2017
The Bloody Sunday Trust is delighted to announce that the new Museum of Free Derry was officially opened on 15th June.
The launch took place on 15 June 2017, seven years to the day since Derry received the findings of the Report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, and seven years since the Bloody Sunday families forced an admission from the British government that all those murdered and injured on Bloody Sunday were innocent and that what had happened was ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’.
The new building, completed at a cost of around £2.5m, opened to the public in February this year and, to date, has welcomed over 12,000 visitors to its new premises.
It hosts a full multi-media exhibition on the civil rights and early conflict era in the city, and also much needed and enhanced visitor facilities and education and research facilities.
Bloody Sunday Trust Chairperson Robin Percival said:
‘We are all thrilled to officially open the new Museum of Free Derry after a hugely successful first few months in our flagship building. While it has been a long and hard road, we are proud to be back in the heart of the Bogside, where so much of our story happened. Indeed, our enhanced exhibition space has been hailed as a powerful, unforgettable experience for thousands of local, national and international visitors. We are proud to have it opened by Jesse L. Jackson Sr, one of the most respected civil rights campaigners in our lifetimes, and by Fiachra McGuinness, in place of his late father Martin, who did so much as Deputy First Minister to help us make this museum a reality.’
‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank all who helped in the creation of the new museum, the design team for all their work, and our funders who made this all possible. We would also like to thank local residents of the Bogside and all the families and supporters who have helped make this museum one of the city’s most important visitor experiences.
‘The Museum of Free Derry has an open day today - 15 June - and would like to invite all to come and visit free-of-charge to help us celebrate the official opening.’
Speaking during his visit to the city, Rev Jackson said, ‘The museum is a frame of reference, a frame of reference that connects Derry with South Africa and its struggles, North America and our struggles with Martin McGuinness, Nelson Mandela and Dr King on the same plain with John Hume. It’s replacing walls with bridges.’
The new Museum of Free Derry was designed by a team led by Brennan Associates (Architects) and cost approx. £2.5m. Funding was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland and administered by Tourism Northern Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland, the Department for Communities, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Urban Villages and Iona Enterprises.
Terence Brannigan, Tourism NI Chairman commented; ‘The Museum of Free Derry further strengthens the visitor offering in the North West, and is an attraction worthy of domestic, national and international appeal. The ever-increasing visitor numbers are testament to the Museum of Free Derry’s enhanced facilities and focus on the ever popular local heritage special interest groups.’
Posted by Tourism NI
Produced by Tourism NI