A museum cataloguing the Troubles era in Derry is to open with the help of grant aid from the Government, it was confirmed today.
The Museum of Free Derry is due to open its doors this summer to highlight the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the Free Derry era of the 1970s.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern confirmed €25,000 from the Reconciliation Fund would be given towards the museum to the Trust which provides a support network for the families of those killed and injured on Bloody Sunday.
SDLP Leader Mark Durkan said the Bloody Sunday Trust had exciting plans for the museum which is to be housed in the new Bloody Sunday Centre.
Mr Durkan said: “I wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister, Dermot Ahern expressing my full support for the Trust’s application to the Department’s Reconciliation Fund and am delighted that the minister has allocated €25,000 towards this project.
“This museum will provide a lasting commemoration, not just of the tragic events of Bloody Sunday, but of that entire period in Derry’s history – a history that merits being told and heard.”
The museum will be housed at Glenfada Park, which is central to most of the events detailed in the exhibitions, and also close to the Bloody Sunday Monument, Free Derry Corner and the Bogside Artist’s murals.
The main area for the Battle of the Bogside is only yards away from the museum’s site, with two people killed and five others injured in front of the building during Bloody Sunday.
The Trust said the collection which contains over 25,000 individual items, many donated to the museum by local residents, would be known as the National Civil Rights Archive.
It will tell this part of the city’s history from the point of view of the people who lived through it.
The term Free Derry has been used for the museum and it will be covering areas in Derry including the Bogside, Brandywell, Creggan, Bishop Street and Foyle Road.
The museum’s collection will be expanded to tell the story of the city right up to the present day.