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Northern Ireland civil rights history website launched


Internet launch: producer Gavin Patton

Internet launch: producer Gavin Patton

Internet launch: producer Gavin Patton

A new website of testimony, evidence and opinion on the civil rights movement in Londonderry has been launched.

Award-winning documentary producer Gavin Patton collated more than 13 hours of material over the past four years, including interviews with key protagonists as well as people who have never spoken about their part in the movement before.

Mr Patton said his website, RevolutionaryDerry.com, would provide historians, scholars and future generations with an accurate and comprehensive insight into the civil rights movement.

He explained: "I was concerned that parts of the story of the civil rights movement would be lost to history, so over the past four years I recorded interviews that go beyond the three or four-minute time slot in most documentaries.

"The first person I interviewed was Ivan Cooper, whose association with civil rights is well known, but what a lot of people won't know is the personal cost paid by Ivan for that association.

"He spoke to me about the threats that he received from within his own community simply because he was Protestant. He suffered terrible abuse - to the extent that when his sister died, he wasn't able to attend her funeral. He was told he would be shot if he turned up at her funeral.

"The big question raised over and over again was, did the civil rights march start the Troubles or was it British military response to the movement that started the Troubles?"

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Mr Patton's website is now live, but the amount of information he can upload is limited at the moment.

However, he hopes to improve this as the site grows.

Belfast Telegraph

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