Programme of Events

The Committee is planning a programme of events which will mark the major milestones of the civil rights campaign, such as the ‘Caledon Squatting’, the first Civil Rights March from Coalisland to Dungannon and the enormous demonstration in Derry on November 19th, 1968.

These will include historical lectures, exhibitions, seminars, conferences and cross community platforms.

MARCH 2008

The Civil Rights 1968 Commemoration Committee will launch the programme of events at a reception in Linenhall Library at 6.00pm Thursday 27 March 2008

APRIL 2008


Two civil rights ‘historical’ lectures will be held in Belfast and Derry setting the scene for the development of the Civil Rights movement and giving an historical account of the1968/early 1969 period.  

Derry: John Hume, Chair, Speakers: Professor Paul Arthur, UU Magee College and Lord Paul Bew, Professor at QUB, at University of Ulster, Magee College, on 15 April 2008.

Belfast: Chair: D Haughey Speakers: Dr Eamon Phoenix, QUB and Professor Henry Patterson, UU at. 7.00pm on Wednesday 23 April 2008, Beech Room, QUB Students Union

MAY 2008

Civil Rights seminar “The role of women in civil rights”

Venue: East Tyrone College, Dungannon

Date: Tbc


This seminar will pay tribute to the role and work of women in the civil rights movement from the Homeless Citizens League in Dungannon, the Campaign for Social Justice and the women of Springtown Camp in Derry in the mid 1960s, to the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, the Derry Citizens Action Committee and the Peoples Democracy in 1968.

JUNE 2008 – Caledon Squatting Protest             

i. Civil Rights Conference “Housing – 40 years on.”

Venue: Armagh City Hotel

Date: Saturday 21 June 2008

To commemorate the Caledon Squatting protest about discrimination in the allocation of housing in a house in Caledon, County Tyrone, a major housing Conference will be held in Armagh on 21st June to highlight the need for social and affordable housing.

Speakers: Austin Currie; Representative from Gildernew Family, Duncan Morrow, CRC; Fr Peter McVerry, worker with homeless young people in Dublin; Professor Paddy Hillyard, Chair of Sociology QUB; Tom Arnold, Chief Executive, Concern; Niall Mellon or Paddy McGuinness, Niall Mellon Township Trust and DSD Minister Margaret Ritchie

ii Joint British Association of Irish Studies and Civil Rights 1968 Commemoration Committee seminar at Westminster on role of Campaign for Democracy and origin of the Troubles

AUGUST 2008 – Coalisland to Dungannon March

The McCluskey Civil Rights Summer School Theme: “40 years on – The Civil Rights Challenges in Ireland Today”

Tackling Poverty, Racism and Inequality

In honour of Dr Con and Patricia McCluskey, from the Campaign for Social Justice, the inaugural Civil Rights Summer School will be held between 23-25 August 2008 and will include a series of lectures and discussions on civil rights and social justice in Ireland and internationally.

The keynote speaker will be former President Mary Robinson.


Civil Rights Seminar in Liberty Hall Dublin


Ireland – an equal society for all”

Speakers will include Michael Farrell, Austin Currie, Michael Halpenny SIPTU and Des Geraghty, former President of ICTU and Chair of the Affordable Homes Partnership

OCTOBER 2008 – Duke Street Derry March

An International Civil Rights Conference will be held in the Guildhall in Derry on 4 October 2008. Major international speakers have been invited.

John Kennedy Lecture in Irish Studies at University of Liverpool by Dr Kevin McNamara on 8 October 2008 – “Perhaps it will all go away – An examination of the British Response to the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland.”

NOVEMBER 2008 – Largest Civil Rights March in Derry

A concert commemorating civil rights is planned for Derry

Details Tbc

University of Liverpool Lecture by Austin Currie on 26th November 2008 “The Civil Rights Revolution.”


Seminar: “Civil Rights then and now, 1968-2008. Building a new, inclusive society”. 

The purpose of this seminar is to engage in a cross community dialogue with those who did not support the Civil Rights movement. 

Details Tbc

JANUARY 2009Burntollet March

The Committee is considering co-sponsoring a legal seminar on protecting human rights in the new Northern Ireland and the whole island of Ireland to mark the role of the student-led Peoples Democracy in the Civil Rights campaign.


Cross-Community Civil Rights Dialogue

A series of cross community forums will be held across Ireland. These discussions will aim to

engender a constructive cross community dialogue about Civil Rights.

These forums will include former civil rights campaigners and individuals who did not, or do not, share the views of the Civil Rights leadership.

Schools Forum

There will be a series of cross community forums in a number of schools across the island of Ireland. These forums will aim to inform and educate young people in schools on the role of civil rights, in a way which promotes tolerance and cultural diversity and encourage a dialogue between schools about the role of civil rights. They will highlight the non-violent and peaceful actions of civil rights as an example of accepting difference and resolving disputes.  

Civil Rights 1968 Commemorative Booklet

The Committee will produce a short booklet which will give an historical account of the civil rights movement through words and images.

Civil Rights 1968 Commemorative Exhibition

The Committee is putting together a commemorative exhibition

Civil Rights 1968 London Group

The London Group is chaired by former Labour MP Kevin McNamara and is planning a series of events in Irish centres in Britain. It will also highlight the English dimension in the Civil Rights Movement, through the Campaign for Democracy in Ulster.

Civil Rights 1968 Dublin Group

The Civil Rights 1968 Dublin Group is planning events in Dublin to commemorate the civil rights movement.

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