Londonderry loyalist Glen Barr is amongst several speakers set to discuss the Ulster Workers’ Council strike at the Queen’s University, Belfast on Monday (May 19).
The discussion, which is entitled ‘40 Years On - The Strike Which Brought Down Sunningdale’ commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the strike of 1974 which led to the breakdown of Northern Ireland’s first attempt at a power-sharing Executive.
It’s part of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice (ISCTSJ) Spring programme.
Mr Barr was Chairman of the UWC Coordinating Committee, which ran the strike from the Vanguard Unionist Party headquarters in East Belfast.
He was elected to the Assembly in Londonderry for Vanguard.
According to the organisers of the conference: “The Strike has been traditionally associated with Rev. Ian Paisley and other leading figures in Unionism and Loyalism.
“The conference will challenge the role of Paisley by providing a voice for key members of the stoppages (Glenn Barr and Andy Tyrie) who have been vocal critics of Paisley.
“The conference wrests recollections of lived experiences during the Strike period from the traditional narrative of Loyalism by providing a space for Nationalists and Republicans (Alban Maginness MLA, Harry Donaghy, Tommy McKearney), community activists and teachers (Jackie Redpath and Henry Sinnerton) and high-ranking
civil servants (Dr. Maurice Hayes, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield) to recount their memories and interpretations of this most crucial period of Northern Ireland’s recent history.”
The event will include a celebration of Belfast playwright Stewart Parker whose acclaimed play Pentecost is set during the UWC Strike.
Adrian Dunbar and Stephen Rea are due to discuss the play.