Backing for soldiers in ‘Free Derry’ exhibit

Helen Deery and Linda Nash protesting in the Museum of Free Derry this week
Helen Deery and Linda Nash protesting in the Museum of Free Derry this week

There is overwhelming support amongst Londonderry Troubles victims for a museum exhibit listing all those in the ‘Free Derry’ area who were killed in the conflict from 1969-72, it has been claimed.

The exhibit in the ‘Free Derry Museum’ has been the subject of protests over the inclusion of soldiers and police men alongside civilians and IRA men who had been killed in the Troubles.

Linda Nash, whose brother Wiliam was killed on Bloody Sunday, and Helen Deery, whose brother Manus was killed by a soldier in May 1972, have been holding a sit-in protest at the museum since Sunday.

They have now agreed to halt their protest after the museum agreed to move the exhibition from its current format, which projects the list of names onto a wall, to a single computer screen as an “interim measure”.

However, a survey carried out by the Bloody Sunday Trust shows that the overwhelming majority of families whose loved ones are named in the exhibit have no problem with it.

The Bloody Sunday Trust contacted relatives of 36 of the 37 local people named in the exhibit and received responses from the families of 31 people.

Of the respondents, 26 (84%) agreed that the museum should retain all the names of those who died in the ‘Free Derry’ area. Only two families said they disagreed with the exhibit, while another three were unable to reach a consensus.

Robin Percival, chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust, has welcomed the results.