‘1968. An opportunity missed?’
On Thursday, 23rd March, a group of Year 11 History pupils attended a conference at the Ulster Museum as part of their GCSE study of Changing Relationships 1965-1985. The focus of the event was the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Campaign and its place amongst other protest movements around the globe in the 1960s.
Pupils also had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the museum’s ‘Troubles Gallery’. The exhibition included a variety of artefacts such as original People’s Democracy posters, Gerry Fitt’s blood-stained shirt and the Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan (Peace People Movement) in 1976.
During the afternoon session pupils listened to accounts from Brid Ruddy (former People’s Democracy activist), Denis Haughey (NICRA) and Erskine Holmes (Northern Ireland Labour Party / NICRA). The testimonies offered the Year 11 pupils unique insight into their experiences in 1968 and 1969. It brought into sharp focus the importance of this period in shaping the history of the Troubles.