50th anniversary of the protest that launched civil rights campaign

Posted By: June 14, 2018

Seamus McKinney. Irish News. Belast. Friday, June 15, 2018

The fiftieth anniversary of the “Caledon protest” which launched the civil rights campaign in Northern Ireland will be commemorated by former Stormont MP Austin Currie at a Dungannon conference today.

On June 20, 1968, Mr. Currie, Patsy Gildernew (an uncle of Sinn Féin MP, Michele Gildernew) and County Tyrone farmer, the late Joe Campbell protested over the decision by Dungannon council to allocate a house to a 19-year-old single Protestant woman rather than a Catholic family.

The three men took possession of the vacant house at Kinnard Park in Caledon. While they only remained in the house for a number of hours, the fact that an MP had staged a peaceful protest attracted huge media interest. The men’s protest led to the first-ever civil rights’ march in August the same year.

ousing Executive head of research, Joe Frey. Ted Cantle, former CEO of Nottingham city council and former chair of the Queen’s Medical Centre will also attend along with a number of other speakers.

The conference gets underway at 9.30am at The Junction in Dungannon with Mr. Currie due to address the Caledon situation at 11.30am.