John Hume and Ivan Cooper added to Bogside mural

John Hume and Ivan Cooper at the Bogside mural
John Hume and Ivan Cooper at the Bogside mural

Portraits of civil rights campaign leaders John Hume and Ivan Cooper have been unveiled on a Londonderry wall mural.

The new artwork has been added to the existing collection of Bogside murals which have recently been restored.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, former SDLP leader Mr Hume said he was delighted to be honoured.

“I am delighted to be here today to see the refreshed mural which the Bogside artists have completed which honours all those who were active during these marches,” he said.

“The terrible injustices of the 1960s and the decades before underlined the inescapable need for political change.

“The civil rights movement in Derry in 1968 had people from all walks of life and all traditions and was totally non-sectarian and non-violent.”

Mr Hume was a joint winner of the 1998 Nobel peace prize, along with then Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, for his contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Ivan Cooper, who was a founder member of the SDLP, came to prominence along with Mr Hume through the civil rights movement in the late 1960s.

He was played by actor James Nesbitt in a film about the movement.

Mr Cooper said: “It is a great honour for me to be remembered in this way and I believe the anti-sectarian message which this mural sends out is as relevant today as it was in the 1960s and 70s.”

He added: “I have very affectionate memories of the Bogside, I moved here as a 12-year-old boy.

“When I was older John Hume and I spent many hours in the local fish and chip shop talking into the small hours and putting the world to rights.”