Friday, 17 June 2011

LOVE YOURSELF TODAY

Damien (Damo) Dempsey sings from a fit-up stage in front of the Free Derry Museum, in Glenfada Park, the site of multiple killings by British Army paratroopers on Bloody Sunday, 1972. 

It's all good, sure it's all good, All I say to you today
Love yourself today, Okay, okay

This is Bogside, Derry (54 degrees North, 7 degrees West), one year on from the release of The Saville Report and British Prime Minister's apology for the killings. Billed as a Day of Vindication, families of Bloody Sunday victims and local activists organise a day of events, culminating in the concert headlined by Damien Dempsey.

We sing, sing all our cares away, 
We'll live, to love another day, 
We grow strong, from it all, 
We grow strong, or we fall, 
We grow strong. 

The banality of the lyrics and the sentimentality of the emotions are lifted by the melodic power of the performer's voice, his determination for and unbending urge to possibility, voicing a strength that infuses the modest crowd of adults and children gathered in front of him. 

The IRA are blamed for one of Northern Ireland's worst atrocities. A report by the police's Historical Enquiries Team claims the massacre of 10 Protestants near the Irish border 35 years ago was carried out by the organisation.

The Commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland writes to the First and Deputy First Ministers to alert them to growing disaffection and a loss of confidence among victims and those who provide services to them.

Readers of An Phoblacht see a call by Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams TD, for the setting up of an independent international truth commission.

Is there a head of stream building in support of a truth recovery process, driven by pressure from the legacy of the past?

Damo sings:

Well I've exchanged the spear and the sword
For words and melody

Patience, give me some of that patience, Lord,
I will keep my eye on my goal
Patience, give me some of that sweet patience, Lord,
I will keep my eye on the ball.

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