It may be February, even the second week in February, but I'm still going to take this opportunity to say Happy New Year, Liberties Press friends! We hope 2012 has started wonderfully well for you all.
While our roots remain in the Liberties, our new, own-door office is based in Terenure - 7 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W to be exact. At the moment we are still sitting among unpacked boxes and there is the occassional bang of a hammer as a new bookshelf is assembled but it is beginning to look more and more like home. More pictures to follow but for now here's the outside of the new Liberties Press Office!
This month also saw the release of Setting The Truth Free: The Inside Story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign by Julieann Campbell. This emotive and intelligent inside account of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign records the personal stories of the campaigners, a group of ordinary people - made up of the wounded and the victims' families - who took on the might of the British government and won. At the heart of this book is the human story: Julieann, a journalist from Derry and also the niece of Jackie Duddy who was the first to die on that day, records each major turning point in the campaign from the families' perspective and pens the stories which made history.
Setting The Truth Free is the first Liberties Press title to be launched three times, and the first to be launched in both Northern Ireland and London.
Launch No. 1 took place on Wednesday 25th January in An Chultúrlann in Derry. The venue was packed with the families, their friends, campaign supporters, and the people of Derry. A wonderful tribute to a remarkable campaign saw Christy Moore launching the book which celebrates that long journey to justice. He spoke passionately about the false narrative perpetuated by the Widery Report, commending the families for their 'selfless, courageous, persistent campaigning' which resulted in a universal declaration of innocence for those wounded or killed on Bloody Sunday. He finished by singing 'Minds Locked Shut', causing the crowd to fall silent as we all remembered.
Author Julieann with Bishop Edward Daly and Christy Moore at the launch of Setting The Truth Free in Derry. To see more photos from the event, click here.
Launch No. 2 took place in Dublin on the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday - Monday 30th January - in Connolly Books. Former Taoiseach John Bruton launched Setting The Truth Free, calling what happened on that day 'an appalling injustice'. Setting The Truth Free mentions John Bruton as being influential in bringing about a fresh inquiry, despite much of the credit going to his successor Bertie Ahern. Mr Bruton thanked Julieann and the families for recognising his contribution, something he remains proud of to this day. Speaking to a TV3 News team present at the launch, Mr Bruton said he could not have responded in any other way to what was clearly a serious human rights issue.
|Julieann with John Bruton|
|Mr Bruton with Julieann and her uncle Gerry Duddy|
Launch No. 3 took place on Friday 3rd February in Bookmarks in Bloomsbury, London! The bookshop was full to bursting as we settled on chairs facing the evening's panel: author Julieann Campbell, Liberties Press publisher Seán O'Keeffe, and eminent human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce who launched the book. Seán paid tribute to Julieann for recording the stories of the campaigners, calling Setting The Truth Free an important book. Both Gareth and Julieann followed Seán with speeches so moving they deserve to be listened to in full!
Gareth Peirce and Julieann with the book
After the formalities, Sarah from Bookmarks invited the guests to ask the panel questions and what followed was an extremely intersting and enlightening discussion.
To see more pictures from the London launch click here.
So all in all a busy but exciting January for Liberties Press! Here's to 2012!