AN exhibition to mark the creation of the famous Free Derry Corner in the will be dedicated to Liam Hillen, the man who daubed the slogan on a gable wall 50 years ago.
Mr Hillen passed away on Christmas Day and was laid to rest on Tuesday in the City Cemetery.
He died suddenly at homee aged 69.
Liam was a teenager when he was prompted by civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann to copy the University of California (Berkeley) students’ slogan ‘You Are Now Entering Free Berkeley’.
The move came after civil unrest broke out following an attack by loyalists on a People’s Democracy march at Burntollet Bridge, the slogan is among the most photographed tourist attractions in Derry.
Mr Hillen’s role was largely forgotten and he even once confronted McCann over why he never acknowledged his role in painting the slogan.
The exhibition organised by the Museum of Free Derry gives recognition to the original Free Derry Corner and his part in its creation.
Museum of Free Derry’s Julieanne Campbell said: “The exhibition and discussion taking place on Friday evening will be dedicated to Liam Hillen in recognition of the part he played in creating what is arguably one of the most iconic symbols of the civil rights movement here.
“The event was organised some time ago but it has added poignancy coming so soon after Liam’s sad passing, which was 50 years almost to the very day that he wrote on the wall.
“While he may have taken inspiration from the Berkeley College student protest, ‘You Are Now Entering Free Derry’ has endured and continues to be recognised throughout the world.”he exhibition, which opens tomorrow, Friday, January 4, will include a discussion panel comprising Professor Paul Arthur, chair of the 50th Anniversary Civil Rights Commemoration Committee; former principal of St Cecilia’s College Grainne McCafferty, and Vincent McCormack, author of the 1969 book Burntollet.
The event, which is free, starts at 7pm.
It will be chaired by Paul O’Connor from the Pat Finucane Centre.