Paddy Coyle’s death splits Derry Councillors

Councillors of the Derry and Strabane area have clashed whilst extending their condolences at the District Council meeting, following the death of Derry man, Paddy Coyle.

Mr Coyle became front page news across the world after he was photographed during the streets riots in Derry in 1969 when he was 13 years old. He was captured wearing a WWII gas mask and holding a petrol bomb.

The photograph was painted onto a gable wall in the Rossville Street area of Derry and has become an iconic image of Northern Ireland’s troubles.

Mr Coyle passed away in the early hours of Sunday 19th of July following a short illness.

During last Thursday’s full council meeting, People before Profit councillor, Eamonn McCann said, “The mural had become a global symbol of the struggle for civil rights and resistance to oppression,” and, “it was important to acknowledge the life and death of Mr Coyle.”

Alderman McClintock, member of DUP, stated “whilst every death was a tragedy for any family, the DUP did not wish to be associated with a mural that depicted someone holding a petrol bomb.”

Members of Sinn Fein, SDLP and Independent member, Gary Donnelly, also extended their condo- lences to Mr Coyle’s family and friends and said, “The mural was a defining image of those times.”

SDLP’s Martin Reilly, also noted the death earlier in the year of Mr Clive Limpkin, best known for his pictures of the troubles and the photographer of the image. Reilly stated, “His passing should be acknowledged at this time.”

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