Bríd Ruddy is a civil rights activist, community builder, and environmentalist from Belfast who campaigns for the regeneration and transformation of derelict urban wasteland into communal green spaces for local people to contribute to and enjoy. After witnessing a rise in sustained anti-social behaviour in the Holylands area of South Belfast, Bríd Ruddy became the Chairperson of the College Parks Residents Association, lobbying for positive change to improve the neighbourhood she has been resident in for over 25 years. What initially began as a campaign to install gates to protect a plot of neglected land from criminal behaviour soon evolved into an initiative to revitalise the entryway behind the gates. ‘Wildflower Alley’ was the outcome – a green oasis for residents to retreat to in an otherwise built-up urban environment. The project has won several accolades including the 2015 Belfast in Bloom award in the ‘Best Community Group’ category and has since inspired similar initiatives to develop across other parts of the city. Bríd continues to campaign on behalf of the residents of the Holylands to tackle social problems and housing issues, and implement measures to benefit the local community. Most recently, she campaigned for more stringent legislation around the Landlord Registration Scheme.
This archive was kindly donated by Bríd Ruddy for the extraORDINARYwomen project at the Linen Hall Library and is comprised of newspaper clippings covering the publicity generated around ‘Wildflower Alley’ as well as ephemera relating to her time as an activist in People’s Democracy in the 1960s.