The Riverwatch Aquarium and a Dugout Canoe

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This small, and as its name might suggest, mainly freshwater aquarium is located on the outskirts of the city just a few minutes drive from the Craigavon Bridge, heading towards Strabane. Continue reading “The Riverwatch Aquarium and a Dugout Canoe”

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War Memorial – On the Diamond

The square at the centre of the walled City of Derry, the point at which the four main streets from the four original city gates converge, is called the Diamond and is the former location of various civic buildings and a market. In fact, three former town halls were located here. In 1904 a fire in Austin’s Department store on the Diamond (the building behind the war Memorial in picture one attached) also destroyed the town hall from which point the Diamond then hosted a small garden. Continue reading “War Memorial – On the Diamond”

Free Derry Wall

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On 5 January 1969, some two hundred and eighty years after a lowly apprentice boy had shouted the immortal words, “No Surrender”, from Derry’s City Walls and slammed the city gates shut in the face of James IIs army, a local republican activist, John “Cacker” Casey, painted the equally immortal words “You are now entering Free Derry” on the gable wall of a house in the Bogside and the barricades went up. Continue reading “Free Derry Wall”

Republican Paramilitary Memorials

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At various points in the city, if you keep your eyes peeled you will come across plaques, erected by the Derry Republican Graves Association, to Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers killed in the Northern Ireland “Troubles” – the term used to describe the 30 years of conflict between 1969 and 2000 which tore the protestant and catholic or unionist and republican communities apart. Continue reading “Republican Paramilitary Memorials”

The People’s Gallery

Background to the Murals

Many of the most significant events in Northern Ireland’s Troubles were played out in Derry and indeed right here in the Bogside.

Throughout the Troubles the creation of sectarian murals by both the Catholic (nationalist) and Protestant (unionist) sides, particularly though not exclusively in Belfast and Derry, was seen as a key strategy in each side’s propaganda campaign. These building sized murals, often not for the faint hearted, told it as it was (from the creators perspective, of course) and added a bit – often a big bit for good measure. Continue reading “The People’s Gallery”