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”

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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”

The Museum of Free Derry

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Don’t be misled by the mural to the right of the entrance of the museum which clearly relates to the Palestinian struggle. While the people of the Bogside and most particularly civil rights activists have associated themselves with left wing, socialist struggles across the world including those in Palestine and Cuba (see picture below – noting that the Lynch relates to Che’s Irish ancestry) this museum is very focused, and bluntly so, on the history of Bogside and its immediate neighbouring areas in the second half of the 20th century with a particular focus on civil rights era of the 1960s and the Free Derry/early Troubles era of the 1970s. Continue reading “The Museum of Free Derry”

Bloody Sunday Memorial

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On what quickly became known as Bloody Sunday ( 30 January 1972) – no doubt echoing Dublin’s Bloody Sunday of November 1920, 13 protesters at a civil rights march were shot dead by troops from the British Army’s Parachute Regiment (1 Para). On 16 June 1972 a further protester died from wounds sustained on Bloody Sunday. This memorial on Rossville Street in the Bogside, where the deaths occurred, is to the 14 dead. Continue reading “Bloody Sunday Memorial”

Raytheon and Derry

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Affixed to the City Walls in Guildhall Square, I came across the plaques in the attached photograph.

The circular plaque, clearly associated with the centre one, brings together two symbols of Derry – the famous 17th century City Walls which are among the best preserved and most complete city walls in Europe and the oak leaf, a much older symbol of Derry, recalling the oak grove that was here when the city was first established and indeed the origin of half the official name of the city. Continue reading “Raytheon and Derry”