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”

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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”

First Derry Presbyterian Church

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Presbyterians have resided in the City since around 1642 having arrived during the Plantation of Ulster which began in the early 1600s. By the time of the Siege of Derry there was a significant number of Presbyterians in the city but still they didn’t have a place of worship within the City Walls. During the Siege, like many others in the region, the Presbyterians had moved in behind the city walls either to assist in the defence of the City or to seek safety from Jacobite forces. Within the Walls they worshipped in St Columb’s Cathedral and at some time they actually had St Augustine’s Church“on loan”. Continue reading “First Derry Presbyterian Church”

Grand Parade – Enjoy the Walk

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This western section of the Derry City’s Wall, between Double Bastion and Butcher Gate, is the widest section of the Wall and is known as Grand Parade. What a great stretch of the Wall it is for those seeking to promenade. It was quite amazing to recall as I stroll along here that these walls are 400 years old and to think about the history under my feet and all around me. In addition to the strategic importance of this section of the Wall it has always been a preferred part of the Wall for a walk or other exercise. Continue reading “Grand Parade – Enjoy the Walk”

Enniskillen War Memorial

Enniskillen’s War Memorial at the intersection of Belmore Steet, the Queen Elizabeth Road and East Bridge Street was constructed in the aftermath of World War I to commemorate those who lost their lives in that war.

The Memorial stands about 6.5 metres high and is surmounted by a bronze figure of a lone private soldier in war kit, head bowed and leaning on his reversed rifle. I was particularly taken by the 1932 picture of the War Memorial (picture 2 above) taken by Fr.Francis Browne MC, former Chaplin to the Irish Guards. Continue reading “Enniskillen War Memorial”