Posts Tagged ‘Londonderry’

This was a big day–our visit to Londonderry. Known as Derry before coming under British (Protestant) control in 1613 under James I, it was the site of the Battle of the Bogside in August 1969 and the Bloody Sunday massacre of January 1972. As we arrived in the city we were met by a guide, who took us on a tour of the city. We started in the area of town known as Bogside, where the events of the battle began and the massacre took place. In 1969, the Royal Constabulary attempted to disperse protesting Irish Nationalists, and riots broke.out. the riots lasted roughly two days and sparked riots elsewhere, and are now seen as a defined starting point for the period of time called the Troubles. In 1972, the British Army attacked a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march, killing thirteen. Today there are memorials to the dead, as well as murals in the area depicting civil rights leaders.

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We walked along portions of the ancient city walls as our guide described sieges (to which the city never fell), and stopped to visit an old cemetary at the small Church of St. Augustine just inside the wall. It was built on the site of what was St. Columba’s abbey in 543 AD.

Our guided tour ended shortly thereafter, and the group.divided, some choosing to explore the Bogside district and memorials and others visiting the Peace Bridge. According to the BBC, “The bridge was funded by the EU’s Peace III programme under the Shared Space initiative which supports projects that bring together communities that have been formerly divided.”

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