Sunday, April 23, 2006


Day 1, we arrive late in the afternoon in Derry. We exit the hostel into the welcoming arms of Irish drizzle and get taken on a walking tour by a local. It's well worth doing because you find out so much of the history of the place and find out all the things you might have missed. Even Derry's name is political. The Catholics call it Derry but the Protestants call it Londonderry because it was the guildmasters of London that built the reinforced walls around the city.

Walking through the city you can still reinforced security fences and the tall security tower that videotapes the city and records conversations. The Police were supposed to take them all down after the Good Friday agreement but haven't quite got around to finishing the job it seems... You walk through areas of Loyalists (loyalt to the Crown) and you see British flags, the lamp posts and the kerbstones have been painted red, white & blue.

You walk down to the Bogside, the Catholic side, and you see the Irish flags and the murals on the walls. They used to take the street signs down so that Britis army would get lost in the maze of streets and the woman would bang the rubbish bin lids on the cobbled stones to warn when they saw the (Protestant) Police or Army approaching.

Our Catholic guide was only in his late twenties but he remembered the Troubles. Could remember the bombsites and his Dad being taken in for questioning. It's been a long process trying to work towards co-existence and it's still continuing.


Post a Comment

<< Home