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Vandalised road-sign near Magherafelt.
Vandalised road-sign near Magherafelt.

According to the city's Royal Charter the official name is Londonderry and, as stated in a recent High Court decision in January 2007,[5] remains so. It usually appears as such on maps.[6] The city is known by many as Derry, which is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire, which in modern Irish is spelt Doire, and translates as ‘Oak-grove’. The name derives from the settlement's earliest references, Daire Calgaich (‘oakwood of Calgach’).[7] The name was changed from Derry in 1613 during the Plantation of Ulster to reflect the establishment of the city by the London guilds.[8]

The name "Derry" is used by nationalists and indeed virtually all the Catholic community of the north, as well as all those of the Republic of Ireland, whereas many unionists prefer "Londonderry", however in everyday conversation Derry is also used frequently by Protestants. Apart from this local government decision, official use within the UK the city is always[citation needed] known as Londonderry. In the Republic of Ireland, the city and county are always referred to as Derry, on maps, in the media and in conversation[citation needed]. Whereas official road signs in the Republic use the name Derry, those in Northern Ireland invariably bear Londonderry (sometimes abbreviated to L'Derry), although a number of these have had the reference to London obscured, by those angered and offended by the UK's official spelling. Usage varies among local organisations, with both names being used. Examples are City of Derry Airport, City of Derry Rugby Club, Derry City FC and the Protestant Apprentice Boys Of Derry, as opposed to Londonderry Port and Londonderry Chamber Of Commerce.[9] The council changed the name of the local government district covering the city to Derry on May 7, 1984, consequently renaming itself Derry City Council.[10] This did not change the name of the city, although the city is coterminous with the district, and in law the city council is also the "Corporation of Londonderry" or, more formally, the "Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of the City of Londonderry".[11] The form "Londonderry" is used for the post town by the Royal Mail.

The city is also nicknamed the Maiden City by virtue of the fact that its walls were never penetrated during the siege of Derry in the late 17th century. It is also nicknamed 'Stroke City' by local broadcaster, Gerry Anderson, due to the 'politically correct' use of the oblique notation Derry/Londonderry. A recent addition to the city has been the erection of several large stone columns on main roads into the city welcoming drivers to "the walled city."

[edit] History

Main article: History of Derry

The city has long been a focal point for important events in Irish history, including the 1688-1689 siege of Derry and Bloody Sunday on 30 January 1972.

[edit] Early history

Derry is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Ireland. The earliest historical references date to the 6th century when a monastery was founded there by St. Columba, a famous saint from what is now County Donegal, but for thousands of years before that people had been living in the vicinity.

Before leaving Ireland to spread Christianity elsewhere in the British Isles, Columba founded a monastery in the then Doire Calgaich, on the east side of the Foyle. According to oral and documented history the site was granted to Columba by a local king. The monastery then remained in the hands of the federation of Columban churches who regarded Colm Cille as their spiritual mentor. In the year 546 the area was renamed Doire Cholm Cille in remembrance of Colmcille's Oak Grove. At this stage, in the 6th century, Derry was known primarily as a monastic settlement.

[edit] Plantation

St Columb's Cathedral
St Columb's Cathedral

Planters organised by London livery companies through The Honourable The Irish Society arrived in the 1600s as part of the plantation of Ulster, and built the city of Londonderry across the Foyle from the earlier town, with walls to defend it from Irish insurgents who did not welcome the occupation.

This Londonderry was the first planned city in Ireland: it was begun in 1613, with the walls being completed 5 years later in 1618. The central diamond within a walled city with four gates was thought to be a good design for defence. The grid pattern chosen was subsequently much copied in the colonies of British North America.[12] The charter initially defined the city as extending three Irish miles (about 6.1 km) from the centre.

The modern city preserves the 17th century layout of four main streets radiating from the Diamond to four gateways - Bishop's Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Shipquay Gate and Butcher's Gate. Historic buildings within the walls include the 1633 Gothic cathedral of St Columb. In the porch is an inscription:

If stones could speake then London's prayse should sound Who built this church and cittie from the grounde.

[edit] 17th century upheavals

During the 1640s, the city suffered in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which began with the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when the Gaelic Irish insurgents made a failed attack on the city. In 1649 the city and its garrison, which supported the republican Parliament in London, were besieged by Scottish Presbyterian forces loyal to King Charles I. The Parliamentarians besieged in Derry were relieved by a strange alliance of Roundhead troops under George Monck and the Irish Catholic general Owen Roe O'Neill. These temporary allies were soon fighting each other again however, after the landing in Ireland of the New Model Army in 1649. The war in Ulster was finally brought to an end when the Parliamentarians crushed the Irish Catholic Ulster army at the battle of Scarrifholis in nearby Donegal in 1650.

During the Glorious Revolution, only Londonderry and nearby Enniskillen had a Protestant garrison by November 1688. An army of around 1,200 men, mostly "Redshanks" (Highlanders), under Alexander Macdonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim, was slowly organised (they set out on the week William of Orange landed in England). When they arrived on 7 December 1688 the gates were closed against them and the Siege of Derry began. In April 1689, King James came to the city and summoned it to surrender. The King was rebuffed and the siege lasted until the end of July with the arrival of a relief ship.

[edit] 18th and 19th centuries

The war memorial in the diamond, erected 1927
The war memorial in the diamond, erected 1927 [13]

The city was rebuilt in the 18th century with many of its fine Georgian style houses still surviving. The city's first bridge across the River Foyle in 1790. During the 18th and 19th centuries the port became an important embarkation point for Irish emigrants setting out for North America. Some of these founded the colonies of Derry and Londonderry in the state of New Hampshire.

Also during the 19th century, Derry became a destination for migrants fleeing areas more severely affected by the Irish Potato Famine.[14]

[edit] Partition

During the Irish War of Independence, Derry was rocked by sectarian violence, partly prompted by the guerrilla war raging between the Irish Republican Army and the British Crown Forces, but also influenced by economic and social pressures. In July 1920, several thousand unionist ex-British Army servicemen mobilised to try to drive Catholics out of jobs they had taken during the First World War. Severe rioting ensued and the loyalists launched an assault on St Columb's Cathedral, which was resisted by armed IRA members. Many lives were lost and in addition many Catholics and Protestants were expelled from their homes during the communal unrest. After a week's violence, a truce was negotiated by local politicians on either side.

In 1921, following the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the partition of Ireland, Derry unexpectedly became a border city, with much of its natural economic hinterland in County Donegal cut off.

During the Second World War the city played an important part in the Battle of the Atlantic with a substantial presence from the British Royal Navy and a large number of GIs disembarked here. 19 U-boats of the German Kriegsmarine came into the city's harbour to offer their surrender to the British at the close of the war.

[edit] The Troubles

The "Free Derry" sign in the Bogside: "You are now entering Free Derry"
The "Free Derry" sign in the Bogside: "You are now entering Free Derry"

Derry perceived itself as suffering under unionist government in Northern Ireland, both politically and economically. In the late 1960s the city became the flashpoint of disputes about institutional discrimination and gerrymandering.

The violent Civil rights demonstrations were declared illegal and then suppressed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Special Constabulary The events that followed the August 1969 Apprentice Boys parade resulted in the Battle of the Bogside, when Catholic rioters fought the police, leading to widespread civil disorder in Northern Ireland and is often dated as the starting point of the Troubles.

On Sunday January 30, 1972, 13 unarmed civilians were shot dead by British paratroopers during a civil rights march in the Bogside area. Another 13 were wounded and one further man later died of his wounds. This event came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

The violence in Derry eased towards the end of the Troubles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Irish journalist Ed Maloney claims in "The Secret History of the IRA" that republican leaders there negotiated a de facto ceasefire in the city as early as 1991. Whether this is true or not, the city did see less bloodshed by this time than Belfast or other localities.

The city was famously visited by a killer whale in November 1977 at the height of the troubles and was dubbed Dopey Dick by the thousands who came from miles around to see him.

[edit] Governance

Derry is in the Foyle constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Foyle constituency of the Northern Ireland Assembly. In European Parliament elections, Derry is part of the Northern Ireland constituency. The local district council is Derry City Council, which consists of five electoral areas: Cityside, Northland, Rural, Shantallow and Waterside. As of 2005, the council's 30 members were composed of 14 Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) members, ten Sinn Féin, five Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and one Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The current mayor is DUP councillor Drew Thompson and his deputy is Patricia Logue of Sinn Féin.[15]

[edit] Coat of arms and motto

The devices on Derry's arms are a skeleton and a three-towered castle on a black field, with the chief or top third of the shield depicting the arms of the City of London: a red cross and sword on white. In the centre of the cross is a gold harp.

The blazon of the arms is as follows:

Sable, a human skeleton Or seated upon a mossy stone proper and in dexter chief a castle triple towered argent on a chief also argent a cross gules thereon a harp or and in the first quarter a sword erect gules[16]

According to documents in the College of Arms in London and the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland in Dublin, the arms of the city were confirmed in 1613 by Daniel Molyneux, Ulster King of Arms. The College of Arms document states that the original arms of the City of Derry were ye picture of death (or a skeleton) on a moissy stone & in ye dexter point a castle and that upon grant of a charter of incorporation and the renaming of the city as Londonderry in that year the first mayor had requested the addition of a "chief of London".[17][18]

A number of theories have been advanced as to the meaning of the "old" arms of Derry, before the addition of the chief bearing the arms of the City of London:

  • It has been suggested that the castle is related to an early 14th century castle in nearby Greencastle belonging to the Anglo-Norman Earl of Ulster Richard de Burgh.
  • The most popular theory about the skeleton is that it is that of a Norman De Burgh knight who was starved to death in the castle dungeons in 1332 on the orders of his cousin the above mentioned Earl of Ulster. Another explanation put forward was that it depicted Cahir O'Doherty (Sir Charles O'Dogherty), who was put to death after the Derry was invested by the English army in 1608. During the days of Gerrymandering and discrimination against the Catholic population of Derry, Derry's Roman Catholics often[citation needed] used to claim in dark wit that the skeleton was 'a Catholic waiting on the Council housing list'.

In 1979 Derry City Council commissioned a report into the city's arms and insignia, as part of the design process for an heraldic badge. The published report found that there was no basis for any of the popular explanations for the skeleton and that it was "purely symbolic and does not refer to any identifiable person".[19]

The 1613 records of the arms depicted a harp in the centre of the cross, but this was omitted from later depictions of the city arms, and in the Letters Patent confirming the arms to Londonderry Corporation in 1952.[20] In 2002 Derry City Council applied to the College of Arms to have the harp restored to the city arms, and Garter and Norroy & Ulster Kings of Arms accepted the seventeenth century evidence, issuing letters patent to that effect in 2003.[16]

The motto attached to the coat of arms reads in Latin, "Vita, Veritas, Victoria". This translates into English as, "Life, Truth, Victory".

[edit] Geography

The original walled city of Derry lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, and the present city now covers both banks. The area to the west of the river is known as Cityside and the area to the east, Waterside. Cityside and Waterside are connected by Craigavon Bridge and Foyle Bridge. The district extends to rural areas to the southeast of the city.

[edit] Climate

Climate Table
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average daily maximum temperature (°C) 10 10 11 12 14 17 18 19 17 15 11 11 13.75
Average daily maximum temperature (°F) 50 50 52 54 57 63 64 66 63 59 52 52 56.75
Average daily minimum temperature (°C) 0 0 2 3 5 8 10 10 9 6 4 1 4.8
Average daily minimum temperature (°F) 32 32 36 37 41 46 50 50 48 43 39 34 40.7
Mean total rainfall (mm) 110 80 90 60 60 70 70 90 100 120 120 100 1070
Mean total rainfall (in) 4.3 3.1 3.5 2.4 2.4 2.8 2.8 3.5 3.9 4.7 4.7 3.9 42.1
Source: Yahoo! Weather

[edit] Demography

Derry Urban Area (DUA), including the city and the neighbouring settlements of Culmore, New Buildings and Strathfoyle, is classified as a city by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) since its population exceeds 75,000. On census day (29 April 2001) there were 90,736 people living in Derry Urban Area. Of these, 27.0 per cent were aged under 16 years and 13.4 per cent were aged 60 and over; 48.3 per cent of the population were male and 51.7 per cent were female; 77.8 per cent were from a Roman Catholic background and 20.8 per cent were from a Protestant background; and 7.1 per cent of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

The mid-2006 population estimate for the wider Derry City Council area was 107,300.[4] Population growth in 2005/06 was driven by natural change, with net out-migration of approximately 100 people.[4]

Derry was one of the few cities in Ireland to experience an increase in population during the Irish Potato Famine as migrants came to the city from other, more heavily affected areas.[14] The great majority of these migrants were Catholic. Large-scale migration from County Donegal into the City of Derry has continued ever since that time.[citation needed] Today, the great majority of the Catholic population of the City of Derry are of County Donegal ancestry.[citation needed]

[edit] Protestant minority

The "No Surrender" mural right outside the city wall: "Londonderry west bank loyalists still under siege no surrender"
The "No Surrender" mural right outside the city wall: "Londonderry west bank loyalists still under siege no surrender"

Concerns have been raised by the Protestant community over the increasingly divided nature of the city. During the course of the Troubles, it is estimated that as many as 15,000 Protestants fled the cityside due to safety concerns. Fewer than 500 Protestants are now living on the west bank of the River Foyle, compared to 18,000 in 1969,[21] with most on the Fountain Estate[22] and it is feared that the city could become permanently divided.[23][24]

However, concerted efforts have been made by local community, church and political leaders from both traditions to redress the problem. A conference to bring together key actors and promote tolerance was held in October 2006. Dr Ken Good, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, said he was happy living on the cityside. "I feel part of it. It is my city and I want to encourage other Protestants to feel exactly the same", he said.

Support for Protestants in the district has been strong from the former SDLP city Mayor Helen Quigley. Cllr Quigley has made inclusion and tolerance key themes of her mayoralty. The Mayor Helen Quigley said it is time for "everyone to take a stand to stop the scourge of sectarian and other assaults in the city."[25]

[edit] Economy

[edit] History

The River Foyle at night
The River Foyle at night

The economy of the district was based significantly on the textile industry until relatively recently. For many years women were often the sole wage earners working in the shirt factories while the men predominantly in comparison had high levels of unemployment.[26] This led to significant male emigration.[27] In more recent times the textile industry jobs have increasingly moved to the Far East, leaving the district to bear an increased jobless total. The history of shirt making in the city dates back as far as 1831 and is said to have been started by William Scott and his family who first exported shirts to Glasgow.[28] Within 50 years, shirt making in the city was the most prolific in the UK with garments being exported all over the world. It was known so well that the industry received a mention in Das Kapital by Karl Marx, when discussing the factory system:

The shirt factory of Messrs. Tille at Londonderry, which employs 1,000 operatives in the factory itself, and 9,000 people spread up and down the country and working in their own houses.[29]

Du Pont production facility, 2007, Maydown.
Du Pont production facility, 2007, Maydown.

A long-term foreign employer in the area is Du Pont, which has been based at Maydown since 1958, its first European production facility.[30] Originally Neoprene was manufactured at Maydown and subsequently followed by Hypalon. More recently Lycra and Kevlar production units were active.[31] Thanks to a healthy world-wide demand for Kevlar which is made at the plant, the facility recently undertook a £40 million upgrade to expand its global Kevlar production. Du Pont has stated that contributing factors to its continued commitment to Maydown are "low labor costs, excellent communications, and tariff-free, easy access to the UK mainland and European continent."

[edit] Inward investment

In the last 15 years there has been a drive to increase inward investment in the city, more recently concentrating on digital industries. Currently the three largest private-sector employers are American firms.[32]

Even though the city provides cheap labour by standards in Western Europe, critics have noted that the grants offered by the Northern Ireland Industrial Development Board have helped land jobs for the area that only last as long as the funding lasts.[33] This was reflected in questions to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Richard Needham, in 1990.[34] It was noted that it cost £30,000 to create one job in an American firm in Northern Ireland.

Seagate production facility, 2005, 1 Disc Drive, Springtown Industrial Estate.
Seagate production facility, 2005, 1 Disc Drive, Springtown Industrial Estate.

Successes have included call centres and a large investment by Seagate, which has operated a factory in the Springtown Industrial Estate since 1993. It currently sponsors the city film festival, but more significantly employs over 1,000 people in the Springtown premises, which produce more than half of Seagate's total requirement for hard drive read-write heads. A recent boost to the region was the arrival of Firstsource, one of India's leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies. The company opened its Derry contact centre in December 2006: the centre now employs around 450 people, with a target of employing over 600 people by 2008.

A success for the Invest NI was Stream International, who opened an outsourced technology contact centre operation at Peninsula Hi-Tech's Ulster Science & Technology Park[35] in January 1995, it is now the third-largest employer in the district.[36] Other tenants on the Science Park include Homeloan Management Ltd from Skipton in the UK who opened a financial services centre employing up to 400 at Building 3 on 1 January 2004.

A recent but controversial new employer in the area is Raytheon, Raytheon Systems Limited, was established in 1999, in the Ulster Science & Technology Park, Buncrana Road.[37] Although some local people welcomed the jobs boost some in the area objected to the jobs being provided by a firm involved heavily in the arms trade.[38] Following four years of protest by the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign, in 2004 Derry City Council passed a motion declaring the district a "A 'No–Go' Area for the Arms Trade".[39]

Derry is the largest area within Northern Ireland for American Investment according to figures released by the local Chamber of Commerce.[citation needed]

In June 2007 Fujitsu announced the development of an £18 million office at Timber Quay employing 328 IT staff. David Courtley, chief executive of Fujitsu Services stated:

Derry has an advanced local infrastructure, the availability of an IT-focused labour market and a very close proximity to the UK/European marketplace, which made it an ideal choice. The jobs being created at the new centre of excellence will encompass a broad spectrum of high-quality specialist IT services roles.[40]

Significant multinational employers in the region include Firstsource of India, DuPont, INVISTA, Stream International, Seagate Technology, Perfecseal, NTL, Raytheon and Northbrook Technology of the United States, Arntz Belting and Invision Software of Germany, and Homeloan Management of the UK. Major local business employers include Desmonds, Northern Ireland's largest privately-owned company, manufacturing and sourcing garments, E&I Engineering, St. Brendan's Irish Cream Liqueur and McCambridge Duffy, one of the largest insolvency practices in the UK.[41]

Londonderry Port at Lisahally is the United Kingdom's most westerly port and has capacity for 30,000-ton vessels. The port played a vital part for the Allies in World War II during the war's longest running campaign, The Battle of the Atlantic, and saw the surrender of the German U-Boat fleet at Lisahally on May 8, 1945.

Shipquay Street with a view of the Guildhall and the River Foyle
Shipquay Street with a view of the Guildhall and the River Foyle

In spite it being the second city of Northern Ireland, road and rail links to other cities are below par for its standing. Many business leaders claim that government investment in the city and infrastructure has been badly lacking. Some have stated that this is due to its outlaying border location whilst others have cited a sectarian bias against the west of the province due to its high proportion of Catholics.[42][43] There is no motorway link with Belfast or Dublin. The rail link to Belfast has been downgraded over the years so that presently it is not a viable alternative to the roads for industry to rely on. Mr Garvan O'Doherty, local business man and board member of the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commission, stated in the Irish Times, October 2005:

It is vital that road, rail and air links are all maximised with particular emphasis on the two principal road axes - connections to Belfast and Dublin.

Much has been made of the City of Derry Airport.[citation needed] Local ratepayers subsidise it through the council; the airport also receives considerable funding from the Irish Government directly.

Critics of investment decisions affecting the district often point to the decision to build a new university building in nearby (predominately Protestant) Coleraine rather than developing the University of Ulster Magee Campus. Another major government decision affecting the city was the decision to create the new city of Craigavon outside Belfast, which again was detrimental to the development of Derry. Even in October 2005, there was perceived bias against the comparatively impoverished North West of the province, with a major civil service job contract going to Belfast. Mark Durkan, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Foyle was quoted in the Belfast Telegraph as saying:

The fact is there has been consistent under-investment in the North West and a reluctance on the part of the Civil Service to see or support anything west of the Bann, except when it comes to rate increases, then they treat us equally.[44]

Many observers note that politics will need to play a part in the future development of the economy of the city. Whether it is a future devolved Northern Ireland government or the British or Irish or European parliaments that will provide the impetus it is clear that cross border digital and physical infrastructure improvements are needed. In July 2005, the Irish Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, called for a joint task force to drive economic growth in the cross border region. This would have implications for Derry and Tyrone, and Donegal across the border.

Given the affordability of housing in the city, the student population has boomed in recent years bringing a revival in the fortunes of Magee, the oldest campus within the University of Ulster established in 1865 as Magee College.

In 2002 the 145-bedroom "City Hotel" opened. This four-star hotel, part of the Great Southern Hotels group, was built at a cost of £13.8 m - partly funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board's Tourism Development Scheme and the International Fund for Ireland. In May 2006 it was used by the Conference of European Churches for the annual meeting of its Central Committee - the first time the meeting had taken place on the island of Ireland.

[edit] Shopping

Austins department store
Austins department store

Derry is the north west's major shopping district, housing two large shopping centres along with numerous shop packed streets serving much of the greater county, as well as Tyrone and Donegal. Retail developments in Letterkenny have, however, lessened cross-border traffic from north County Donegal.

The city centre has two main shopping centres; the Foyleside Shopping Centre (also Northern Ireland's largest shopping centre) which has 45 stores and 1430 parking spaces, and the Richmond Centre, which has 39 retail units. The Quayside Shopping Centre also serves the city-side and there is also Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre in the Waterside. These centres, as well as local-run businesses, feature numerous national and international stores. A retail park was recently built called Crescent Link Retail Park located in the Waterside and has many international chain stores, including Homebase, Curries, Carpet Right, PC World, Argos Extra, Toys R Us, Halfords, JJB, Pets at Home, MFI, Tesco Express, M&S Simply food and Land of Leather. In the short space that this site has been built, it has quickly grown to the second largest retail park in Northern Ireland[citation needed] (second only to Sprucefield in Lisburn). It recently changed hands for £90m in October 2007[citation needed].

Derry is also home to the world's oldest independent department store; Austins. Established in 1830, Austins predates Jenners of Edinburgh by 5 years, Harrods of London by 15 years and Macys of New York by 25 years.[45] The store's five-story Edwardian building is located in the city centre's Diamond.

[edit] Landmarks

'Hands Across the Divide' sculpture, by Maurice Harron
'Hands Across the Divide' sculpture, by Maurice Harron
The Bogside area viewed from the walls
The Bogside area viewed from the walls

There are many museums and sites of interest in and around Derry. Future projects include the Walled City Signature Project, which intends to ensure that the city's walls become a world class tourist experience.[46]

Derry has a distinct architectural quality from other Irish cities. This quality can be primarily ascribed to the formal planning of the historic walled city of Londonderry within the walls. This is centred on the diamond with a collection of late Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings maintaining the grid lines of the main thoroughfares (Shipquay Street, Ferryquay Street, Butcher Street and Bishop Street) to the city gates. St Columb's Cathedral does not follow the grid pattern reinforcing its civic status. The Cathedral was the first post-reformation cathedral built for an Anglican church. The construction of the Catholic St. Eugene's Cathedral in the Bogside in the nineteenth-century was another major architectural addition to the city. The more recent infill buildings within the walls are of varying quality and in many cases these were low quality hurriedly constructed replacements for 1970s bomb damaged buildings. The Townscape Heritage Initiative has funded restoration works to a number of key listed buildings and other older structures such as 2 Castle Street (by Hegarty Architects) and at Castle Gate (Tracey Associates) since 2004. Other historic listed buildings that have been adapted and extended include the basement of the Old City Factory at Patrick Street which is now the Void Art Centre and Gallery, the Verbal Arts Centre and the initially controversial extension to 48 Clarendon Street at the corner of Northland Road. There are a number of 1970s churches by Liam McCormick and Partners in the city and environs, notably the Roman Catholic church on Steelstown Road. Other recent award winning architecture in Derry includes technology pavilions at the Magee campus (University of Ulster), the Collon Bar and Creggan Country Park.

Other existing attractions are:

[edit] Transport

Derry's transport network is built out of a complex array of old and modern roads and railways throughout the city and county. The city's road network also makes use of two bridges to cross the River Foyle, the Craigavon Bridge and the Foyle Bridge, the longest bridge in Ireland. Derry also serves as a major transport hub for travel throughout nearby County Donegal.

[edit] Buses

[edit] City and suburban

Most public transport in Northern Ireland is operated by the subsidiaries of Translink. Originally the city's internal bus network was run by Ulsterbus, which still provides the city's connections with other towns in Northern Ireland. The city's buses are now run by Ulsterbus Foyle,[48] just as Translink Metro now provides the bus service in Belfast. The Ulsterbus Foyle network offers 13 routes across the city into the suburban areas.

There is also an Easibus link connecting to the Waterside and Drumahoe, and a free Rail Link Bus runs from the Waterside Railway Station to the city centre. All buses leave from the Foyle Street Bus Station in the city centre.

[edit] Long distance

Long distance buses depart from Foyle Street Bus Station to destinations throughout Ireland. Buses are operated by both Ulsterbus and Bus Éireann on cross-border routes and also by Lough Swilly buses to Co. Donegal. There is a half-hourly service to Belfast every day, called the Maiden City Flyer, which is the Goldline Express flagship route. There are hourly services to Strabane, Omagh, Coleraine and Letterkenny, and nine services a day to bring people to Dublin. There is a daily service to Sligo, Galway, Shannon Airport and Limerick.

[edit] Railways

Northern Ireland Railways has a single route from Waterside station to Belfast via Bellarena, Castlerock, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Cullybackey, Ballymena, Antrim, Mossley West and Whiteabbey. The service, which had been allowed to deteriorate in the 1990s, has since been boosted by increased investment. However, many still do not use the train, due to the fact that at over two hours it is slower centre-to-centre than the 100-minute Ulsterbus Goldline Express service.

Railways in Ireland, 1906.
Railways in Ireland, 1906.

At one time, Derry was served by four different systems which stretched throughout Northern Ireland, into Co. Donegal and deep into southern Ireland. At the turn of the last century, Clones was one of the major junctions from Derry, Omagh, and Belfast to north Leinster, in particular, the major market towns of Athlone, Cavan, and Mullingar. This back-bone rail infrastructure was administered by Midland Great Western Railway which also linked to other major centres namely, Sligo, Tullamore, via Clara, other destinations such as Dublin, Limerick, and other market centres of the south coast.

[edit] Road network

The road network has historically seen under-investment and has lacked good road connections to both Belfast and Dublin for many years. Long overdue, the largest road investment in the north west's history is now taking place in the district with the construction of new dual-carriageways and roads to Dungiven and helping to reduce the time it takes to get to Belfast.[49] This development is bringing a direct dual-carriageway linking between Northern Ireland's two largest cities a step closer. The project is costing £250 million and is expected to be completed in 2015. In October 2006, the Irish Government announced that it was to invest 1,000 million in Northern Ireland;[50] and one of the planned projects was the complete upgrade of the A5 Derry-Omagh-Aughnacloy(-Dublin) road, around 90km (56 miles) long, to motorway standard.[51]

[edit] Air

City of Derry Airport, the council-owned commercial airport near Eglinton, has been growing in recent years with new investment in a new runway and £10 million towards redeveloping the site.[52] It is hoped that the new investment will add to the airport's limited array of domestic and international flights. At the end of 2008 work will begin on turning the A2 from Maydown to Eglinton and the airport into a dual carriageway, with completion estimated by 2010.

Flights depart mostly to airports in the UK and Ireland, such as Dublin, London Stansted, Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Glasgow International Airport and Bristol, , though also serves some resorts on the southern coast of the Iberian peninsula and the Canary Islands during the summer.

In May 2007, the airport's main carrier, Ryanair, announced that it was starting flights to Bristol to complement its flights to Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands and Glasgow.

A previously successful route between Derry and Manchester was axed by British Airways in 2005 as part of its rationalisation of regional services. Previously Aer Arann had run a service to Birmingham. In October 2008, Flybe will replace BA's flights to and from the airport, which are currently operated by Loganair.

[edit] Education

Magee College became a campus of the University of Ulster in 1969
Magee College became a campus of the University of Ulster in 1969

Derry is home to the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster, which was formerly Magee College. The North West Institute of Further and Higher Education is also based in the city.

Secondary schools in Derry include St. Columb's College, Oakgrove Integrated College, St Cecilia's College, St. Joseph's Boys' School, Lisneal College, Foyle and Londonderry College, Thornhill College, Lumen Christi College and St. Peter's High School. There are also numerous primary schools.

[edit] Sports

The city is the home of many sporting establishments, teams and organisations, and football, both Association (soccer) and Gaelic are popular in the area. In soccer, the main teams are: Institute F.C. and Oxford United Stars F.C. who play in the Northern Ireland Irish League; Derry City F.C., who plays in the Republic of Ireland's FAI National League. In Gaelic football Derry GAA are the county team and play in the Gaelic Athletic Association's National Football League, Ulster Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. They also field hurling teams in the equivalent tournaments.

There are also many gyms situated throughout the city, including Fitness First. Others include Pro Gym and Platinum also Extreme Fitness owned & run by Willie Lynch. Pro Gym is run by Dave Fox and Malika Zitouni. Dave is a native of Derry and is the Nabba Northern Ireland 1997/98 winner. Malika won the Nabba Universe Class 1 2006.

[edit] Gaelic games

There are many Gaelic games clubs in and around the city, for example Steelstown GAC, Doire Colmcille CLG, Seán Dolans GAC and Slaughtmanus GAC.

[edit] Association Football

The local soccer league is the Derry and District League and teams from the city and surrounding areas participate, including Lincoln Courts, Don Bosco's F.C. and Trojans F.C.

[edit] Boxing

There are many boxing clubs, the most well-known being The Ring Boxing Club, which is associated with Charlie Nash[53] and John Duddy,[54] amongst others.

[edit] Rugby

Rugby Union is also quite popular in the city, with the City of Derry Rugby Club situated not far from the city centre. YMCA RFC is another Rugby club and is based in Drumahoe which is just outside the city.

[edit] Culture

In recent years the city, and surrounding countryside, has become well-known for its artistic legacy producing such talents as the Nobel Prizewinning poet Seamus Heaney, the poet Seamus Deane, the playwright Brian Friel, the writer and music critic Nik Cohn, the artist Willie Doherty, the socio-political commentator and activist Eamonn McCann as well as bands such as The Undertones. The large political gable-wall murals of Bogside Artists, Free Derry Corner, the Foyle Film Festival, the Derry Walls, St Eugene's and St Columb's Cathedrals and the annual Halloween street carnival are popular tourist attractions.

[edit] Night-life

The city's night-life is mainly centred on the weekend. Waterloo Street is central to this. It is a steep street lined with various pubs, both Irish traditional and modern. Live rock and traditional music can frequently be heard emanating from the pub-doors and windows whilst walking up or down the street at night. Derry also has a Wetherspoons outlet, which is popular with punters as a pre-club drinking destination, as well as Lloyds No. 1 Bar (also owned by Wetherspoons). The city is renowned for producing exceptionally talented musicians and many bands perform in venues around the city, for example the Smalltown America duo, Fighting with Wire and Jetplane Landing. Triggerman have a resident slot at Mason's Bar, while numerous other young local and indeed international bands perform at the Nerve Centre.

[edit] Events

  • The world-famous "Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival" (known in Irish as Féile na Samhna) in Derry also prove a huge tourism boost for the city, the carnival is promoted as being the first and longest running Halloween carnival in the whole of Ireland,[55][56] It is the largest street party in Ireland with more than 40,000 ghoulish revellers taking to the streets annually.[57]
  • The Foyle Cup is a youth soccer tournament held every year in the city. It has attracted many notable teams in the past. For example Werder Bremen, IFK Goteborg and Ferencvaros.
  • The Instinct Festival is an annual youth festival celebrating the Arts. It is held around Easter and has proven a success in recent years.
  • Celtronic is a major annual electronic dance festival held at venues all around the city. The 2007 Festival featured the DJ, Erol Alkan.
  • On 9 December 2007 Derry entered the Guinness Book of Records when 13000 Santas gathered to break the world record beating previous records held by Liverpool and Las Vegas.[59]

[edit] References in popular music

Shots were fired by a mindless military,
The people ran they were unarmed
Across the world we will read of Derry
And those who died by oppressive hands.

Cruachan, "Bloody Sunday"

I was born in Londonderry
I was born in Derry City too
Oh what a special child
To see such things and still to smile
I know that there was something wrong
But I kept my head down and carried on.

The Divine Comedy "Sunrise"

Well it was Sunday bloody Sunday
When they shot the people there
The cries of thirteen martyrs
Filled the Free Derry air
Is there any one amongst you
Dare to blame it on the kids?
Not a soldier boy was bleeding
When they nailed the coffin lids!

John Lennon and Yoko Ono "Sunday Bloody Sunday" Full lyrics

In 1803 we sailed out to sea,
Out from the sweet town of Derry,
For Australia bound if we didn't all drown,
And the marks of our fetters we carried...

Bobby Sands "Back Home In Derry" Full lyrics

It is old but it is beautiful, and its colours they are fine.
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.
My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore.
And on the Twelfth I love to wear the sash my father wore

Anon "The Sash"

...In the early morning the shirt factory horn called women from Creggan,
the Moor and the Bog.
While the men on the dole played a mother's role,
fed the children and then walked the dog.
And when times got tough there was just about enough.
But they saw it through without complaining.
For deep inside was a burning pride in the town I loved so well.
There was music there in the Derry air, like a language that we all could understand...

Phil Coulter "The Town I Loved So Well" Full lyrics

[edit] Notable people

Notable people who were born or have lived in Derry include the poet Seamus Heaney, Social Democratic and Labour Party founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness, Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill, actress Amanda Burton, girl band member Nadine Coyle, and musician Feargal Sharkey.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. , This is the official Post Town as defined by Royal Mail.
  2. , BBC article
  3. , Ofcom report,page 14
  4. , a b c Statistics press notice: Mid-year population estimates Northern Ireland (2006). Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (2007-07-31). Retrieved on 2008-03-27.
  5. , Derry City Council, Re Application for Judicial Review [2007 NIQB 5 (25 January 2007)],
  6. , Google Map Data Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  7. , Education/Oideachas BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  8. , 'Londonderry' Hudson, John. The British Library. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  9. , Derry Chamber of Commerce | Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
  10. , Change of District Name (Derry) Order 1984
  11. , Sections 7, 8 and 132 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (Eliz II 20 & 21 c.9)
  12. , World Facts Index > United Kingdom > Londonderry, 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  13. , A Brief History of Derry Tim Lambert. Retrieved 2008-03-28
  14. , a b Johnson, James H. (1957). "The population of Londonderry during the Great Irish Famine". The Economic History Review 10 (2): 273-285. 
  15. , Local democracy: Elected members. Derry City Council. Retrieved on 2008-03-27.
  16. , a b Letters Patent certifying the arms of the City of Londonderry issued to Derry City Council, sealed by Garter and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms dated April 30, 2003
  17. , Genealogical Office, Dublin: GO Ms 60, Sketches of arms by Richard Carney, fol. 47
  18. , College of Arms, London: The Arms of Peers of Ireland and some Commoners, fol. 133d (c.1652)
  19. , L E Rothwell, An inquiry initiated by Derry City Council into the ensigns armorial and related matters of the City of Londonderry
  20. , Letters Patent ratifying and confirming the arms of the City of Londonderry sealed by Garter and Norroy & Ulster Kings of Arms dated April 28, 1952
  21. , "Derry's Protestant exodus shock", Belfast Telegraph, 2008-01-01. Retrieved on 2008-03-27. 
  22. , Religion distribution in Derry City, 1991. The Ireland Story. Retrieved on 2008-03-27.
  23. , "Catholics urged to support neighbours", BBC News, 2006-10-18. Retrieved on 2008-03-27. 
  24. , Peter Shirlow, Brian Graham, Amanda McMullan, Brendan Murtagh, Gillian Robinson and Neil Southern (2005). Population Change and Social Inclusion Study: Derry/Londonderry. Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. Retrieved on 2008-03-27.
  25. , Taking a Stand Derry Journal Editorial 11 July 2006
  26. , Women, art and architecture appear to have achieved a rare symbiosis in a new project in Derry Declan Sheehan CIRCA 95, Spring 2001. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  27. , History of the Bogside Bloody Sunday Trust. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  28. , DERRYS ASSOCIATION WITH SHIRT MAKING Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  29. , Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I. The Process of Capitalist Production. Part IV, Chapter XV Karl Marx. Charles H. Kerr and Co. Chicago, 1906. First published: 1867. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  30. , First European Plant – 1958 Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  31. , Du Pont (UK) Ltd Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  32. , U.S.-Irish Business Summit Richard N. Haass, Director, Policy Planning Staff, Remarks to the U.S. – Irish Business Summit, Washington, DC. 6 September 2002. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  33. , Beyond the Troubles? - Chapter 8, Will there be peace? Peter Hadden, 1994. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  34. , House of Commons – Column 372 & 373 1 March 1990. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  35. , Ulster Science Park Practical Office Solutions 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  36. , Stream – Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  37. , Home > About Us > Londonderry Raytheon Company, 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  38. , Protest over NI missile firm BBC News Online, 25 March 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2006.
  39. , Derry City Now A 'No–Go' Area for the Arms Trade, 8 January 2004. Retrieved 19 July 2006
  40. , 400 Jobs Created in Derry and Belfast, 6 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  41. , Derry - Regional City. Derry City Council. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
  42. , The Derry March – Background Information CAIN Web Service, 23 March 2006.Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  43. , NORTHERN IRELAND DURING THE 1960s, 1999–2006. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  44. , United front to tackle Hain on jobs snub for DerryBrendan McDaid, 25 October 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2006.
  45. , Austins in brief – the world's oldest independent department store Declan Hasson, Retrieved 2008-03-28
  46. , Walled City of Derry – Signature Project The Industry Website of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Retrieved 10 September 2006.
  47. , "Derry Tourist Guide - sports & leisure". Retrieved January 26, 2006.
  48. , The launch of Ulsterbus Foyle Link to press release for the launch of Ulsterbus Foyle. Retrieved 22 September 2006.
  49. , A6 Dualling Dungiven to Londonderry Retrieved 22 September 2006.
  50. , It's trick-or-treat time with Brown STEPHEN DEMPSTER, 24 October 2006,, Johnston Press Digital Publishing. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
  51. , Package would fund biggest-ever cross-border project, 22/03/2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  52. , Story of investment £10 million pound investment in City of Derry Airport. Retrieved 22 September 2006.
  53. , Charlie Nash - "King of the Ring" Barry Flynn,, 2005-12-24. Retrieved 2008-03-28
  54. , Duddy enjoying life in the Big Apple Tomás Rohan,, 2005-01-05. Retrieved 2008-03-28
  55. , Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival Derry City Council. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  56. , Masquerading as Subversion? Rebecca Pelan. Politics and Culture. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  57. , Ireland, home of Halloween Malcolm Rogers, The Irish Post. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  58. , Magee To Host Japanese Animation Convention, 7 December 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2006.
  59. , Santa record bid attracts 13,000 BBC Website

[edit] External links

Craigavon Bridge, one of the city's two bridges.
Craigavon Bridge, one of the city's two bridges.
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