Derry/Londonderry Catholic Art
Northern Ireland, Britain
Catholics and Protestants have different names for this city, and the
neutral approach is to use both. It's "Derry" for Catholics, who also
call the city "Free Derry". Based upon an English King's designation
centuries ago, the city is "Londonderry" to Protestants.
A walled fortress was built for the Protestants, who held out against a
Catholic siege by the forces of James II. Britain's last religious war for
the throne ended with the already deposed James II losing to Protestant
King William at the Battle of the Boyne, fought nearby on Irish soil in
1690. (Victors called this "The Glorious Revolution", as William of
Orange, also William and Mary, made Britain permanently Protestant.)
Northern Ireland Protestants, whose color is orange, still celebrate the
Battle of the Boyne annually, during what is called the Marching
Season. Protestant marches through Catholic neighborhoods remain a
source of tension that challenges the government to maintain peace
under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Outside the walls Catholics proclaim their territory with
signs and huge paintings on buildings that represent
struggles with Protestants and British soldiers prior to the
peace agreement. This history is writ large, compared to
what I saw in Belfast.
These paintings partly represent the Catholic civil rights movement in
Derry. Northern Ireland officially discriminated against Catholics.
After the British army killed 26 peaceful Catholic protesters in 1972
(Bloody Sunday), violent conflict followed, led by the IRA, which often
set off bombs in England. There were street fights in Derry.
Above are casualties and people running from tear gas used by the
police and the British soldiers.
A Bloody Sunday Victim.
A Catholic street fighter equipped with gas
mask against the tear gas, plus something
to throw at the army and police.
Painting of a British soldier with sledge hammer
about to knock down the door of a Catholic home.
I had no time in Londonderry to photograph Protestant displays, which
include a museum of the walled city holding out against the 1688-89
Catholic siege. There are new symbols of peace as well, again not part
of my incomplete photo collection due to lack of time.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the free 2013
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer video of Wales, Northern Ireland and
Ireland by clicking on: My Pub Runneth Over Too
Also try my 1997 video of England, Scotland and Ireland by clicking on:
My Pub Runneth Over