Derry

8 Dec

As part of our trip to Northern Ireland, we also visited a city called Derry. Derry is the place where my great grandfather was from so this visit was extra special to me. When we first arrived it was extremely dark out so I didn’t get to take in the sights of the city immediately. But we went to the hotel and then me and my friends decided we wanted to explore. As we began to explore we noticed that our hotel was inside these huge concrete gate like walls.

We found out the next day on our tour of Derry that The Walls were built during the period 1613-1618 by the Irish Society as defense for the early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland. The Walls are about 1.5km in circumference and they form a walkway around the inner city. While we were exploring, we ended up at the bottom of a very steep hill, and we saw an extremely eerie mural on a wall of a man in a gas mask. In Derry many murals are painted around the “Free Derry” part of Derry. The murals depict images of the many troubles and problems that occurred during the unionist vs. loyalists battles. At the end of our tour we stopped at the Bloody Sunday Museum.

That was the most eye opening experience of the whole excursion. Bloody Sunday also known as the Bogside Massacre was an incident that happened on January 30 in 1972. In the massacre, soldiers from the British army shot 26 unarmed civil-rights protesters and bystanders. Of the 26 injured, 13 were men and 7 were teenagers, all thirteen of them died immediately or shortly after. This massacre showed the unjust treatment that the British soldiers did to Irish protesters. I can never imagine being a prisoner in my own country, let alone being fired at for protesting in my own city. Today, there haven’t been too many quarrels, as it is relatively peaceful between the two areas of Derry and the Bogsides.

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