Londonderry loyalist murals - Derry/Londonderry - Northern Ireland

Address: Derry/Londonderry (See map)
Telephone: no telephone
Website: not available

Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2008

Description: Although the famous "Hands across the divide" statue (see photo below) near Londonderry's city centre suggests that the catholic and protestant populations put aside their differences, the murals in loyalist neighbourhoods suggest otherwise. Paramilitary symbols, masked gunmen and scenes of historic battles still paint a picture of separated communities and ongoing fighting.

To get a view of the loyalist murals you'll have to bring yourself to venture out of the friendly and picturesque walled inner-city, and into the working-class protestant neighbourhoods across the river Foyle. The east bank areas of Bond's Street, Lincoln Course and Sperrin Park will be your main destinations. There's one exception: the loyalist Hawkin street / The Fountain area situated directly south of the centre on the west bank.

Although murals fade, disappear or get painted over as time goes by, the major themes in protestant areas stay the same. The historic occasions of the Battle of the Boyne (in which 'king Billy' defeated the catholic army of James II) and the Siege of Derry are amongst the most favourite events to be portrayed. Most murals depict paramilitary members, casualties, crests and flags however.

Londonderry's nationalist/republican murals are concentrated in the Bogside area to the west of the city centre (Derry republican murals). If you want to visit more loyalist murals in Belfast, click here: Belfast loyalist murals.

Hands across the divide statue, situated just west of Craigavon bridge. It depicts a theme of reconciliation between the catholic and protestant people of Northern Ireland.

Mural depicting the crests of Northern Ireland's largest loyalist group: the UDA (Ulster Defence Association) and its' military wing the UFF (Ulster Freedom Fighters). The left part features the words "Long Kesh" (another name for the Maze prison, in which convicted/captured paramilitaries were locked up) and the letters L.P.O.W. standing for "Liberate Prisoners Of War".

Portrait of the English Queen Elizabeth in the Bond's street area. It features the English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish Shamrock, sending the message that (Northern) Ireland should fall under British rule.

A well known mural of Iron Maiden's stormtrooper depicted as UFF soldier. In the background you see the city's republican Bogside area going up in flames. The text above reads "There must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause each one of us must fight on to the end. We determine the guilty, we decide the punishment".

First US president George Washington is shown here. The text says: "If defeated everywhere else, I will make my final stand for liberty with the Scotch-Irish (Ulster-Scots) of my native Virginia". It tries to show the belligerence and importance of protestant Scotch-Irish militiamen abroad in general and in American history in particular.

Black and white mural with Cecil McKnight in the foreground, standing in front of some murals on Bond's street. McKnight was a former member of the UDA, shot dead on 29 June 1991 by the IRA (Irish Republican Army).

Mural commemorating the shutting of the gates by the "Apprentice Boys" during the siege of Derry. The Apprentice boys were a group of protestant lads who closed the gates of the city in order to keep out catholic troops in 1688.

UDA/UFF First Battalion A-Company Waterside territory marker on Lincoln Course.

UDA mural remembering their fallen comrades.