Derry republican 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: Casually wandering around Derry's pleasant centre, it's hard to imagine that this city has seen so much sectarian violence and opposition between its communities of catholic and protestant inhabitants. Set foot outside Butcher Gate at the west of the city-centre's walled perimeter, and you'll find yourself knee-deep in catholic (Free) Derry. The vast Bogside area stretches out beneath you, welcoming or deterring you, judge for yourself...

Rossville street (the main thoroughfare) sports the most murals, painted by a group known as the Bogside artists. The Bogside has seen more than its' fair share of sectarian rioting and violence, providing the background for the notorious 1972 "Bloody Sunday". During Bloody Sunday 14 catholic civil rights protesters were shot by the 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment. This stimulated catholics all over Northern Ireland to join the ranks of the IRA (Irish Republican Army). Several murals and memorials recall the events of this gruesome day. Another, less well-known historic episode inspiring the local mural-painters is the Battle of the Bogside. This clash between the RUC (the local police) and catholic inhabitants held the middle between heavy rioting and downright open warfare. It lasted for three long days in 1969 during which more than 1000 people were injured.

Just like the republican areas of Belfast, the Bogside also hosts a lot of murals commemorating the Maze prison hunger strikes of the early eighties, during which 10 incarcerated members of the IRA and INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) starved themselves to death.

Londonderry's unionist/loyalist murals are concentrated on the east bank of the River Foyle (Londonderry loyalist murals). If you want to visit more republican murals in Belfast, click here: Belfast republican murals.

Derry's Bogside, as seen from the historic city-centre's ramparts.

The famous catholic territory-marker of west Derry.

Perhaps the most well-known mural in Derry: The petrol bomber. A young lad fights the RUC with a home-made petrol bomb, wearing a gasmask.

A portrayal of the so called "Saturday Matinee". This name stems from the fact that a lot of the riots from 1969 and the early 70's took place on Saturday afternoons.

The Bloody Sunday Memorial on Rossville Street with the names of the victims of this tragic day engraved in it.

To the left is a scene depicting "Operation Motorman". An operation during which the British Army tried to regain control of the areas ruled by the IRA. To the right is a scene representing the protesters fleeing from teargas, which was frequently used by security forces during the Troubles.

Nationalist murals often promote international solidarity between oppressed people fighting for their freedom. This one links the Irish cause with that of former Cuban rebel Che Guevara.

This is quite a unique mural in the sense that it commemmorates not so much the conflict between catholics and protestants, but more their combined struggle for more democratic rights and a non-sectarian society.

This mural shows the Blanket Protesters. They refused to wear prison-uniforms, stating that they were political prisoners rather than criminals.

Westland Street mural honouring the IRA and INLA members who died during the hungerstrikes in Maze prison (a.k.a. Long Kesh).