Derry City has an historical legacy which is at the forefront of its tourism and also its image. These two elements crystallise around the Siege of Derry in 1689 and also the Civil Right’s movement of the 1960’s and the violence which came after. Memorials are not so good at keeping a low profile at a time of high emotions. But some memorials are more embraced than others.
Most of the time I feel war memorials have little to do with the horror of war and have more to do with the expected viewership and even planning laws. The International Sailor in Derry is a great example of compromise for a modern era. A away from the centre of a divided city – unlike the first war memorial when built in the Diamond in Derry 1927 – but includes a double section plinth which has the obvious temptation of being steps for one who wishes to take a photo of oneself along with the handsomely chiselled sculpture. Are war memorials more of a middle class thing, and dying-in-war more for the working class? Keep Reading
A brief visit to Delfshaven allowed me to linger along port side, and have an almost idyllic drink. The “almost” moment came as a consequence of being disturbed by a group of summer-time wasps, attracted to the nearby High Teas that came with multi-layered trays of mini-cakes.
Later I learned how tea was at the centre of that extraordinarily wealthy era of the Netherlands – the Golden Age. Perhaps the wasps are a symbol of the current debate in the Netherlands about how a once popular version of history can with hindsight be seen in controversial terms.
An Cailín Ban stands high on north Sandymount Strand. This was created by Mexican artist Sebastian, who was born Enrique Carbajal González in 1947 and took on his pseudonym after Botticelli’s painting of St. Sebastian.