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
Discovering the Grianan of Aileach was a shock. Why had this impressive and beautiful structure failed to knock on the door of my general knowledge? There it curved in front of me, so extraordinarily well preserved. What a mystery! Yet a small amount of research later revealed some of the reasons why this site has not been wholeheartedly promoted by history experts.