The history of the City of Londonderry during the turbulent years of the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent Border War/’First Troubles’ is both fascinating and harrowing.
It is a period of history that today is largely forgotten, even within the Maiden City itself. Something which is rather surprising since, according to the old adage “those who forget their history are doomed to relive it“.
Whilst Belfast was at the very epicentre of the events which unfolded between 1920 and 1923, Derry seemed, at times, almost peripheral to the ethno-political drama being played out elsewhere in Ulster.
However, when analysed from a different perspective, we can see that the city of Londonderry would prove pivotal to the events leading up to the creation of the state of Northern Ireland, and arguably, the fate of that city was the deciding factor in whether or not “our wee country” would survive the early years of it’s existence.
The story of those tumultuous, violent and chaotic years in Londonderry is, nonetheless, important. Particularly as it provides those outside the city (and county) with an insight into the almost unique interaction between the two antagonistic communities.
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