It is no easy task to teach the history of Northern Ireland from the Treaty to thg Peace Process, but a narrative that finishes up in a process of conflict resolution rather than violence is a positive way to end the academic lectures that were part of this program. This narrative was beautifully enhanced by our tour of the Bogside with one of the Bogside artists, Mr. Tom Kelly.
Tom and his fellow artists Will Kelly and Kevin Hasson have painted a series of 12 murals around the Bogside. These murals tell the story of the Derry community through Art, and the artists passionately insist that their narrative is one of honesty and representative of the people's struggle for civil rights and equality. The series of 12 murals concludes with the wonderful Peace Mural, complete with a dove, and coloured squares representing equal representation of all shades of political persuasions in this beautiful city. You can visit the website of the bogside artists here and we absolutely support their work and recommend you check out their book (which many of our students purchased, signed by all three. Thanks so much, Kevin, Will and Tom.
Derry City was built between 1613 and 1620, a plantation stronghold that still retains the city walls. Famous for the siege of 1689, with the cry 'No Surrender', the city then became the site of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s, a movement modeled on the US Civil Rights movement of Dr. King and the people of the South. It is a city associated with Culture, in particular the work of Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Field Day Theatre and Literature, and much great music and art. We got the opportunity to walk the walls of the city, and tour the beautiful Guild Hall, home to the Derry/Strabane Council, and a fabulous illustration of the history of the city in stained glass.
We returned to Bundoran after a great day across the border, and celebrated our last night in Donegal with a delicious meal at La Sabbia Restaurant. We were joined by Deirdre McCarthy from the Department of Foreign Affairs, one of the team responsible for the concept of this great program for our Global Irish Camp.. thanks Deirdre!
We're off to Dublin for the final two days of the Program... bye bye Donegal, it's been fun!