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Derry / Londonderry
Irish Doire / Doire Cholm Cille
Coordinates 55 ° 0 ′  N , 7 ° 18 ′  W Coordinates: 55 ° 0 ′  N , 7 ° 18 ′  W
Derry / Londonderry (Northern Ireland)
Derry / Londonderry
Derry / Londonderry
Residents 85.016
ZIP code section BT47, BT48
prefix 028
Part of the country Northern Ireland
Historic county County Derry
District Derry and Strabane

Derry [ ˈdɛɹɪ ] (officially Londonderry ; Irish Doire Cholm Chille [ ˈdɛɾʲə ˌxɔɫəm ˈçɪl̠ʲə ], German 'Eichenhain des (St.) Columcille ' , or mostly Doire 'Eichenhain' for short ) is a city in Northern Ireland . With about 85,000 inhabitants (as of 2008) it is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and fourth largest on the Irish island . It lies on the River Foyle in the historic county ( County ) Londonderry , near the border with the Republic of Ireland . The city of Derry has been part of the larger Derry District since 1973 , which includes the city's rural hinterland, and has been part of the Derry City and Strabane District since 2015 . Derry is now one of the two administrative headquarters of the Derry City and Strabane district. Since the city of Derry the status of a city has, the managing authority of the entire district is named Derry City Council . The entire Derry district has about 109,000 residents.

History and usage of the different city names

In the 17th century the name City of Londonderry was created by the Protestant settlers as part of the Plantation of Ulster (see History of Northern Ireland and Plantations ) in recognition of donations from some London trade organizations for the construction of the new city fortifications. Already at that time this name was rejected by most of the inhabitants because of the illogical addition London- to the old Irish Gaelic name and has not established itself in common usage.

Signpost in Northern Ireland to "Londonderry"

Before the political clashes of the Northern Ireland conflict in the late 1960s, the use of Derry or Londonderry meant no particular political position, and most residents (including the Protestant ones) had used the old form Derry without hesitation . Since then, the Unionists (mostly Protestants) loyal to Great Britain have consciously preferred the name Londonderry , while Derry has been preferred by the nationalist (mostly Catholic and Irish) residents. Since the Troubles , the media, which wanted to remain politically neutral, have had a problem. In particular, some radio announcer, especially the radio reporter Gerry Anderson, used now on will always a forward slash (Engl. Stroke ). Spoken it was called Derry-Stroke-Londonderry . As a neutral short form that is often used - sometimes sarcastically - in everyday life, Stroke City has established itself .

In addition to Derry or Londonderry and Stroke City, there are other names for the city in common usage , which mostly depend on the speaker's political background:

  • Doire Cholm Chille [ ˈderʲə ˌxoɫəm ˈxʲiɫʲə ], German 'Eichenhain des (St.) Columcille' , or Doire 'Eichenhain' for shortis the original Irish name of the city.
  • The Maiden City 'the virgin city' , alluding to the fact that Derry was never captured despite long sieges. The most important siege by troops of the Catholic King James II ( Siege of Derry ) lasted 105 days.
  • The Walled City 'the walled city' . This name refers to the city ​​wall that has been preserved to this day.
  • Foyle , after the river of the same name that flows through Derry.
Signposts in the Republic of Ireland (here in County Donegal ) use Irish Doire and English Derry

1984 named previously to Londonderry was District by the City Council in Derry renamed. The Derry City Council passed a motion in January 2003 that Londonderry should no longer be treated as the official name of the city proper and that Derry and Londonderry should be treated equally. In April 2006, Derry City Council petitioned the High Court of Northern Ireland to determine that the name of the city was Derry , or otherwise to be changed to that effect. The court ruled that the renaming of the district in 1984 did not affect the name of the actual city. The official name of the city was Londonderry ; to change this, the Royal Charter of 1662 would have to be modified either by law or by royal order. Sinn Féin's motion to submit a petition to the Privy Council was rejected in March 2010 by the Derry City Council with the votes of SDLP and Unionists . Their counter-proposals did not find a majority either.

In the English-speaking world, Derry is mostly spoken of, only in Great Britain almost always Londonderry . Both city ​​names are used in German. To circumvent the problem, the Northern Irish Railways consistently use the designation "Derry - Londonderry" for announcements or train destination displays; Northern Irish long-distance buses display “L / Derry”, while buses or road signs in the Republic of Ireland always read “Derry” and the Irish name Doire .

City coat of arms and motto

City arms

The coat of arms of Derry forms a two-part shield, under which the Latin motto Vita, Veritas, Victoria , 'Life, Truth, Victory' is written on a banner .

The upper area of ​​the shield (the so-called field ) is formed by the coat of arms of London, the George Cross (a solid, red cross on a white background), with a golden Irish or Celtic harp in the center of the cross and a red sword in the upper left quarter.

The shield part of the coat of arms underneath has a black background and shows a golden human skeleton, which - resting its head on its right arm - sits on a green, moss-covered stone, as well as a white castle with three towers in the upper left corner. The castle depicted on the coat of arms represents in all probability the castle of Richard Og de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster , in Greencastle near Derry from the early 14th century, which today is only in ruins . There are various theories about the meaning of the skeleton in the coat of arms. The most popular and widely received version is that the skeleton is a cousin of Richard de Burgh, popularly known as "Walter", who was walled in alive by him. It is more likely, however, that it is a purely symbolic representation that cannot be assigned to a specific person.


Wall painting in memory of Annette McGavigan, shot dead by British soldiers in the Bogside in 1971 at the age of 14 as the 100th civilian victim .

The Court Tomb of Ervey to the southwest is evidence of prehistoric settlement. In the 6th century the monastery was founded by St. Columban .

From April 1689 Catholic- Jacobite troops besieged the city, which was the refuge of the Protestant settlers. After 105 days the siege was ended when a ship carrying supplies broke through a dam on the River Foyle. Derry was renamed Londonderry as early as 1618. From 1700 Londonderry was one of the most important ports of emigration of Irish to the USA . During World War II it was the westernmost deep water port of the British fleet .

The city has been shaken by the troubles since 1969 . During the Northern Ireland conflict, the city ​​was the scene of bloody clashes between Anglicans and Presbyterians of English and Scottish descent ( Protestants or Unionists ) and residents of Catholic-Irish descent ( Catholics or Republicans ). See also: Bloody Sunday (Northern Ireland 1972)

Since the administrative reform of 1973, District Derry has been one of the 26 Districts ( Unitary Authorities ) in Northern Ireland. Since 1998 there has been a peaceful development after the Good Friday Agreement . In 1984 the SDLP- dominated district of Londonderry was renamed Derry .


Old town, city wall and cathedral

The old town of Derry is worth seeing with the 1.5 km long and up to eight meters high, walkable city ​​wall from the 17th century , which is almost in its original condition (except for three gates added later) and is therefore the best preserved in Great Britain and Ireland applies. The largest Anglican cathedral in Northern Ireland, St. Columban (English St. Columb's Cathedral ) is also located in the city. The cathedral was built between 1628 and 1633, making it the oldest building in the city. In the 19th century it was redesigned in a Victorian / neo-Gothic style.

Tower Museum

Also well worth seeing is the Tower Museum, which opened in 2006 and has received multiple awards, in which the changing history of the city is presented in detail and which has a further focus on the history of the Spanish Armada . On the basis of many artifacts from the Spanish galleon "La Trinidad Valencera", one of the largest ships in the Armada, which sank in Kinnagoe Bay (County Donegal) not far from Derry in September 1588 and was rediscovered in 1971 by divers of the "City of Derry Sub-Aqua Club" , tells the story of the Armada's attack on England and their retreat over Scotland and Ireland.

More Attractions

  • Guildhall (historic town hall opposite the Tower Museum with ornate glass windows depicting the history of the city from its founding to the "Troubles")
  • Bloody Sunday Monument
  • Amelia Earhart Center, Ballyarnett County Park, north of town
  • Grianán of Aileach , a 10th century ring fort of the kings of Ulster, north of the city in County Donegal

The People's Gallery in Bogside , a predominantly Catholic district of Derry. Here there are several large murals (so-called. " Murals ") attached to the civil rights movement, the Bloody Sunday and events from the time of the Civil War, " The Troubles remember".

Round tower

It was known from older records that there was an early Christian monastery in Derry , which also included a round tower . The buildings there were largely destroyed in the wars of the 16th and 17th centuries.

A map from 1685 shows a windmill for the area that was converted into an ice house in the second half of the 18th century .

In 2013 the remains of it were extensively restored. It was mortar removed from the inside of the masonry. Exact investigations at Queen's University Belfast revealed that the mortar was from the period between 1200 and 1400 and that the structure must have been the remains of the round tower.

The circumference of 6 m is at the upper limit of the known sizes for round towers, but in no way contradicts the assumption that this is the original round tower. The higher door opening is also typical for round towers.



The city of Derry is home to numerous different sports clubs and teams. Gaelic football , but also soccer, are probably the most popular sports in the Northern Irish city.


Derry is home to Derry City Football Club (Derry City FC) founded in 1928 . The club is the only Northern Irish team that plays in the League of Ireland (the major league of the Republic of Ireland ) and is very successful there. Among other things, the team won multiple championships (1989 and 1997), cup winners (1989, 1995, 2002, 2006, 2012) and league cup winners (1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011). The club's home stadium is Brandywell Stadium . Because of their red and white striped jerseys, the team in Derry is also known as the red and white army or the candystripes . The former results from Northern Ireland's typical self- deprecating view of the civil war with its many different armies and forces , candystripes refers to a popular red and white striped type of candy. Furthermore, the club can look back on a long history in European club football, which goes back to the 1964/65 European Cup Winners' Cup , when the club lost 5-0 to the Romanian club Steaua Bucharest in the adition of a 2-0 game .

Over the years, however, other football clubs had settled in and around Derry, including the Institut FC, which was founded in 1905 and played in the NIFL Championship 1 . Furthermore, the include Oxford United Stars FC and the Trojans FC , whose men's teams each in Northern Ireland Intermediate League is represented, the highest amateur class of the country to Derry. A youth, but also men's league , specially designed for Derry and its surroundings, is the Derry and District League , in which numerous current and former professional players were active, especially in their youth. With the Foyle Cup , Derry is also home to an annual youth football tournament, in which youth teams from various European and international top clubs regularly take part. Among other things, even youth players from the North American franchise Ottawa Fury took part in the tournament in Northern Ireland.

Gaelic football

Derry's Gaelic football team is called Derry GAA and represents County Londonderry , one of 32 counties within the GAA's 1884 county board . The club, founded in 1884, plays its home games in Celtic Park in Derry and appears with its men's team in the National Football League , the Ulster Senior Football Championship , and the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship . The club also has hurling teams that compete in equivalent tournaments. While Derry GAA appears as a county team, there are numerous other Gaelic football teams in and around the city that operate at the club level. Among the best known are Na Magha CLG , Steelstown GAC , Doire Colmcille CLG , Seán Dolans GAC , Na Piarsaigh CLG Doire Trasna and Slaughtmanus GAC .


Derry can also come up with various boxing clubs in boxing, the most famous being The Ring Boxing Club , which includes Charlie Nash , a boxer who was particularly active in the 1970s and 1980s, and John Duddy , an equally successful amateur and professional boxer Title holder, belonged.

Rugby union

In addition to soccer and Gaelic football, rugby union is also one of the more popular sports in Derry, with the City of Derry RFC, a club located not far from the city center. The club, which was founded in 1881, had its greatest successes in the 1999/2000 season with victory in the Ulster Senior Cup and the Ulster Senior League . The club is also a twelve-time winner of the Ulster Towns Cup and has so far won the Ulster Junior Cup three times, most recently in 2008/09 .


The only basketball club in town is the North Star Basketball Club, founded in 2002 with teams in the Basketball Northern Ireland Senior and Junior Leagues. The club's home games are all played in the sports hall of St. Columb's College , a boys' grammar school founded in 1879 .


The sport of cricket is also popular in Derry , especially in Waterside , the part of the city of Derry on the east bank of the River Foyle . The most famous and successful clubs include the Brigade Cricket Club and the Glendermott Cricket Club , both of which are represented in the North West Senior League , a provincial league . With a total of 14 championship titles in the history that has been going on since 1909, the Brigade Cricket Club is by far the more successful of the two clubs. The only notable success of the Glendermott Cricket Club, which has existed since 1926, is the victory at the North West Senior Cup in 2005.


Golf, which is played on two different courses, is no less popular in Derry. On the one hand, the City of Derry Golf Club offers golf on an 18-hole round, on the other hand there is also the Foyle International Golf Center with a view over the Donegal Hills and an 18- and 9-hole golf course just outside the city -Round.


Music plays an important role in Derry's public culture, as it does in many other Irish cities, and a number of internationally known artists and groups come from Derry. These include:

In 1989 the Irish composer Shaun Davey composed the symphony The Relief of Derry , also known as "Peace Symphony ", as a contribution to the reconciliation process between the warring ethnic groups and the descendants of those who fought on the Catholic and Protestant side in the Battle of Derry in 1689 or lost their lives have left. The symphony premiered in 1990 at the Derry / Londonderry Guildhall.

In addition, there are numerous music events and festivals every year such as B. the “City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival” in April or the “Celtronic” (electronic dance festival) in June.

Songs about Derry / Londonderry

Derry is sung about or mentioned in several popular songs. The best-known examples are the (unofficial) national anthem of Northern Ireland, " Londonderry Air / Danny Boy ", Bobby Sands ' " Back Home In Derry ", Phil Coulter's " The Town I Loved So Well " and "Sunrise" from "The Divine Comedy". The Irish rock band U2 wrote the popular song " Sunday Bloody Sunday " about Bloody Sunday in 1972 .


Web links

Commons : Derry  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the towns in Northern Ireland
  2. Population of the towns in Northern Ireland ( MS Excel ; 210 kB)
  3. Population of the Districts of Northern Ireland
  4. a b c Court to rule on city name ( English ) BBC News. April 7, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  5. [2007] NIQB 5 Ref WEAF5707
  6. Attempt to change city name thrown into chaos ( English ) Belfast Today . March 9, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Archeology Ireland. Volume 33 No. 1. Spring 2019. Page 14 ff. ISSN  0790-892X
  8. Derry round tower. Retrieved May 29, 2019
  9. Route Map. City of Derry Airport, accessed June 30, 2014 .
  10. Shaun Davey - The Relief of Derry Symphony.Retrieved August 30, 2015.