Derry: a city with two names and two communities

Despite divisions city has forged important cross-community links

A man paints the ‘Free Derry’ corner wall in the Bogside. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

A man paints the ‘Free Derry’ corner wall in the Bogside. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

 

Derry is a city with two names and a place which the map shows has two distinct main communities.

The population changes in the map illustrate how the Protestant community was largely seen to have moved from the west to the east of the city, crossing the waters of the Foyle, during the decades of violence of the Troubles.

The 2011 census showed the Derry city area included 74.8% of people who belonged to or were brought up in the Catholic religion and 22.3% belonged to or were brought up in a ‘Protestant and Other Christian’ religion.

It found that 23.7% indicated that they had a British national identity, 55% had an Irish national identity and 24.6% had a Northern Irish national identity.

In 2013 the city made history in being chosen as the first ever UK City of Culture. It hosted a year-long celebration attracting international visitors.

In the same year it became the first northern venue to host the all-Ireland fleadh cheoil.

Despite its divisions Derry has forged important cross-community links and led the way in comparison with cities such as Belfast when it came to brokering deals on issues such as controversial parades.