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Derry Bogside Murals / The People's Gallery

The political murals painted on walls of citizen's homes in the Bogside area of Derry City, officially known as The People's Gallery, are among the city's main attractions. In various locations close to Free Derry Corner and the Rossville Street areas, the murals began as a form of Irish nationalist / Catholic political expression during the Northern Ireland "Troubles". This was a period of violence that dogged the country during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Unlike the Belfast murals, which are created by a variety of artists on both sides of the community, the Bogside murals are the work of just three local artists Tom Kelly and William Kelly (brothers), and Kevin Hasson, who began them in 1993.

The murals depicting various social and historical events from a nationalist / Catholic perspective, including:

  • The Bloody Sunday Monument, which commemorates the civil rights march that turned violent on January 20, 1972 when 14 peaceful protesters were shot by British soldiers.
  • The H-Block Monument, which remembers the 1981 Hunger Strike of prison inmates, as well as the ten who died. Mass prison protests resulted in refusal by inmates to bathe or dress in prison garb.
  • Petrol Bomber Mural, which shows a boy trying to shield himself by wearing a gas mask from the assault against Republicans by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1969.
  • Death of an Innocent, which portrays Annette McGavigan, the first child to die as a result of the violence in Derry. She was mistakenly shot while walking home from school in 1971. Annette was just fourteen years old at the time.
  • Bloody Sunday Mural, which shows Edward Daly, a priest, as he tries to remove a victim named Jackie Duddy from danger.
  • The Rioter, which depicts a lone protester in the futile effort of fending off a British tank with only a bedspring as a weapon.
  • The Civil Rights Mural, which commemorates the peaceful protest marches that preceded the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Violence erupting between protestors and the RUC in March of 1968 is considered to be the turning point from peaceful protest to violent rioting.
  • The Peace Mural -- distinct from the others, this simple mural features a white dove on a bright, multi-coloured background
  • Operation Motorman, depicting a British soldier breaking down a door during the notorious operation of July 1972, when the British army forcibly entered many "no-go areas" of Northern Ireland, killing an innocent civilian
  • The Runner,  which shows a young boy and two others fleeing desperately after a canister of CS gas has been fired by British Troops during Operation Motorman. Completed in July 2006, it was the last of the murals painted

On 31 July 2007, the "Bogside Murals" as they were known up to then were officially named The People's Gallery. See Also: Belfast City Murals

Image

'Motorman' and 'The Runner' murals, Derry. Image by yeowatzup

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