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City gears up for 400th anniversary celebration of Derry’s Walls

29 January 2019

March 2019 will mark the 400th anniversary of the completion of Derry’s iconic Walls, and a special programme of events is now underway to help the city mark this significant milestone.

One of the most recognised landmarks in Ireland, the Walls have witnessed centuries of dramatic and tragic events, since the completion of the fortifications in 1619.

Derry City and Strabane District Council and its partners The Honourable, The Irish Society - the builders and owners of the Walls - and the Department for Communities Historic Environment Division, have identified Walled City 400 Years as a key theme for events programming from April 2019 to March 2020. 

A full and vibrant programme for this significant heritage inspired anniversary is now in development featuring an eclectic range of events including musical ensembles, dance, historical and contemporary exhibitions, symposiums, films, living archaeology demonstrations and workshops, visual arts exhibitions and much more.

Funding has also been made available for local groups and organisations to feed into the programme, bringing the community together in this shared celebration.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, said he was looking forward to celebrating such a significant milestone for the city.

“Derry’s Walls have certainly stood the test of time and there are few historic landmarks of this vintage which have fared so well over the centuries, particularly considering our troubled past. It’s appropriate that we shine a spotlight on the Walls this year and convey their unique story through a dedicated programme of cultural events.

“In terms of tourism, the Walls are a major resource with regards to what they offer as a visitor attraction, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city each year. It’s only right that they become a focal point of our new tourism strategy for the North West.”

The Tourism Strategy for Derry and Strabane runs until 2025 and calls on local partners within the tourism industry to take a collaborative approach to unlocking the heritage potential of the ‘Walled City’ as a major international visitor attraction.

Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Jennifer O’Donnell said: “This celebration of the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Walls programme will provide a great opportunity for both visitors and locals alike to experience the Walled City at its very best.

“The wide array of events will engage the local community in bringing the Walls to life, and highlighting the role they have had to play in the growth and development of our fantastic city. I would encourage local groups to check out how they can get involved.”

Full programme details log and information on how you can be a part of the Walled City 400 programme, go to www.walledcity400.com