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What’s in a name: call it Derry, or call it Londonderry… I call it stupid

5 8 7
09.10.2021

You call it Derry, I call it Londonderry, let’s call the whole thing... what? The Walled City? The Maiden City? Foyleside? LegendDerry?

To be honest, I just call it daft.

For decades now — decades! — we have been arguing and huffing and puffing over which name to call the place, as if this will score a win for either Irishness or Britishness.

It won’t. All it does is make the lot of us look like pillocks.

The saga dates back to the early 1980s, when the nationalist-controlled council in the city lobbied for a lobbing off of the London bit.

That prefix had been added back in the 1600s during the Plantation of Ulster, when the city, roughly as we know it today, was constructed and fortified with its famous Walls.

A plaque in St Columb’s Cathedral, built by the same people, reads: “If stonyes could speake, then London’s prayse should sound, who built this church and cittie from the grounde.”

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A fairly robust example, there, of constructors’ claim to name.

Co Londonderry was created at the same time out of what was formerly County Colrain (Coleraine) and wee off-cuts of counties Antrim and Tyrone.

That’s the early history bit. The current, assumed arrangement — that nationalists call it Derry while unionists call it Londonderry — is, however, not quite as straightforward as some would argue.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry being one of the more obvious........

© Belfast Telegraph


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