derry

The Spirit of Ireland

Images from Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s
Taken from The Spirit of Ireland by Lynn Doyle
Published by B.T Batsford Ltd in 1935
Spirit Ireland

‘They cannot love the Irish language without depreciating the English language; and forget that it is paying the Irish people no compliment to prove that eight hundred years they were held down by a nation of nincompoops’

 

A man from Connemara.

A man from Connemara.

'Children of Mary', County Donegal.

‘Children of Mary’, County Donegal.

Eamon De Valera walks with church leaders.

Eamon De Valera walks with church leaders.

Priests at Maynooth.

Priests at Maynooth.

A priest blesses a garda.

A priest blesses a garda.

Going to mass in the west of Ireland..

Going to mass in the west of Ireland..

'Boycott British Goods and Courts' protest in Dublin.

‘Boycott British Goods and Courts’ protest in Dublin.

Horse market at Ballinasloe, County Galway.

Horse market at Ballinasloe, County Galway.

Cattle fair at Cashel, County Tipperary.

Cattle fair at Cashel, County Tipperary.

Sheep fair at Killarney, County Kerry

Sheep fair at Killarney, County Kerry

Nelson's column on O'Connell Street, Dublin

Nelson’s column on O’Connell Street, Dublin

A family on the Blasket Islands.

A family on the Blasket Islands.

An old woman on Great Blasket Island takes a rest.

An old woman on Great Blasket Island takes a rest.

A couple by the fireside in a cottage on Aran.

A couple by the fireside in a cottage on Aran.

Men from the Aran Isles.

Men from the Aran Isles.

People at a hunt gathering.

People at a hunt gathering.

The Westmeath hounds in Mullingar, County Westmeath.

The Westmeath hounds in Mullingar, County Westmeath.

A pack of hounds in Cork.

A pack of hounds in Cork.

An old woman in Cork.

An old woman in Cork.

Girl from Kerry leading a donkey

Girl from Kerry leading a donkey

Donegall Square in Belfast.

Donegall Square in Belfast.

Unionists celebrate the Twelfth of July in Belfast.

Unionists celebrate the Twelfth of July in Belfast.

Royal Avenue in Belfast.

Royal Avenue in Belfast.

The walls of Derry

The walls of Derry

The law courts at Londonderry

The law courts at Londonderry

Village thatcher at work in Fermanagh

Village thatcher at work in Fermanagh

A woman spinning in Donegal.

A woman spinning in Donegal.

Carrying turf at Donegal

Carrying turf at Donegal

Loading turf into a boat.

Loading turf into a boat.

The Claddagh, shortly before they were demolished.

The Claddagh, shortly before they were demolished.

A man from Connemara.

A man from Connemara.

'Tir Agus Teanga' ('Land and Language') meeting in County Galway.

‘Tir Agus Teanga’ (‘Land and Language’) meeting in County Galway.

A shop in Galway

A shop in Galway

Gathering Carrageen at Cashla, County Galway

Gathering Carrageen at Cashla, County Galway

A storyteller at Carna Feis, County Galway.

A storyteller at Carna Feis, County Galway.

An illegal distillery, location unknown.

An illegal distillery, location unknown.

 

A family in a cart.

A family in a cart.

Childhood memorys

43[1]The lord is my shepherd

my fathers was the Shepherd’ Rest a pub about half way up the Sperrin Mountains

 

Threaded by streams and small roads, the Sperrins are bounded by the towns of Strabane, Dungiven, Magherafelt and Newtownstewart. A section of the gently contoured range spills south towards Omagh over the beautiful Owenkillew river.

Seamus Heaney, who writes incomparably about the mossy places of Ulster, grew up on the edge of the Sperrins. And it’s true that in a mild winter the whin, or gorse, is in perpetual flower. The blossoms smell like sweet coconut. Boiling eggs in whin to dye them yellow is an Easter custom. Some farmers pound the prickles to feed to their horses – it’s said to keep the coat glossy. Pigs like whin too. A good root in a whin bush is a pig’s delight.

When the Four Citizens of London visited Ulster in 1609 their guide was under strict orders from the Lord Deputy of Ireland not to let them see the Sperrins. Officials feared that the mere sight of these inhospitable peaty hills would put them off. The Citizens were agents of the London companies who were cautiously exploring investment prospects in the area. The policy of settling large numbers of Scots and English loyal to the crown – called the ‘plantation’ of Ulster – needed money to succeed. Getting it out of the London companies required a certain amount of subterfuge.

The hills may be bare but there are fertile valleys lower down. The huge oaks and elms of the primeval forest of Glenconkeyne north-west of Lough Neagh delighted the new settlers. They chopped them all down and floated the logs down the Bann to build Coleraine and Limavady.

Until 1603 when Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, submitted to the English at Mellifont, all the forested land west of Lough Neagh was Tyrone Country where O’Neill was a hunted outlaw. To avoid being murdered by his uncle which is what happened to his father – O’Neill had been sent to Sussex to be educated by Sir Henry Sydney. There he met Sir John Harington, who introduced the water closet to England, and also the Italian poet Ariosto. But this exposure to polite society did not deter O’Neill from fighting the English quite soon afterwards.

There are reminders of the green gaiety of the ancient wood around Springhill, a 17th-century fortified house near Moneymore. A thicket of old yews has survived and the lrish oak stairway came from local forests. Moneymore itself is a typical plantation town, with a market house, dispensary,and other fine buildings in the wide main street. Built by the Drapers Company, it was the first town in Ulster to have piped water.

 

The Sperrins are the largest and least explored mountain range in Northern Ireland with dramatic landscapes, rivers teaming with life, mountains, valleys, forests, lakes, outdoor pursuits, indoor pursuits… something for everyone!. The region is extremely accessible, Belfast airports and ferry ports, as well as Derry City airport are all within one hour of the Sperrins Region. With some of Ireland’s most spectacular and stunning scenery as your backdrop and right on your doorstep, this is the perfect location to get an extraordinary experience, no matter what your looking for!

Source of above text:

Sperrin Mountains /SperrinRegion
Official Site of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Gallery of Sperrin Mountains

 

 

Derry Quay

During summer holidays always went to my Aunt Annies in Derry, then up to Uncle John and Anna at Lisbunny Claudy.

1279291081[1]

As a boy the quay was on e of my favourite places, exciting, ships coming in, going out, fishing with a hook and sinker.

It was a quite busy port 50 odd years ago, with it’s  docks and warehouses, misterious places.
Emigrants sailed from here to USA and other Irish ports,between March 1803 and March 1806.  The top four departure ports were Dublin, with 28 sailings, then Derry
with 26, Belfast 22 and Newry 19.
Derry is the only town in Ireland which can legitimately tell the complete story of Irish emigration because it was a major Irish emigration port throughout all the most significant phases of emigration from Ireland.

Genealogist Brian Mitchell puts the case for creating an emigration centre, similar to New York’s Ellis Island, on Derry Quay. See the article here

From Derry quay we sailed away by Brian Mitchell

It is said that nine million people globally can trace their family story back to Derry and the North emigrants2[1]West. Now, local genealogist Brian Mitchell explores the emigrantsdrawing[1]potential of Derry’s Quays as a significant visitor attraction – perhaps like ‘The American Immigrant Wall of Honor’ in New York, upon which the names of over 700,000 immigrants who came through Ellis Island and helped build America are inscribed…

O’DOHERTY’S “EMIGRANTS” DRAWING

From Derry quay we sailed away
On the 23rd of May

We were taken on board by a pleasant crew
Bound for Americay
Fresh water there we did take on
Five thousand gallons or more

In case we’d run short going to New York
Far away from the Shamrock shore.

“In my view, everyone involved in the relocation and upgrading of the Derry Emigrant display at the quay, in front of the Sainsbury’s café, should be congratulated.

I think it is an impressive tribute to Derry’s important role as an emigration port.

It contains three elements: Statues depicting three generations of one family at the quayside who are either about to leave Derry or to wave farewell to those going. Benches inscribed with the names of six ships involved in Derry’s emigrant trade over 3 centuries (i.e. the Faithful Steward commemorating the 18th century Ulster-Scots who departed here; 19th century Derry-owned sailing fleets of emigration ships represented by the Erin and Minnehaha; the Seamore and Columbia recalling the days, right up to 1939, when Derry, in the age of steamships, was a transatlantic hub for the emigration and tourist trade; and the Lairdsloch symbolising ‘the Scotch Boat’, the Derry to Glasgow passenger and livestock steamer, which was such an important part of Derry’s maritime history until 1966).

It also features an illustrated panel which summarises the history of Derry as an emigration port.

I believe it should be highlighted and mapped as a significant part of Derry’s ‘visitor attractions’.

Commemorating our past

In Philadelphia and New York, for example, they are well aware of the value of an iconic piece of public visual artwork as a focal point to commemorate the contribution of immigrants to the United States.

At Penn’s Landing there is a sculpture, by Glenna Goodacre, depicting the Irish arriving in Philadelphia in the mid-19th century.

In New York, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. promotes ‘The American Immigrant Wall of Honor’ at Ellis Island as a ‘National Treasure’ which symbolises and celebrates the courage and hope that immigrants and their ancestors brought to America. One hundred million Americans can trace an ancestor who arrived, from 1892, in the United States at Ellis Island.

There are nine million people out there whose family story includes Derry and the North West. The potential is there to build and promote Derry as the place where their story began: for example, an ancestor may have boarded a sailing ship at Shipquay Place, or stopped at Gweedore Bar, Waterloo Street on their way from west Donegal to Glasgow on the Scotch Boat, or arrived in Derry by rail, lodged in Bridge Street and then headed down Foyle, on a tender, to connect with transatlantic liners at Moville.

The emigration display at Sainsbury’s could be a fantastic opportunity to build on ‘Spirit of Place’ and ‘Power of Place’ to connect with the North West’s Diaspora.

Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, was established in May 1607. Bill Haley, Designer of the Rediscovering Jamestown 1607-1699 exhibition passionately believes that “the ‘power of place’ is the essence of a visit to Historic Jamestowne.

And the centre point of that power is the site of the James Fort. There is an ethereal almost magical feeling of standing at the very spot where modern America began. It is a feeling amplified by the exceptional archaeological remains and artifacts that have been found there”.

This concept could be very powerful in any telling of the story of emigration to Derry’s nine million overseas diaspora. Derry is the only town in Ireland which, with authenticity, can tell the complete story of Irish emigration.

Derry remained a major Irish emigration port throughout all significant phases of emigration from Ireland, such as the 18th century outflow of Ulster-Scots to colonial America; pre-Famine, Famine and post-Famine emigration to North America; and cross-channel migration to Britain via Glasgow and Liverpool.

Just as Ellis Island is seen as the entry point for American immigrants (100 million Americans can trace an ancestor back to Ellis Island) Derry can be positioned as the starting point of the emigrant’s journey.”

 

Source : http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local-nes/ellis-island-idea-could-create-tourism-boom-for-derry-quay-1-4657464

Source : http://www.derrydaily.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/emigrantsdrawing.jpg

 

The Insane

A Brief History of the Derry Lunatic Asylum

tumblr_lnmum0sc9d1qewrwz[1]Prior to the 1830s, mental health care in Derry, as in the rest of Ireland and in most of the Western World, was ad hoc at best, unkind and cruel at worst.

In Derry, a city growing in population and commercial importance, the early part of the 19th century saw patients with any form of mental illness housed at the city’s infirmary – in twelve cells in a shed on the hospital grounds or, in the absence of any other suitable accommodation, in the cells at Lifford Gaol.

But, in the early part of the century, a new wave of social reformers were campaigning for change and compassion and, in 1821, Parliament passed a law allowing for the foundation of a network of district asylums.

These institutions would be, according to reformer John Leslie Foster,” the only mode of effectual relief… for the reception of the insane.”

Opened in 1829, the Londonderry District Asylum, was the fourth of eleven such institutions built in nineteenth century Ireland.

Constructed on eight acres of land, the asylum – which still lends its name to the street in modern day Derry on which it was built, was an imposing building.

Samuel Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of Ireland writes of the Derry institution: “The lunatic asylum for the counties of Londonderry, Donegal and Tyrone, situated on rising ground to the north of the city, was commenced in June 1827, and opened in 1829; the entire expense, including the purchase of the site and furniture, amounted to 25,678, advanced by Government, and to be repaid by the three counties by instalments.

“The facade fronting the river consists of a centre with pavilions from which extend wings with airing sheds, terminating in angular pavilions, all of Dungiven sandstone; above the centre rises a turret, of which the upper part forms an octagonal cupola; in the rear are several commodious airing yards, separated by ranges of brick building, including the domestic offices and workshops; the entire length of the front is 364 feet, the depth of the building, with the airing yards, 190 feet; and the height to the eave, 25 feet. The grounds comprise eight acres, including a plot in front ornamentally planted, and a good garden.”

Lewis further notes that, by 1830, it was necessary to extend the Derry Asylum.

The asylum was originally intended for 104 patients, but has been enlarged so as to admit 150; it is still too small from the cells being partially occupied by incurables, persons afflicted with epilepsy, and idiots.”

While the parlance of the time now seems dated and unkind, the asylum network was the first in Ireland to provide structure to the care of people living with mental illness.

Thomas Jackson, formerly in charge of the lunatic department of the Dublin House of Industry, was appointed manger of the Armagh District Asylum in 1824, and it is his methods that influenced, and were replicated, in all other Irish asylums, including Derry, where care was overseen by Francis Rogan, M.D..

Primarily, Jackson saw employment as the sole therapeutic tool.

“The poor lunatic,” he wrote to the Irish government in 1827, ” when left to himself, without occupation or the busy and active scene of some pleasing employment, soon graduates into a state of incurability or idiocy and is left a burden to himself and to the community.”

That emphasis on unemployment was fully implemented in Derry’s asylum.

Writing in ‘Derry beyond the walls: social and economic aspects of the growth of Derry’, John Hume says of the asylum: “Treatment was simply employment of some sort. Male inmates worked at gardening, weaving, tailoring, shoemaking and carpentry. Women patients occupied themselves at needlework, quilting, knitting or spinning, laundry and assisting servants to clean passages etc.”

An 1830 team of inspectors were full of praise for the Derry facility.

“Every possible attention is paid to the welfare of the asylum,” they wrote.

“The board of superintendence are constant in attendance and effective: the manager and matron, Mr and Mrs Cluff, possess every qualification necessary for the advantageous exercise of the important duties of their stations. Nothing can, on the whole, be more satisfactory than the inspection of the Londonderry Lunatic Asylum.”

By the early 1830s, the Irish network of asylums was being increasingly lauded.

Sir Andrew Halliday, an English reformer, considered “the system is so excellent and has been found to work so well that I am anxious it should be imitated in this country” while the Inspectors General of Prisons stated, ” the present asylums in Ireland are superior to anything of the kind in Europe, and the whole system of cure, chiefly consisting of employment, kindness, moral government and freedom from restraint is worthy of examination as a good example.”

James MacDonald, physician at the Bloomingdale Asylum in New York, applauded the new district asylums in Ireland which formed “a more complete system than the English.”

Soon psychiatry, the new branch of medicine specifically devoted to the treatment of mental disorders would usurp all other forms of care for the mentally ill, rendering the asylums network defunct.

Derry’s Asylum stands as the first place in the city to offer refuge for those living with mental illness, but became redundant when Gransha Hospital – the first specialised psychiatric hospital to be built after the Second World War – opened in the late 1950s

Source: http://www.derryjournal.com/news/local-news/a-brief-history-of-the-derry-lunatic-asylum-1-2147311