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County Londonderry (Public domain image from [1])

Londonderry, or Derry (Doire in Irish), is both a city in Northern Ireland, and the county in which it is found. The old walled city of Derry lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, but the city has now covers both banks and is connected by two bridges. Derry is near the border with the Republic of Ireland, and serves much of North Donegal, as well as the west of the county of Londonderry. Also known as the Maiden City, it is Northern Ireland's second largest city.

The name

The city's name is a subject of dispute between nationalists (mostly Catholic) and unionists (most of whom are Protestant), with nationalists calling it Derry, and unionists, Londonderry. Although many unionists will call it Derry in casual conversation, they generally insist on calling it Londonderry during political discourse; the reverse is not true of nationalists.

The city council is controlled by nationalist parties, and has officially changed its name to Derry City Council. Technically, however, the name of the city is still specified by its Royal Charter as Londonderry, and many unionists continue to call it Londonderry regardless. A suggested compromise wording of "Derry/Londonderry" (read "Derry stroke Londonderry") has given rise to the ironic local usage "Stroke City". Gerry Anderson, a local radio presenter who espoused this term, became known briefly as "Gerry/Londongerry". Another locally-used method of partly circumventing this name problem is to write "L'derry" or "L-Derry" etc.

The "No Surrender" graffito right outside the city wall: "LONDONDERRY | WEST BANK | LOYALISTS | STILL | UNDER SIEGE | NO SURRENDER"

The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name, Doire ("oak grove"). When the city was rebuilt by The Honourable The Irish Society using donations from the City of London during the Plantation by English and Scottish settlers, it was renamed Londonderry. Nationalists, however, do not accept the change of name.


Some of "The Troubles" involved the city of Derry. On Sunday January 30 1972, 13 men were shot dead by British soldiers during a civil rights march in the Bogside area. Another 13 were wounded and one further man later died of his wounds. This event came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

The "Free Derry" graffito in Bogside: "YOU | ARE NOW | ENTERING | FREE DERRY"

There are also places named both Derry and Londonderry in the State of New Hampshire in the United States of America: (Note that these are different places.)

Also, there are: