Just a short walk away from the city centre of Derry in Northern Ireland is a small area of housing which stands out. There is this slogan painted on the wall, while fences, bollards, lamp posts and even the pavement are decorated in red, white and blue.
The Fountain is a Loyalist stronghold. Its people are of the Protestant faith and are strongly in favour of Ulster being part of the United Kingdom and having allegiance to the British Royal family.
The Union Jack flies over the area, while its painted walls commemorate the military and moments from the distant past. They’re different to the murals that adorn the Catholic and nationalist Bogside area, which are more vibrant and mark more recent struggles. The Irish tricolour is the flag of choice there.
The Fountain area was remarkably quiet and there was little sign of life. Another feature is a tall green mesh fence marking its boundaries, which completes the sense that this is practically a separate enclave.
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See also galleries on Derry, City of Culture and Across The Peace Bridge
Nice shots – the composition of the tattered flag shot is very interesting. I visited Northern Ireland a few decades ago when things were really bad and it was impossible to feel secure. A local person, friend of a friend, toured me all over in his car. Only later did I find out he was Royal Ulster Constabulary when at work – it seemed like we had been riding around inside a moving target. In the smaller towns we did see a lot of this kind of wall decoration, much of it angry and gory and as you note announcing ancient wrongs.
I was struck by how in such a wonderfully beautiful and tranquil landscape such bitter and violent religious hatred could take hold of peoples hearts and minds.
Wow, that’s quite some story. I don’t think I’d have seen these areas of Derry back in the old days. Northern Ireland has a very small population which makes the divisions all the more tragic.