In the Bogside neighborhood just outside Derry city, visitors are confronted by gigantic and visually stunning murals. They serve as artistic landmarks and powerful reminders of the dark days of the “Troubles.” Bogside was once the site of some of the most disturbing and tragic events of the conflict. The “Bloody Sunday Massacre” occurred in Derry as well as the “Battle of the Bogside.”
Emblazoned on a white background are the words “YOU ARE NOW ENTERING FREE DERRY,” painted by John “Caker” Casey. It’s believed that the creative catalyst for this mural was a similar message scrawled on a wall by an activist during the intensification of violence in 1969.
One of the more stunning murals featured on the Free Derry corner is known as the “Petrol Bomber.” Depicted is a young boy, dressed in a gas mask and leather jacket adorned with the Republican symbol. Clutched in the boy’s hand, a petrol bomb fashioned from a milk bottle. The mural was painted in 1994, the year when peace talks finally began. It was created by a Bogside collective of artists for the 25th anniversary of the battle.
Know Before You Go
The Free Derry corner and its murals are free public artworks.