Northern Ireland

Work to start on removal of security fences on Derry's walls

A section of security fencing is to be removed near Butcher's Gate and Royal Bastion on Derry's walls. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker.
A section of security fencing is to be removed near Butcher's Gate and Royal Bastion on Derry's walls. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker. A section of security fencing is to be removed near Butcher's Gate and Royal Bastion on Derry's walls. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker.

WORK is expected to start in the coming days on the removal of security fencing on Derry’s walls between the Bogside and inner city.

The fencing was put in place almost 50 years ago to prevent missiles being thrown between loyalists and nationalists.

The area around Derry’s Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Hall was often a particular flashpoint at times of high tension.

While the walls remained closed to the public for security reasons for many years during the Troubles, most of the security measures have already been removed.

The section of fencing between Butcher Gate and Royal Bastion, which is the location of the Walker's Monument plinth, is now expected to be removed. The plinth is all that remains in place of the monument which was blown up in a Provisional IRA bomb in 1973.

Confirming the removal of the security fencing, the Department of Justice said the move was agreed following “extensive” engagement with local stakeholders.

A spokesman said: “Our contractors are aiming to complete these works in the coming days.”

The scaling down of security was welcomed in the city yesterday. Tour guide, Charlene McCrossan said some of the security fences had been in place for longer than the Berlin wall. Ms McCrossan said the walls were unique and to have the fences removed was “fantastic”.

Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy said the development reflected the “positive relationships” which have existed in Derry over many years.

“It will also improve the appearance of the historic walls for the thousands of people who visit Derry every year from across the world,” Mr Delargy said.