History was made when a community divided by old loyalties and hate came together in friendship and reconciliation. The momentous occasion was the opening of the Derry Peace Bridge, linking both banks of the mighty River Foyle in Northern Ireland.
The £14m structure, a suspension bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, has a distinctive form, representing a handshake across the water. It aims to join all communities living in Derry-Londonderry – as city officials label it – in peace and harmony.
Story by Jo Blakemore – Manchester Evening News
The designation of Prince William as Baron Carrickfergus links the heir to the British throne to Northern Ireland’s oldest town and one identified with the English crown for almost a thousand years.
The name means ‘Rock of Fergus’ in honour of Fergus Mac Eirc, a sixth century king of Dalriada which straddled Ulster and Scotland.
Legend has it that Fergus brought his coronation stone to Scotland from whence it was removed to Westminster Abbey, scene of today’s royal nuptials.
The town is dominated by the great stone fortress built by the Anglo-Norman knight, John de Courcy in 1180, as the centre of his Earldom of Ulster.
This made Carrickfergus the only English stronghold north of ‘The Pale’ in the middle ages.
Moated by the sea on three sides, the castle was enlarged by Hugh de Lacy in the 13th century and had a stirring history of siege and military occupation.
Story by Eamon Phoenix