Long awaited (on Slugger at least) last night’s programme on the mass migration of Protestant population from the west bank of Derry City is worth watching in full. The whole issue remains a matter of some controversy but, as the narrator says towards the end, the truth is probably nowhere near as cut and dried as either side quite believes.
It’s true, as some commenters have mentioned on previous threads on this subject, that population movements were common throughout the Troubles. Indeed, according to figures from the Housing Executive, only 10% of public housing is not segregated. This was certainly not the case before 1969.
What makes Derry remarkable is the vast numbers involved (14,000, down to less that 400), the virtual silence on the matter within wider public discourse and the deleterious impact it’s had on the civil life of the city. It’s also differs from other mass movements in that it was not all effected in one sudden move. The causes were both various and cumulative.
Next week we hope to have one of the producers for a live interview on Slugger.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty