Derry Essays 6: So good they’ve named it several times…

Whether it is the Derry Air, the Londonderry Air or Danny Boy you sing, one sure thing is that if you’re from the North West you have a more than reasonable chance to have a fine voice and musical talent – and as a musician born from the musical Cassidy clan from Derry I don’t need to throw the stone too far at all!

Of course another feature is the modesty of those in all of the Arts field whose names happily trip off the tongues internationally, nationally and locally…

The reality of this, given I’m watching and living this from a vantage point of 14 years in National politics and a lifetime based in Derry’s hinterland of Donegal, is just how both the difficulties and the opportunities associated with Derry intrinsically link us, in the North West together.

The North West is very much that jewel in the Island Crown – maybe others would say the Crowning glory that has not yet had its public Coronation? The ‘traditional route’ of funding and prioritisation was, and remains Easterly and so, this application for City of Culture could not be more timely.

Letting the secret out as to what a gem it is could bounce essential infrastructure such as the Dublin to Derry train up the funding ladder. It could ensure that the political charge of ‘nothing West of the Bann’ is explored, exploited and exchanged for a fairer more equal development of the natural beauty, the natural talent, the genuine opportunity that exists because of the people and the place – and, dare I say because of its capital of the North West status, with its twinning with Letterkenny.

Yes, within the words Derry, Londonderry, Doire, the Maiden City, Stroke City… there are the many dividing lines of culture. That is still a culture divided by the river Foyle.

Step back a level and you have ‘that city’, which is economically and geographically linked to Donegal by that same river – creating another enigma, as it is known as the North linked to the South, even though much of Donegal is North of Derry.

Step back again and you have an entity known as the North West, with wonderful diversity and loads to offer all who want a truly different cultural experience.

Yes, Derry has the features that can win any Cultural Challenge. It has its cultural challenges too. Come explore what’s there and help that next conversation get going as to how the cultures of this ‘multi named’ place that embraces a hinterland ‘North of the North’, can be redefined to unite or at least blur the ‘close up’ sharp distinctions that exist, to maximise the potential for the future of all of the community.

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  • argosjohn

    More teeth on a hen. This is a cross between Dana and Daniel O’Donnell, though O’Donnell’s songs do have a crisper edge than this.

  • The ‘traditional route’ of funding and prioritisation was, and remains Easterly

    nothing West of the Bann

    Spare us your outdated rhetoric. If anything the city is culturally slighted by the abundance of such prehistoric tripe.

  • Seamus Crawley

    Cecilia Keaveney

    It would suit your time better to sort out the issue of your government stealing from its people in terms of VRT, an illegal tax under European law. Take the time to sort that issue out instead of writing essays on Slugger O’Toole!

  • Watcher

    Good article!

  • The Raven

    “Whether it is the Derry Air, the Londonderry Air or Danny Boy you sing…”

    Isn’t this the tune collected by Jane Ross in Limavady…??

  • Cecilia Keaveney

    Truth hurts?

  • Yes, and its ours! 🙂

  • It’s sad to see such petty squabble after what is quite an optimistic and aspiring piece of writing. It’s sad because it’s precisely that kind of petty attitude that has robbed us of the perspective we deserve. You have to be blind not to recognise how underfunded L/Derry is. In my experience the right people and money wasn’t available. I’d like to believe in the future this won’t be the case. I’m sure there are many others who feel the same. From my experience I see lots of training and little output. Maybe I’m wrong, but where does it all begin?

  • Magazine

    Great to have direct input here from someone with access and influence in Southern Circles. Any chance you could give us some ideas as to how Donegal/the South may be able to support the bid in practical terms and really ensure a wider NW impact?

  • Clearly the campaign will need to be coordinated in partnership with creatives from surrounding towns and rural areas both in Derry and Donegal. It’s really up to the organiser to pool resources and encourage a diverse multi-cultural output as possible. The semi rural position can be played as an advantage. There are a multitude of possible combinations. I know if I was employed to help there would be an endless list….

  • Seamus Crawley

    Why has my comment not been moderated yet. Does the truth hurt Cecilia???

  • Seamus Crawley

    As above!

    Cecilia Keaveney

    It would suit your time better to sort out the issue of your government stealing from its people in terms of VRT, an illegal tax under European law. Take the time to sort that issue out instead of writing essays on Slugger O’Toole!

  • Dry up, it’s only a bit of fun.

  • I’d maybe describe it as truth if it were uttered by someone emerging from 30 years of cryogenic sleep.

    As it stands it merely highlights Fianna Fails completely ostracised detachment from the north. Even one who was educated there, yet still manages to find the time to come back and revel in her atavistic nature. The irony.

  • who funds the training Paul?

  • Seamus, that’s the first time I’ve caught myself laughing out loud at a post on Slugger.

  • That’s not the question. It’s where do the skills go? Save on the brain Drain as a strategic move. You appear to revel in your own superiority complex brought on by your grasp of things linguistically relative! You approach to culture lacks philosophical awareness and critical understanding. Stick to the tit for tat juvenile sparing and leave ‘Culture’ to the people that understand it’s fabric. Your very fast to criticise but very slow to actually share a viewpoint of worth. Dadaism was invented to deflate this kind of over scrutinous pseudo democratic posturing. Training is one thing and production another. For example many of people were trained to make airplane parts for Shorts but 300 lost their job. They are still fully trained but producing nothing. Same thing for a stack of Arts & Media graduates. An idiot criticises but provides no solution. “It’s just a toilet” Not one of the most influential artworks of all time. See the metaphor…

  • Battle of the Bogside

    Are you laughing in favour?

    Again an Irish so-called government minister lets her flock down. Tax the poor and watch the rich get richer. I thought the British government’s actions in Ireland would inform the Irish government that stealing from the poor does not go favourably, especially in Donegal where the elected representatives are failing to bring inward investment and have done for two decades.

    Get a grip Cecilia and sort the VRT theft out and sort it out fast. Otherwise move to Dublin and let the people of Donegal live in peace, free from tithes that are not fair!!!

  • I see the attitude hasn’t died. Yeah laughing in favour. Typical FF glass house manoeuvring.

  • Stick to the tit for tat juvenile sparing and leave ‘Culture’ to the people that understand it’s fabric

    Oh, so culture is exclusive now? Ridiculous rant.

  • Battle of the Bogside

    No smart comments from Cecilia. Go on be brave? Maybe not, stay as a coward!

  • Battle of the Bogside

    Cecilia,

    I requested a reply and I’m still waiting. I guess the truth hurts. You’re a coward!!!