Willie’s photographs tell a remarkable story of Derry

Willie Curran pictured at his Creggan home. DER2515MC030
Willie Curran pictured at his Creggan home. DER2515MC030

Creggan snapper’s images compiled in new book

Willie Curran’s eagerly-anticipated compilation of photographs of Derry through the years was officially launched in the city on Thursday night.

'My Derry: The Willie Curran Collection'.

'My Derry: The Willie Curran Collection'.

A unique snapshot of Willie’s life, the new book - ‘My Derry: The Willie Curran Collection’ - is described as a “warm, nostalgic and moving portrait of his friends, family and the ever-changing city.”

The book, which is published by Guildhall Press, was launched at an event at The Hive Studio at Rath Mor in Creggan.

Among those at the launch were the Mayor of Derry, Councillor Elisha McCallion, and Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin, who, incidentally, penned the foreword for the new book in which he describes Willie as a “working class hero”.

Willie, himself, has paid tribute to the people of Derry for allowing him to “take their pictures and film them during the last sixty years.”

An IRA volunteer armed with a semi-automatic weapon photographed during a daily patrol in the Creggan Estate in the 1970s.

An IRA volunteer armed with a semi-automatic weapon photographed during a daily patrol in the Creggan Estate in the 1970s.

The 85-year-old father-of-five adds: “I have met thousands of people through my work and, with the exception of a few sad and poignant moments, it has been, for the most part, a hugely enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

“Derry is a very special place and its people are a special people. I am very proud to have provided some small service to them as an archivist and a keeper of their memories.”

‘My Derry: The Willie Curran Collection’ is published by Guildhall Press and is priced £9.95. It’s available from local booksellers.

The ladies in charge of the catering at an event at St Mary's Community Centre c. 1980.

The ladies in charge of the catering at an event at St Mary's Community Centre c. 1980.

O'Brien's Bar on Lecky Road, with the Long Tower Church in the background, prior to the construction of the flyover.

O'Brien's Bar on Lecky Road, with the Long Tower Church in the background, prior to the construction of the flyover.

Willie's daughter, Brid, plays in the rubble in the Bogside in the 1960s.

Willie's daughter, Brid, plays in the rubble in the Bogside in the 1960s.