‘Exodus’ meetings in Derry

Author Jonathan Burgess.
Author Jonathan Burgess.
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A series of events to discuss the “mass exodus” of Protestants from Derry’s west bank during the early years of the Troubles will take place in the city early next month.

The workshops - five in all - will include short theatre dramas written by the local author who penned a play documenting the “exodus”.

Jonathan Burgess’ ‘The Exodus’ focused on the displacement of Protestant families from the cityside in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Many of these families relocated to the Waterside, New Buildings and further afield.

This movement has been described as “one of the most significant and, yet, untold stories of our city’s recent past” and “a painful episode in our city’s history”.

‘The Exile’ project - which is being run by the Church of Ireland’s Christ Church Parish - aims to “reflect the experience of exile by members of the Protestant community who were part of the population movement”.

Each community drama will be followed by a short discussion and will take place in a “very informal setting” to allow “audience discussion and dialogue”.

The organisers of the events insist that “all parts of our community” are encouraged to attend.

The events will take place on: Tuesday, February 5 at Caw Community Centre, Nelson Drive (1.30 p.m.) and at Christ Church, Infirmary Road (7.30 p.m.); Wednesday, February 6 at Rath Mor Centre, Bligh’s Lane (7 p.m.); Thursday, February 7 at the Diocesan Office, 24, London Street (7.30 p.m.) and on Friday, February 8 at Newbuildings Community Centre (1.30 p.m.).

Admission is free and no booking is necessary.