Gasyard develops Presbyterian website

Sinn Fein Councillor and Gasyard Development Trust Tourism Officer, Mickey Cooper pictured with Rev. David Latimer from First Derry Presbyterian Church.

Sinn Fein Councillor and Gasyard Development Trust Tourism Officer, Mickey Cooper pictured with Rev. David Latimer from First Derry Presbyterian Church.

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A new website detailing the impact of the plantations and penal laws on the Presbyterian population in Derry during the 17th and 18th century was launched at First Derry Presbyterian Church last week.

The website, (www.plantationandpenallawsinderry.com), was developed by Mickey Cooper from the Gasyard Trust for First Derry Presbyterian Church.

The development and launch of the website was funded by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL)

Speaking alongside Reverend David Latimer at the launch of the new website, Sinn Fein Councillor and Gasyard Development Trust Community Tourism and Heritage Officer, Mickey Cooper, said the new site will be a valuable resource for those wanting to find out more about the time of the penal laws in Derry.

“I am delighted at how the site has turned out,” said Colr. Cooper.

“We [Gasyard Development Trust] secured the funding for the project from the DCAL MAGUS fund which focuses on projects relating to Ulster-Scots history and culture.

“The website focuses on how the plantation and particularly the penal laws impacted on the Presbyterian population in Derry.

“Presbyterians in Derry were persecuted alongside the Irish Catholic population during the 17th and 18th centuries,” he added.

Colr. Cooper explained how important the penal laws were in terms of Irish history and said he was confident the website would be a success.

“The impact of these laws resulted in seminal events such as the United Irishmen rebellion and Act of Union and the site covers all of these events using a range of timelines and archive materials.

“It also contains a full directory of all the records held by First Derry as well as a list of historical sources which also cover the 17th/18th centuries.

“The site is a perfect resource for schools in both Derry and across Ireland studying the period and I look forward to receiving positive feedback from teachers and pupils on the sites contents,” he said.

Further information can be obtained from Mickey Cooper on derrybluebadgeguide@hotmail.com or on 07743175709