‘Roaring Meg’ to roar again?

Roaring Meg, Derry's most famous canon. (1401MM14)
Roaring Meg, Derry's most famous canon. (1401MM14)

The sound of cannon fire could soon return to Derry’s historic walls following a call from a leading civil rights campaigner.

Michael Canavan, a former Stormont Assemblyman, called on Derry City Council to investigate the possibility of blank-firing Derry’s most famous canon, ‘Roaring Meg,’ as a tourist attraction.

Mr Canavan said the large canon, which stands on the Double Bastion overlooking the Bogside, should be fired every Saturday at noon.

The former SDLP politician said the move would enhance Derry’s potential as a tourist destination.

“More could possibly be done to dramatise the magnificent Derry Walls if, for example, ‘Roaring Meg’ could be blank fired every Saturday at noon,” he said.

Blank firing cannons are popular tourist attractions in many European cities, most famously in Edinburgh, where the ‘one o’clock gun’ is fired from the city’s castle every afternoon, attracting thousands of tourists.

Roaring Meg, named because of its ferocious sound in battle, was used during the Siege of Derry.

One account of the famous artillery piece from the time of the Siege in the seventeenth century said; “The noise of its discharge was more terrifying than the contents of the charge to the enemy.”

The barrel of the cannon bears the inscription ‘Fishmongers London 1642’, marking the fact that it was one of 24 cannon sent to the Derry by the City of London and the London Companies after the 1641 Siege.