Almost 2,000 people congregated on Derry’s ancient ramparts on Sunday past and donned eye catching red T-shirts for the huge ‘Wave on the Walls’ event as part of Derry Walls Day 2013.
The continuous red-line consisted of 1,950 volunteers in total - all eager to help mark the beginning of the five year ‘Walls400’ celebrations by creating three complete Mexican Waves running along the full one-mile circuit. Each wave was started by Derry’s Mayor, Colr. Martin Reilly, Rev. Dr William Morton, Dean of St Columb’s Cathedral and Martin McGuinness, MLA and Deputy First Minister.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness later tweeted: “Great cross community event Wave on Derry Walls this morning, as always fantastic response from all over City”.
This initial event, and the superb ‘1613 Charter Market at Ship Key’ afterwards, was organised to commemorate the marking out, in August 1613, of the ground on which Derry’s Walls were to be built. Many more events are scheduled for the next few years as part of Walls 400.
The Holywell Trust’s Mark Lusby, Project Coordinator for the City Walls Heritage Project, is delighted at how Sunday panned out.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” Mark told the ‘Journal’ yesterday.
“It was an art event, a performance event, a history-making event and also a peace-building event. To see that level of participation from everyone was just brilliant. We were concerned that our Derry Walls Day would be dwarfed by the Fleadh and next week’s Walled City Tattoo, but we were so wrong. The Holywell Trust is a small organisation and yet, with little funding or resources, we have helped people create this big, dramatic event.”
Thanking everyone who took part, Mark went on: “400 years ago, in August 1613, ten English Army Captains and two representatives from the City of London came here and trod out the ground upon which the walls was to be built. Now we have marked out the walls again with people of all religions, all backgrounds and all traditions, coming together in a continuous red line. It was a fantastic sight and thanks to everyone who came out.”
As well as having a fantastic time, volunteers raised money for Foyle Hospice too.
Derry Walls Day 2013 was part of National Heritage Week and was organised by Holywell Trust’s City Walls Heritage Project.