‘On All Hallow’s Eve, the Walls Awake...’

Jim Collins, Chairperson of NW Carnival Initiative, Caroline Devenny, Artist, Sharon Meenan, Carnival Development Officer, Derry City Council'and Mark Lusby, Project Coordinator, Walled City Heritage Project, pictured on the city walls.
Jim Collins, Chairperson of NW Carnival Initiative, Caroline Devenny, Artist, Sharon Meenan, Carnival Development Officer, Derry City Council'and Mark Lusby, Project Coordinator, Walled City Heritage Project, pictured on the city walls.

The 400th anniversary of our beautiful, historic Walls will be celebrated with an extra-special event as part of this year’s Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival programme.

A number of city artists have been working with the City Walls Heritage Project to create the Awakening of the City Walls, a host of illuminations, sculptures and props to create a trial of surprises, frights and delights on the run up to Hallowe’en night.

Built from 1613-18, the Derry Walls have the most complete circuit in Ireland and among the finest in Europe. Now these historic Walls will become more atmospheric than ever, with art work commissioned to illuminate their rich architecture and the magnificent historic buildings that line them.

Sharon Meenan, Carnival Development Officer, Derry City Council said the North West Carnival Initiative are delighted to be working with the Holywell Trust through its City Walls Heritage Project in offering a unique family event.

“Hallowe’en is always a time to experiment, and with a series of sculptures, installations, lights and characters, our walls are set to experience a form of awakening for the two evenings prior to Hallowe’en night,” says Sharon.

“On the Tuesday (October 29) and Wednesday (October 30) night as dusk falls and by the light of the moon, the scene will be set to tell a story of once upon a time, and stone by stone unravel the centuries of history. Now the whole family can enjoy a fabulous activity which shines a light on Derry’s unique heritage.”

Mark Lusby, co-ordinator for the Walls Heritage Project spoke enthusiastically about it all too.

“Holywell immediately recognised that the Carnival Initiative had come up with a great idea and were pleased to offer our support. Awakening the Walls is an extremely beautiful but relatively simple way of bringing the City Walls alive in the evenings.

“These creative light installations add an extra wow! Factor to the NITB’s and City Council’s lighting scheme and will encourage people to explore the Walls in the run-up to Hallowe’en.

“Already the City Walls Heritage Project is looking at ways in which we can help the NW Carnival Initiative to make Awakening the Walls an annual event.”

The Awakening will take place from 6pm-9pm on the Derry City Walls and Guildhall Square on Tuesday, October 29, and Wednesday, October 30, and admission is free.

For more about Awakening of the Walls and the full week-long Hallowe’en programme, see: www.derrycity.gov.uk/halloween or view the interactive programme on Facebook.