‘Memories of Galliagh’ a huge hit with residents past and present

Thousands of residents of Galliagh past and present have been taking a trip down memory lane thanks to a new online group dedicated to the estate which has proved a phenomenal success.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 10:11 am

The ‘Memories of Galliagh and Surrounding Areas’ Facebook group was the brainchild of Galliagh woman Patricia Flanagan, and is one of several similar groups now up and running in Derry, with another recently started for Ballymagroarty.

Patricia said she has been astounded by the success of the group, which has seen over 3,000 joining in just three days.

When it was built on the northern fringes of Derry in the 1970s and 1980s, the then new residents of St Joseph’s Parish in Galliagh didn’t take long in establishing a real sense of community cohesion and identity.

Each year the streets came together in friendly competition to take on their neighbouring rivals in everything from the annual Galliagh festival parades and floats to football tournaments and bonfires. And following the success of the online group, there is now talk of reviving the football tournament for the youth of today.

Some of the most popular posts on the page relate to local characters down the years, and memories of Slievemore and Lenamore Schools (now St Paul’s and St Therese’s), the Galliagh Hop children’s disco and fondly recalled episodes from a childhood spent where city met country. There are also many touching tributes to those who have passed on.

Patricia said these last poignant posts have been her favourite, as they are special and heartfelt memories and tributes which those people’s loved ones were getting the chance to read.

Speaking of how the group came about, she said: “I was sitting the other night and it was 10 0’clock and I thought, there’s Creggan Memories, let’s make one for Galliagh.

“ When I woke up the next morning there was 900 people on it. I was so shocked. I never in a million years thought that would happen. It’s so lovely to see.

“I have great memories myself. Everyone looked after each other in Galliagh, and looked after each other’s kids. There was great community spirit back then.” I

She added that it would be great to bring some of that spirit back in the heart of Galliagh.

“People are talking about events and even a Galliagh Hop Reunion!”