Cemetery tourism discussed for Derry

Visitors to Derry could soon be given guided tours of the City Cemetery, it was announced this week.

Local councillors discussed plans to bring ‘cemetery tourism’ to the city at a meeting of Derry City Council’ development committee on Tuesday.

The plans include guided tours of the historic graveyard and producing maps to guide tourists through it, as well as other historic cemeteries in the city.

SDLP councillor Gerard Diver said the move could help attract tourists to the city.

“This is something that I believe we have missed a trick on in the past. There is an opportunity for potential growth here.

“Look at what Tom Hartley has done in Belfast in terms of cemetery tourism.

“You can clearly illustrate the history of the city by going to the cemetery.

“There is a growing market in ancestry tourism with people from other countries trying to find out where their ancestors are buried.

“There are many interesting stories to be told through the cemetery and this is something worth advancing.

“We should also try to involve the local tour guides in this plan,” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor and chair of the development committee, Lynn Fleming also gave her backing to the plans. “The cemetery has a lot to offer in terms of history; from the modern history to way back. With the crypts and headstones it would be easy to easy to spend hours there wandering around.

“It is an interesting way to tell the rich history of our city,” she said.