Clipper update to Derry history

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A timely new chapter to Derry author Brian Mitchel’s paean to his native city, ‘Derry - A City Invincible’, celebrates many of the positive developments of the past ten years including, of course, the hugely successful Clipper festival.

First published in 1990 ‘A City Invincible’ is a comprehensive account of the history of Derry running the gamut of Colmcille, the Vikings, the High Kings, the Plantation, the Siege, the 1798 rebellion, the shipbuilding and shirt factory booms and the two world wars, right up through the recent conflict to the present day.

The book’s last print run was in 2008, however, and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

This has prompted a fourth edition of the popular history that has been newly published by the folks at Guildhall Press.

Replete with a beautiful water colour cover illusatation by Bridget Murray, the book includes a fresh chapter entitled ‘A City Dreaming’ in a nod to the late Derry broadcaster Gerry Anderson and director Mark McCauley’s 2014 film homage to their native city.

The update records some of the more significant events of the past decade in Derry including the publication of the Saville report and David Cameron’s apology for Bloody Sunday, the completion of the Peace Bridge and City of Culture 2013.

It also celebrates Derry’s proven capacity for hosting major events such as the Clipper festival and even quotes Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: “I think Derry has been one of the most successful stop overs ever and I think the reason for that is that the whole city seems to have become involved in the event.”

‘A City Invincible’ takes its title from a Walt Whitman poem ‘I Dream’d in a dream’ that appropriately includes the lyric, ‘I dream’d in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth.’

The new edition is a welcome addition to the continuing “story of Derry,” which the author deems “one of the most fascinating of any area of Ireland.”