A detailed history of Derry’s historic Walls has gone live on the internet.
It is the third publication to be published on the Walls since 2007 and brings to an end a period of in-depth research on Northern Ireland’s largest monument in state care.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood, who toured the Walls yesterday, said: “Over the last seven years, the Department of the Environment has worked closely with Derry City Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, amongst others, to realise the full potential of this structure which is a huge asset to the city.”
He added: “The Gazetteer, published today, ensures that the research behind these developments is easily available to all.”
The Minister also welcomed the recent award of nearly half a million pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Holywell Trust to increase community engagement and appreciation of the monument which is owned by the Honourable the Irish Society - the company responsible for their original construction.
Mr. Attwood added: “I acknowledge and thank those who contributed to the development of the monument in recent years, from the private tour guides and public agencies marketing the structure, those involved in providing new signage and new seats, to the DRD Roads Service engineers and those involved in cleaning and maintaining the monument.
“I would also like to thank those involved in events and living history demonstrations, and those seeking to reduce vandalism and the need for security barriers and screens on the monument.
“All of this work has been vital to the realisation of the full potential of this structure to both its city and region.”
The city’s Mayor, Maurice Devenney, said: “The walls are a key asset for this city, they are a huge tourism draw, and provide a link to a range of museums and cultural facilities which have developed on or around the monument in recent years.”
Chief Executive of NITB Alan Clarke said: “Since 2004, significant funds have been invested in the Walled City to improve its tourist potential and these efforts have paid dividend through increased visitor numbers in recent years.
“Fundamental to the whole project is the good management and increased awareness of the importance of the City Walls.
“This book will help in this aim and NITB is pleased to be involved in supporting its production.”
During his visit to the city, Minister Attwood also announced the formal appointment of wardens to protect the City Walls.
The City Walls Gazetteer can be downloaded for FREE from www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/