New history of Derry in ageof revolution available now

A new history of the revolutionary period in Derry and Donegal “challenges long-held assumptions and beliefs about the road to partition in the North West.”

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 10:00 pm

‘Forging the Border: Donegal and Derry in Times of Revolution, 1911–1925’, the work of Ballybofey-based historian Okan Ozseker, who completed his PhD in History at Ulster University in Coleraine, has been newly-published by Irish Academic Press.

It contends that “Donegal was the bastion of Home Rule conservative nationalism during the tumultuous period 1911–25, while County Derry was a stronghold of hard-line unionism” and that “in this time of immense political upheaval between these cultural and social majorities lay the deeply symbolic, religiously and ethnically divided, and potentially combustible, Derry City”.

Mr. Ozseker puts forward the thesis that “what had once been a distinct, unified, socio-economic and cultural area (to nationalists and unionists alike) became an international frontier or borderland, overshadowed by the bitter legacy of Partition. The region was the hardest hit by the implementation of Partition, affecting all levels of society”.

Described by the publishers as ambitious and novel in its approach “this completely new interpretation of the history of the Irish North West provides a fair and balanced portrait of a divided borderland and addresses key arguments in Irish history and the history of revolution, counter-revolution, feuds and state-building.”