Changes in Derry in our Life TimeWe are pupils from St.Marys College Derry and we have been working on our news reports for a few weeks now and we have e-mailed and interviewed a few people to get their opinions on life during and after the Troubles in Derry. Our group has been looking at how Derry has changed since the Troubles. We looked at how people were affected, their earliest memories and how their families and their lives were changed. Edward Doherty - Manger of Housing Executive: Since our group is working on the ‘Life during and after the Troubles in Derry’, we thought it would be a good idea to interview Edward Doherty, as he has lived in Derry his whole life and grew up during with Troubles. I asked Edward, ‘How did you feel when the Troubles were taken place?’ “Where I lived, there were riots outside my house almost every night and we were always afraid as we didn’t know how bad it was going to get.” “My house was raided by the British Soldiers. We were all asleep when they broke in and took out house apart” ‘How did it affect your life as you were growing up?’ ‘We always had to be very careful where we went.’ Edward was asked what age he was when the Troubles affected his life and when his house was raided, he replied with “I was very young, I think I was around 5” After hearing this, my group and I were extremely shocked at what people had to go through and comparing their lives to ours, made us feel very lucky with what he had and how happy we all are that we don’t have to live through what they went through! We then asked “How did it affect your family’s lives?” Edward replied with, “We were a very close family, however my mother died in the middle of it all and there was a lot of pressure on my father to make sure that we stayed out of the riots!” Emma D We have interviewed a lady from the Social Western Health Trust, Mrs Isolde Doherty. We asked her a few questions and she had this to tell us … “We couldn’t go out late at night, and we had to be aware of bomb scares!” Mrs Doherty also shared with us her worst experience of the Troubles, “I was going to get my hair cut, as I was walking down my home street, and a man came walking towards me with a gun. I thought I should turn and walk home but then my back would be to him so I walked straight passed him and ran straight to the town.” Mrs Doherty shared what her life was like after the Troubles ended ‘it was a relief’ she told us ‘I would hate for life to go back like that’ Mrs Doherty added. We are very thankful that Mrs Isolde Doherty to share her thoughts an experiences with us. Michaela Mc C Lastly, we interviewed Mr Mark Durkan, SDLP, on how the troubles have affected his life during and after. We asked him quite a number of questions and he had this to say, “I often felt angry and helpless, knowing that you couldn’t do anything to really help especially in this town.” We asked him what other emotions he had, he went into great detail telling us about all his memories of tragedies and accidents he said “I felt anger, outrage, deep sympathy and frustration because of the violence and actions of everyone around me, it was shocking.” At times during the interview, Mr Durkan had to stop for a few seconds to compose himself, as it must have still affected him and meant so much to him. As the interview came to an end we decided to ask him if he would be able to describe/explain how much Derry has changed in the past years, he had this to say, “I’m not sure because sometimes we live through and forget the changes. We have let go of constant changes in Edbrington – from barracks to square. It has changed a lot but will definitely change more.” We were very privileged to have the chance to talk to Mr Mark Durkan. We’d like to give him lots of thanks for his co-operation. Aimee H After all of these interviews our group decided we would write down how we felt about what the others were telling us about their experiences. We thought that this was a major subject in everybody’s lives at the time and it really affected us the way we live today. We are so glad that all this trouble has stopped and we are grateful for the people that helped the others throughout these tough times. We really enjoyed doing this report and we think that it has been a great opportunity to get to learn about all the different things and experiences people had witnessed. We thank everybody who has helped us throughout this process.
Emma, Aimee, Michaela, Caitlin and Kellie