Guildhall ‘Hedge School’ to look at U-Boat surrender

One of the u-boats surfacing on the River Foyle during the surrender.
One of the u-boats surfacing on the River Foyle during the surrender.

Would you like to journey back in time and see what it would have been like to live in the North West during the Second World War?

The History Ireland Hedge School is providing you with an opportunity to do just that by hosting an event at the Whittaker Suite, Guildhall on Saturday, May 16 at 3pm.

The event is aimed at stimulating debate on what it must have been like to live in the North-West during the Second World War.

A panel of guests will lead the discussions.

They include Michael Kennedy (Royal Irish Academy), Pauline Mitchell (Ulster University), local historian and author Joe O’Loughlin, Emmet O’Connor (Ulster University). Tommy Graham, Editor of History Ireland, will be the master of ceremonies.

The event is free of charge. For those who cannot attend, a recording will be available on the History Ireland website shortly afterwards at
This event is part of a day to remember celebration organized by Derry City and Strabane District Council to mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the German U-boats in Lough Foyle.

The debate is one of a number of events included in the celebrations taking place across the city and district..

The History Ireland Hedge School series, developed over the last few years, aims to bring history alive for today’s audiences by providing lively, unfettered debate on topics of interest to national and local communities. History Ireland has gathered fine historians to debate, provoke, delight and enthrall.

The original hedge schools came into existence in
the 18th century in response to the Penal Laws, which were designed to force Irish Catholics to convert to Anglicanism if they wanted to receive a good education.

Hedge schools had a markedly secular ethos; lessons were conducted in farm buildings, halls and outdoor spaces in hundreds of locations all over rural Ireland. Like their 18th century predecessors, the Hedge Schools run by History Ireland aim to stimulate debate.

The idea behind the 21st century version is that they too can be run ‘anywhere, any time and on any top