‘We live on the very same street but the peace walls separate us’

Anna-Jane and Kate Sherrard enjoyed a little help from Santa�"s elves when they posted their letter to Santa in the Winter Marquee held at Bishop Street by the Peace Walls Project and Triax Neighbourhood Management Team. INLS5014-187KM
Anna-Jane and Kate Sherrard enjoyed a little help from Santa�"s elves when they posted their letter to Santa in the Winter Marquee held at Bishop Street by the Peace Walls Project and Triax Neighbourhood Management Team. INLS5014-187KM

Two communities joined together over the festive season to hold a Christmas market in the shadow of the Derry Walls.

The Peace Walls Project brought together residents from the interface between Bishop Street and The Fountain.

Anna-Jane and Kate Sherrard enjoyed a little help from Santa�"s elves when they posted their letter to Santa in the Winter Marquee held at Bishop Street by the Peace Walls Project and Triax Neighbourhood Management Team. INLS5014-187KM

Anna-Jane and Kate Sherrard enjoyed a little help from Santa�"s elves when they posted their letter to Santa in the Winter Marquee held at Bishop Street by the Peace Walls Project and Triax Neighbourhood Management Team. INLS5014-187KM

The project was no small bit of work, as participants undertook eight weeks of classes.

Volunteers were rightly proud of their achievements and the sense of community it created.

Residents from both sides of the interface exhibited a range of goods made by themselves, including jewellery and cards, as well as home-made foods, such as fudge and jam.

Children were also well catered for at the event, with Santa paying a visit to the market.

Schools from both communities joined together for a cross-community carol service and to play their part in the festivities.

Organisers also paid tribute to the funding they received.

Sophie Blake-Gallagher, a development officer with Triax and Kyle Thompson, from the Fountain, paid tribute to the funding received from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), the Housing Executive community cohesion unit and Derry City Council, which came to almost £9,000.

Whilst the money has been instrumental in creating the project first time out, more funding will be needed as they aim to follow it up.

Ms Blake-Gallagher said she was “eager to build on these relationships,” with many of these residents having never before met one another.

The project was certainly about more than raising money.

At an embroidery stall, Mary Meenan and Anne Sherrard echoed this.

Mrs Meenan made the point that “we live on the same street but walls separate us.”

Two other residents from the Fountain, Joan Robb and Dorothy Thompson were delighted to take part in the project.

Whilst they never really interacted with those in the Bishop Street area before, the workshops allowed them the chance to.

From behind a stall of hand-made Christmas wreaths and toffee apples, they were rightly proud of their work.

The workshops were also hailed for the role in increasing employability through training.

IFI Chairman, Dr Adrian Johnston, said: “The removal of Peace Walls cannot take place without interventions that help to build the required levels of community support and confidence.”