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My place, my people: Week three, County Derry/Londonderry

Published 10/02/2016

Peace Bridge over the River Foyle
Peace Bridge over the River Foyle

This page has been specially written for those thousands of school children who are doing the Belfast Telegraph Newspapers in Education project, My Place My People. Over the six weeks of the project we will be looking at each county in Northern Ireland. Today we consider Derry/Londonderry and some of the county's most treasured monuments and influential people.

The county of Derry/Londonderry is located in the north-west of Northern Ireland and is renowned for its history and stunning landscapes.

The city of the same name has a host of attractions, not least the Walls of Derry, which form a walkway around the inner city. They were completed in 1618 as defences for early 17th century settlers.

Inside the walls is the Church of Ireland's St Columb's Cathedral, which has dominated the Londonderry skyline since 1633.

St Columba's Long Tower, outside the Walls, is another very important church. It was opened in 1788 and was the first Catholic church erected in the city after the Reformation and Plantation of Ulster.

Derry was the UK City of Culture in 2013, with the Guildhall and its stunning stained glass windows much admired by the visitors.

Another popular site in Londonderry is the Peace Bridge. The bridge was opened in 2011 and allows people to walk and cycle across the River Foyle.

When it was being built, the aim was to physically and symbolically unite and connect both sides of the River Foyle.

Other towns in the county such as Limavady, Coleraine and Magherafelt are also worth seeing. The Roe Valley Country Park in Limavady is one for all the family.

The views from Mussenden Temple, a small circular building on cliffs near the village of Castlerock, high above the Atlantic Ocean, are also a sight to behold.

Portstewart Strand, a clean two-mile long beach, is another fantastic place in County Derry/Londonderry, while the Martello Tower at Magilligan is a well-known landmark which was built during the Napoleonic Wars to guard against possible French invasion.

A Special Person: Michael Devlin

P6 St Matthew's PS Drumsern

There is someone special in my life - my teacher, Mrs O'Connor.

She is special as she has taught me many things: art, English, maths, history, science and personal development and mutual understanding.

If you name a subject, Mrs O'Connor has very likely taught us a bit about it.

I am only in Primary Six so I haven't had her teaching me for very long, but I also have Mrs O'Connor next year.

I am very grateful that Mrs O'Connor is a teacher in St Matthew's, and a great teacher she is. I love being taught by her.

She is great at helping me with my work if I'm stuck. When we are learning something, Mrs O'Connor always makes it fun.

Mrs O'Connor also runs an after-school hurling and camogie club, which is always lots of fun.

I love having Mrs O'Connor as a teacher and that is what makes her so special.

Influential people from County Derry/Londonderry

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney is regarded as one of the greatest Irish poets. Born in County Derry in 1939, his work was respected all over the world.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and received numerous other honours before his passing in 2013.

Josef Locke

Josef Locke was born in Londonderry in 1917 and in the years that followed was a huge success as a tenor. His real name was Joseph McLaughlin and he released a number of famous songs including ‘Hear My Song’. He died in 1999. Six years later a bronze memorial to Locke was unveiled in the city of his birth.

Phil Coulter

Musician Phil Coulter is a composer, producer, songwriter and performer of international note.

He was born in Derry in 1942 and became the best-selling artist of his generation.

Revered throughout Ireland, he is also popular around the world, having produced a host of critically acclaimed albums.

Phil wrote Ireland's Call, which is sung before Irish rugby internationals.

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