Leaving behind the challenges of Belfast with its divided history, we venture forth to Derry City in Northern Ireland, just as President Obama arrives to give his address of peace to students and the general populace.
Arriving in the walled city of Derry, we are immediately taken by the beauty, old world charm and peace which permeates this, the second largest city of Northern Ireland. Wandering around the old town, towards the river we come across the beautiful Peace Bridge, spanning the Loch. It’s very presence represents a turning point in the violent history of this region, as it links the Catholic Free Derry side of the city with the heart of the Old City, previously held by the British and Protestants.
We speak to locals who talk of their lives living and growing up in a divided Northern Ireland. Soberly we reflect upon the few short years that have passed since the 1999 Peace Accord and the hearts of those residents who now simply wish to live in peace.
Returning again to the city we walk the ancient walls, past old cannons and defences. In the afternoon we visit Free Derry and worship in the Cathedrals of both faiths. During the day we also visit the beautiful, recently restored, Mason’s Guild Hall in the heart of the old city. Within this Hall we trace the history of Derry city from the 17th century; a history of English invasion, civil war, the Troubles and most recently the Peace Accord. Sitting in silence we reflect upon this growing peace.
"From this hall at certain designated times the Light of Hope radiates. When uplifting gatherings are scheduled, We gather to send the Light of Hope and Redemption forth. The Light of Strength is sent to the government; the Light of Reconciliation radiates out to ease old conflict. So be it. This has been a troubled city. Troubles are behind Derry. Peace is upon her. An Angel of Reconciliation has general jurisdiction over this region. Within this sphere the Angelic Host liaison with the regional Angel of Reconciliation. Take the Violet Fire to the old heart of the Troubles. Through the Heart of Lady Portia, I heal. Through the Wings of Her Holy Fire, I transmute. Through Her Violet legions, the Doves of Peace may settle. Let them settle in the hearts of all. Let them settle. Let them fly abroad. So be it. The Guild Masons of old have created this vehicle of beauty for times past, present and future. For all time the Builders work. For all time. Align with the Greater Builders/ Angelic Host and so the Word goes forth and Light shines ahead. Let the Light shine."
Renewed with hope we leave in search of an ancient Ring Fort Grianan of Aileach, in nearby Co. Donegal, Known as the “Stone Palace of the Sun”, it is a regal ceremonial gathering site from the Neolithic Age, now maintained by the National Trust. It calls us to visit.
17th June, 2013
Photos of the Guild Hall in Derry City and an ancient Neolithic site Grianan Ailligh