Holywell Trust Northern Ireland

The Holywell Trust was formed from the perceived need for an organisation which would encourage risk taking and stimulate creativity in the community sector of the north-west region of Northern Ireland.  Aimed at connecting personal and community development, the trust organises programmes to allow those affected by the conflict in any way to learn to hear the stories of ‘the other’. Through humanising each other peace is built at the individual level, which in turn helps to improve community relations.

The Walled City Neighborhood

Derry/Londonderry is the one of the oldest recorded cities in Ireland and the only one to preserve a complete set of defensive walls. Now 400 years old, these walls provide a short walk and tell an eventful, sometimes violent history of the city. We propose to develop within the walled city a neighborhood made up of people from many different backgrounds who want to live together as a celebration of cultural diversity. This project has three specific elements: Reclaiming the Walls, Healing Through History, and Researching Diversity.

Reclaiming the Walls:

This project encourages people to learn about, use and enjoy The Walls. Our staff devises innovative and appropriate events to showcase The Walls as a multi-purpose venue, building upon existing festivals and established programs as well creating new ones. This project identifies and offers alternative uses for The Walls through these innovative events that simultaneously teach people about history and encourage a sense of community ownership of The Walls.

Healing through History:

The history of Derry/Londonderry is often disputed. Holywell Trust, alongside other peace building organizations, will create and release a shared history of the city entitled “A Definitive History of the Walled City.” This publication will become the script for Derry City Council Tour guides.

Researching Diversity:

Holywell Trust intends to  research and uncover information about individuals and families who have made a significant contribution to the city but were not born here. The past century and a half has witnessed the arrival in the city of Derry/ Londonderry a series of peoples from diverse regions of the globe. Frequently ignored or overlooked, the presence and industry of these minority peoples has contributed greatly to the intellectual, commercial, social and artistic growth of the city. This research proposes to highlight the long-neglected positive contributions of these people in the city’s history.

North West War Memorial Project:

The aims of the project are threefold:

1. To investigate the stories of the lives of those from the North West of Ulster (Derry/Londonderry, Donegal & Tyrone) who died as a result of World War I.

2. To identify facts about World War memorials which are found in the North West of Ulster.

3. To promote a wider awareness of the forgotten Irish men and women who served, fought and died in the Great War.

It is hoped that a better understanding of our shared heritage of sacrifice will help reconcile the two major traditions on the island of Ireland. Most WWI memorials are found in Protestant churches and although Catholic/Nationalist men fought and died in the Great War, they are rarely commemorated or honored. This project aims to demonstrate the shared history of Northern Ireland and create a means of reconciliation.