A new cross-community project has been launched in Derry-Londonderry to examine the impact of the Plantation and penal laws on the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic populations of the 17th- and 18th century city. Funded by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and delivered by the Gasyard Development Trust (GDT), the project will involve the congregation of First Derry Presbyterian Church and senior citizens from the Bogside area.
Announcing the project, Mickey Cooper, GDT Heritage Officer of the Gasyard Development Trust, said: "It will allow people to engage with elements of the past which are often misunderstood and will increase contact and understanding between the Catholic and Presbyterian populations through the creation of a purposely designed website. This will chronicle the impact of the Plantation and penal laws on both denominations and demonstrate their shared experience of persecution and exclusion.
"We would like to thank The Ministerial Advisory Group – Ulster-Scots Academy for funding this worthwhile project that will include both academic material and a digital archive of documents relevant to both communities."
The website will be completed in April and will be made available through the ‘Teaching Divided Histories’ project, which is run by the Nerve Centre to allow students to study the historical context of the modern conflict. It will include details on other academic sources relevant to the subject and act as a one-stop shop for those seeking to increase their understanding of the period.