Retelling the Tales of the Derry Road – Project seeks to capture memories of the Great Northern Railway

18th January 2019

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is encouraging young and old alike from across the district to get involved in a series of events and activities to recall the rich history and heritage of the Great Northern Railway, as part of the “Railways to the West’ programme.

The PEACE IV funded programme focusses on the Great Northern Railway which passed through the villages in Mid and West Tyrone and Omagh on its journey from Portadown to Londonderry until its closure in 1965.

It is one of 16 projects identified in the Fermanagh and Omagh PEACE IV Local Action Plan to benefit from a total funding package of £2.8m to deliver projects across three key strands: Shared Spaces and Services, Children and Young People and Building Positive Relations at a Local Level.

The project is supported by the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

To date the programme has given over 100 young people, aged between 7 and 12 years old from across the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area, the opportunity to attend summer schemes and visit the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum’s, ‘Model Railway Day’, with more educational trips planned for this year.

The latest phase invites adults and children from across the district to enjoy upcoming events including an explorative talk entitled, ‘The Derry Road Remembered’ by Charles Friel, a short drama production entitled, ‘The Sugar Train’ by dramatist Bean McCaugherty, a series of walking tours and trips and an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia from the Great Northern Railway.

Alongside the events, the project seeks to create a visual legacy of the railway by capturing fascinating memories and stories from those who travelled, worked on or who have fond memories of the, ‘Derry Road’ which passed through Carrickmore, Beragh, Sixmilecross and Omagh. If you, a family member or friend has a story to share on the Great Northern Railway, please come along to the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, at any time between 12:30pm and 8:00pm on Thursday 24 January.

This programme is being delivered by Insight Solutions on behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. For further information on how to get involved, contact Fergal O’Donnell from Insight Solutions on 0771 362 3264 or email fergal@insight-solutions.org.