Museum of Free Derry

The Museum of Free Derry tells the story of how a largely working class community rose up against the years of oppression it had endured. The museum and archive has become an integral part of Ireland’s radical and civil rights heritage.

The museum also tells the story of Bloody Sunday, the day when the British Army committed mass murder on the streets of the Bogside. It tells the story of how the people of Derry, led by the families of the victims, overcame the injustice and wrote a new chapter in the history of civil rights, which has become a source of international inspiration.

The museum is a public space where the concept of Free Derry can be explored in both historic and contemporary contexts. Free Derry is about our future together as much as it is about the past. The struggle of Free Derry is part of a wider struggle in Ireland and internationally for freedom and equality for all.

Why It Exists
The Museum of Free Derry exists to remember and understand the local history of the city and its contribution to the ground breaking civil rights struggle which erupted in Derry in the mid-1960s and culminated in the massacre on Bloody Sunday.

It puts the Free Derry period into a wider Irish and international context so that visitors see the events depicted not just in relation to the communal conflict in the North or the conflict between Britain and Ireland. They are invited to make comparisons with the civil rights movement in the USA as well as other massacres such as Wounded Knee, Sharpeville and Fallujah.

Our international commitment is underscored by our membership of the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience. The Coalition is a global network of historic sites, museums, and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movements for human rights and social justice. It has over 185 members.

Our focus is not just to share our history, but to encourage those who come to the Museum to see the struggle for human and civil rights as an ongoing contemporary undertaking.

Galleries
The museum currently has an archive of around 20,000 items relating to this part of the city’s history, mostly donated by local residents. We thank our donors, one and all.

Within our Galleries section is a selection from the Museum of Free Derry photo archive and extensive poster collection.

Getting Here
Derry is a thriving, historic city in the north west of Ireland, on the banks of the River Foyle and bordering the hills of Donegal. Museum of Free Derry is in the heart of the city’s Bogside, and with such great transport links, visitors from all over the world can easily find their way here.

The New Museum
The museum has possession of approximately 20,000 individual artefacts. With the reopening of the new Museum of Free Derry in February 2017 most of these items will now be transferred to a specially built archive space, and public access will become much easier. In the longer term a major digitisation project will make this archive fully accessible.

It's an exciting time for the Museum of Free Derry, which has long since established itself as a major visitor attraction for those who visit the city. To date circa 150,000 people have visited the Museum and it is ranked No 2 for the city on the TripAdvisor website.

School Visits & Translations
Learn more about our innovative NI Schools Outreach Programme - new shared visits to both Museum of Free Derry and The Siege Museum.

We’re pleased to announce the continuation of our NI Schools Outreach Programme - an innovative shared education project inviting post-primary pupils to visit the historic city of Derry/Londonderry and learn more about our shared heritage. Funded by the Executive Office, the Museum of Free Derry and Siege Museum invite schools and colleges across the north to visit the city and learn about its unique, and often contentious, history. Contact Museum of Free Derry on: 028 71 360880 for details.

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