I come from the other side of the water
the Derry side.
I feel at home here now.
This is a very
picturesque part of Derry
The scenery alone
is breath taking.
Gobnascale estate is a very close community.
The inhabitants are nearly
strong family ties.
A lot of people in Gobnascale
were originally from Top of the Hill-
original Waterside people
that have lived here for years.
In the seventies we had an unsettled situation -
people moving in and out.
Because of the scarcity of houses
people had to move over.
Those coming over from the Derry side
in the late sixties and early seventies
Other people came over
in the late seventies
and tried to settle in
but it didn't work.
They felt very isolated
and they moved back out again
over to the Derry side.
The Derry people never mixed
with Waterside people.
Waterside people never mixed
with the Derry people.
Meanwhile, the people that came stayed
families were growing up
reluctant to leave Gobnascale.
At one time, it was a desolate estate
over a hundred and twenty houses lay empty
because of the fuel situation in Bard's Hill.
The Housing Executive
decided to put in electric fires.
It didn't work.
People got the first fuel bill
for nearly £300.
They just got up and left Bard's Hill-
which was tucked away
into the back of the estate -
It was empty for nearly 10 years
until a private developer came in.
I am getting less conscious
of Protestant estates around me
as the cease-fire goes on.
But back in the seventies
Gobnascale felt very isolated,
surrounded by New Buildings,
Irish Street and Tullyally.
People living on the outskirts
towards Irish street
were on the look out
all the time
and had their windows boarded up.
Mountain View and
the far side of Anderson Crescent
lay desolate for many years
because Catholics had to leave
and be rehoused inside the estate.
Caption: Derry Journal Friday 4th February 1972
Coverage of one of the Bloody Sunday funerals
Caption: Derry Journal 22 December 1972:
Coverage of Annie's Bar killing
The people in Mountain View
were stuck in the middle.
People had lived there for generations
and were very reluctant to leave.
Some owned their own house.
Whereas, the Housing Executive
was under an obligation
to get you out.
What we didn't realise
Irish Street, our closest neighbour
were the same as us -
watching, looking over their shoulder.
At that time,
it was a built-in defensive mechanism
to watch your neighbour.
At one time there was
a siege mentality here
because of what happened
in Annie's Bar.
If there was a border line
between (here and) Irish Street
Annie's bar would be just slightly this side.
Bloody Sunday happened (but it)
was a different sort of situation.
One was perpetrated
by government forces
and public opinion would keep
that sort of thing at bay.
The other was perpetrated
by a loyalist organisation
which was proven down through the years
to have happened
over and over again.
Annie's Bar was the local bar
One night just after Christmas 1972,
loyalist gun men came in
and murdered seven men.
The young people here
were on what you would call
a war footing
was brought forward for it.
The people were uptight.
Somebody had to pay.
The army and the police coming in
had to pay the price.
Redevelopment on the outskirts
the old original Annie's Bar
is now gone
You had this waste land
left open for battling.
It's still there.
We have big boulders in the middle now.
started to take on
a siege mentality again.
When loyalist gunmen
were going into bars - like Greysteel -
The Rising Sun was a replica
of what happened way back in 1972.
to barricade themselves in
and everybody was checked.
Since the cease-fire
that has relaxed.
This part of the world
is ninety nine point nine percent nationalist.
There's no problem talking
about Protestant and Catholic here.
You are talking to your own side
- the converted.
You can say what you want
as long as you don't say nothing
against the status quo.
was the SDLP-Sinn Fein split
until a year and a half ago.
You'd wake up on Easter Sunday morning
and the place would be covered with
green, white and yellow markings
all over the place.
As Easter started to go, the paint got very drab.
At the finish up it
was more a mock to the colours.
The SDLP crowd would say,
"All that painting - that's terrible!"
It was just the older generation
they were apprehensive.
"If them boys weren't throwing stones
the army wouldn't be coming in."
The republican vote
would be higher in Gobnascale -
but the SDLP councillor
was always able to get in.
The Family Centre
started off with a nun from
Good Shepherd Laundry.
She started filling in forms.
She couldn't cope with so many people
she went to the Housing Executive
and rented a flat in Virginia Court.
The Family Centre took off from there.
The nuns have left -
it is civilian-run now.
At this moment
it is the hub of Gobnascale.
Back in the eighties,
the Family Centre
contacted the Housing Executive
and the DOE
to try and get some input
into the estate.
Re-development in the middle of the city
was going on
millions of pounds were getting pumped in.
We weren't looking for anything gigantic.
Rose Court was the first thing
to pin the Housing Executive down on.
It took us many years
to get the Housing Executive
to move on small things -
the grass cutting.
The powers-that-be were very reluctant
to pump money in.
All of a sudden things
started to move.
We were getting promises
of starting dates
for this and that.
Then all of a sudden they said,
"We have sold this to a private developer."
That knocked us back
because private developers is a different game.
The result is Rose Court
is one of the best corners of the estate.
For a long time, Rose Court
was an eyesore.
The reason why Rose Court was
left the way it was
(is because) any rioting
The army came up in patrols
from Chapel Road towards the estate,
the young boys met them -
The young fellas would retreat
into the back of the houses
and throw petrol bombs
over the top.
It was harassing for the people
living in these flats.
One by one they drifted out.
That was the first part of the estate
Young people discovered that the army
was using it as a look out post.
The young people tore all out
and left four walls.
With the troubles
Gobnascale never got off the ground.
That can be said
for every nationalist estate in Derry
caught up in the troubles.
The forces of law and order-
namely the army -
made it rough for us at times.
The government (see the area)
as a Sinn Fein republican area
which helps keep them down.
At times we were saturated
by the British Army -
houses getting raided.
We were the enemy.
No respect was held by the police.
They came in,
roughed us up
and wrecked houses.
You and I would have known
by the looks of it
that the fireplaces was
never interfered with
but they pulled them away
to see if any ammunition was behind it.
It was badness.
It was just to show who was boss.
Intimidation went on in Gobnascale
fellas were shot dead
on what they thought
was their duty.
But families stood their ground.
Families, not republican minded,
were (also) harassed by the army
put up against the wall.
But nobody ever said,
"I must leave because of the army".
Where are you going to go?
The army is harassing your son
but he could be shot dead
in Shantallow or Creggan.
People originally from
the Derry side wanted out.
They moved out
to Shantallow or Creggan.
Gobnascale was only a stopping point
until better things came along.
They needed a house
until they could move or swap.
Their heart and soul wasn't in Gobnascale.
Growing up in the Bogside,
I knew there were Protestants.
But talking to people
who lived in the Waterside
there was this atmosphere
between the Catholic people
and the Protestant population
that stayed for two or three days
before and after the twelfth.
Then it disappeared
until next time around.
The nearest I got to a Protestant
was standing at Rossville Street-Lecky Road
looking up at Derry Walls,
at the crowds of people looking over the walls -
as if there was a feeding day at the zoo.
I never had this Protestant-Catholic feeling.
I just had to deal with one side of the house.
until I started to go outside
the world of work.
The only thing I discovered
when you were talking to Protestants -
they were a bit reserved.
They would never come right out and say
[that]something we did was absolutely wrong,
we would have said something like
"That's an eejit that you's have talking for you!"
They would never talkabout the troubles
as freely as we would, like.
I think we, as Catholics
have a lot to learn from Protestants
and vice versa.
At eleven or twelve years
if you have a teacher that tells you
that it is a sin
to go into a Protestant church -
that makes a big impression.
I would go now,
knowing it is not a sin
but no priest has ever come back and said,
"Forget what we said in those days -
it was wrong!"
I still have this mentality
that to go to a Protestant wedding
you had to get special permission.
People say about "the Protestant Waterside" -
that might have been alright a few years back.
To my mind, that has all changed.
The Catholic population of the Waterside
has grown fantastically since I was a kid.
Moore Street, Robert Street, Strabane Old Road
these were all Protestant.
Now you would be pushed
to find a Protestant in this part.
I do not feel a minority in the Waterside -
I feel more in the majority.
In Derry it will take years
before we are in a minority again.
I would feel in the minority
in the whole of Northern Ireland.
We should have a great say in Northern Ireland
Living in Derry is (part of) my identity.
I belong to Derry
to Northern Ireland, to Ireland.
I feel sorry for people of the other minority
that can't recognise their identity.
When I listen to Protestants
talking about their identity -
they seem lost.
They keep bouncing off this British thing.
I can say to a certain extent
I'm British because of where I am born
Protestants have wanted to be
I don't know Protestants from the Waterside.
I am sort of segregated, sort of alien.
I know of Protestants who left Gobnascale
for the same reasons that Catholics left Irish Street.
were the instigator of the fear
Protestants were feeling.
Bloody Sunday, Annie's Bar and other things
Protestants felt intimidated -
felt somebody is going to take it out on them -
they were going to get hit for it.
I would probably have done the same.
The Protestants seems to be going
more and more out towards Eglinton
out of the city boundaries.
If we are segregating people -
it's a sad thing -
we are pushing them to the brink.
We had good teachers.
The Corporation for years segregated us.
They taught us, you know.
When Protestants come back
over the bridge again with confidence,
it would give the bigots a kick.
Gobnascale is my stopping point.
I'd like to see it getting off the ground -
coming up to Creggan standards.
The young people
don't have an established place -
a drop-in centre.
Parents are reluctant
to let kids trip out to the
Chapel Road youth club -
a trouble spot.
We may be a small community
but we are growing.
We have to look to the future.