First Look: Inside the brand new Museum of Free Derry
Tourism in Northern Ireland
A new, €2.85 million Museum of Free Derry has officially been opened in the Bogside by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson.
The US Civil Rights leader launched the building, which first opened this February, alongside Fiachra McGuinness, son of the late Martin McGuinness.
The new building, completed at a cost of around £2.5 million (€2.84m approx.) tells the story of the civil rights and early conflict era in the city, with features on the Battle of the Bogside, Internment, Bloody Sunday and Operation Motorman.
The rebuild more than doubles the size of the museum, originally established by the Bloody Sunday Trust in 2006 - adding a state-of-the-art exhibition space, a classroom, reflective and temporary exhibition space and an archive and research facility.
Derry has been developing at pace in recent years, with additions like the Bishop's Gate Hotel and Walled City Brewery attracting visitors alongside its city walls, Bogside Walking Tour, restored Guildhall and a burgeoning local food scene.
In mid-2018, local company Niche Drinks plans to open another new visitor attraction - Derry's first Irish whiskey distillery in 180 years.
Visitor numbers are on the up, too, with overnight trips to Northern Ireland from the Republic having risen 13pc between January and March of this year.
The figures, from the Central Statistics Office, also show that visitors from the south spent £33/€37.50 more on average per night than the same period in 2016.
Trips are being driven by a favourable exchange rate, industry marketing campaigns and "excellent value-for-money offers", according to Tourism Northern Ireland.
The seventh season of Game of Thrones, a large part of which is filmed in Northern Ireland, will further stoke anticipation. It premieres on July 16.
For more info see museumorfreederry.org or discovernorthernireland.com.