Freetown Derry

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Freetown Derry
Saor Baile Dhoire (Irish)
Flag of Freetown Derry
Flag
Coat of arms of Freetown Derry
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Amhrán na bhFiann"
(English: "The Soldiers' Song")
CapitalFreetown Derry (city-state)
Government HQFree Derry Corner
Official languagesIrish • English
ReligionRoman Catholic
DemonymFree Derrian • Irish
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Seán O'Brien
• Taoiseach
Liam Haughey
LegislatureFree Derry Assembly
Formation
• Established
1 February 2020
Population
• Citizens estimate
102
CurrencyEuro (EUR; )
Time zone(UTC+0)
• Summer (DST)
 (UTC+1)

Freetown Derry (Irish: Saor Baile Dhoire), also simply known as Free Derry (Irish: Saor Dhoire) or the New Free Derry, is an Irish city-state micronation claiming Free Derry Corner as the re-creation of the self-declared autonomous nationalist area of Derry, Northern Ireland, that existed between 1969 and 1972. Its internal structure is government-like, it has stated that it is "not designed to take power in the rest of Derry"; rather, it will be dissolved "as soon as the Irish reunification takes place" in favour of one united Ireland.

History

Free Derry

The micronation is a historical landmark in the Bogside neighbourhood of Derry which lies in the intersection of the Lecky Road, Rossville Street and Fahan Street. A free-standing gable wall commemorates Free Derry, which today is used as Freetown Derry's border. On the corner is a memorial to the 1981 hunger strikers and several murals. There is also a memorial to those who died engaging in paramilitary activity as part of the Provisional IRA's Derry Brigade.

In January 1969 a local activist, long believed to be John "Caker" Casey, but who might have been Liam Hillen, painted graffiti on a gable wall at the end of a housing terrace stating "You are now entering Free Derry".[1][2] When the British Home Secretary, Jim Callaghan, visited Derry in August 1969, the "Free Derry" wall was painted white and the "You are now entering Free Derry" sign was professionally re-painted in black lettering by John "Caker" Casey. The area in front of the wall became known as Free Derry Corner by the inhabitants. It and the surrounding streets were the scene of the Battle of the Bogside in 1969 and Bloody Sunday in 1972. The houses on Lecky Road and Fahan Street were subsequently demolished, but the wall was retained. It has been repainted at frequent intervals. As currently situated, it now lies in the central reservation of Lecky Road, which was upgraded to a dual carriageway sometime following the demolition of the original terraced houses.

Freetown Derry

In the wake of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the flag raising in Free Derry Corner was performed by Liam Haughey and some of his associates on the same day Freetown Derry was proclaimed. Haughey is a member of Sinn Féin, which bases its ideologies on Irish nationalism and republicanism, along with its left-wing values. Haughey said in February 2020 that an official diplomatic note would be sent to all governments of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, and later to all other states, with a formal request for international recognition. However, he does not expect a reply from any of them.

Government

Freetown Derry is a parliamentary republic. The President is head of state and exercises executive power on the advice of his ministers. The Taoiseach is head of government and is appointed by the President as the person most likely to command the confidence of a majority of Free Derry Assembly. Cabinet is chosen by the Taoiseach and formally appointed by the President. The current president is Seán O'Brien and the current Taoiseach is Liam Haughey.

The President is directly elected by popular vote for a renewable five-year term. Requirements for this position are extremely stringent, such that no more than several thousand people qualify for candidacy.

The legislature is the Free Derry Assembly, and it's members are elected to serve for a term lasting up to five years.

Foreign relations

Freetown Derry is a full member state of the Union of City-States and has formed diplomatic relations with the Free City of Leamouth.

Citizenship

According to its official webpage, Freetown Derry is currently looking for people who lives in Free Derry Corner and supports the reunification of Ireland. In the beginning of May 2020, Freetown Derry accepted around 50 citizens. There will be a cap of 90,000 citizenships.

References

  1. Kerr, Adrian (16 November 2009). "A silent and powerful witness to troubled times". Derry Journal. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. Sweeney, Eamon. "'You Are Now Entering Free Derry': Man who painted iconic slogan passes away". Derry Now. Retrieved 1 January 2019.