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Derry Accommodation - The Guildhall

Located in the heart of the city, but just outside the walls, it dates from 1887. The original building, named in honour of the London guilds, cost 19,000 to build and was officially opened in 1890 as the administrative centre of the Londonderry Corporation. In 1908 it was razed to the ground.

The building stands on land reclaimed from the River Foyle. The Guildhall houses Mayor's Office and council chamber.

The red sandstone building is of neo-gothic architecture; with Tudor overtones. The building was severely damaged during a bomb attack in 1972, with the result that a large part of its interior has had to be reconstructed. The large Council Chamber, with its splendid oak panelling, and the Treasure Chamber, with its many mementos of Irish history, are both particularly worth seeing. Also worthy of special mention are the coloured glass windows on which different periods of the town's history are portrayed.

From 2000 to 2005 it was the seat of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry (www.bloody-sunday-inquiry.org.uk), headed by Lord Saville, which sat from March 2000 till December 2004. The inquiry heard from 900 witnesses, received 2500 witness statements, and allegedly cost the British taxpayer 400 million; its final report was due to be published in summer 2007.





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