Guildhall re-opens after £9.5m makeover


Northern Ireland’s newly renovated Guildhall will be officially opened to the public later.

It cost £9.5m to restore the building, both inside and out. The original hall was built in 1887.

It has been the seat of local government in Derry for 120 years. In the 1970s, two IRA bomb attacks destroyed much of the interior.

It played host to US President Bill Clinton in 1995 and was centre stage for the 2010 Bloody Sunday report.

The Guildhall was also the setting for The Freedom of the City, a play by Derry dramatist Brian Friel, first produced in 1973, that drew on the events of Bloody Sunday, a year earlier.

Work on the building began in 2010 and changes include a new visitor centre, disabled access and a patio cafe.

The facade has been given a facelift, and the roof and clock have been repaired.

The mayor’s office has become a tourist point for visitors to get information on where to go in the city.

The room previously used as the council chamber will now host a “touch screen” museum telling the story of the city, including the story of its 400-year-old walls and the effects of the Plantation.

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