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View more articles by Tom Farrell
Tom Farrell is a freelance journalist who has published in several national Irish newspapers.
A few hours after the historic DMZ crossing in Korea, a group of Northern Irish activists made a symbolic walk in solidarity through a city once notorious for its divisions. Derry (or Londonderry depending on the affiliations of its mixed Catholic-Protestant population) is bisected by the River Foyle. A 235-meter self-anchored suspension bridge spans the river, opened on June 25, 2011 by Northern Ireland’s Protestant First Minister Peter Robinson and Catholic Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness together with Enda Kenny, Taoiseach (prime minister) of the southern Republic. Known as the Peace Bridge, it links the predominantly Protestant (Unionist) Waterside and Catholic (Nationalist) Cityside areas.
Late on Sunday afternoon Frances Shiels culminated a walk with several men and women at the Peace Bridge, intended as a show of solidarity with the WomenCross DMZ Peace Walk. Shiels is the chair of Focus: The Identity Trust, a support group for transgender persons in Northern Ireland.