But beneath the surface of cultural prestige, the resounding achievement of Derry’s year as city of culture lies in the way it not only refused to airbrush the Troubles and Bloody Sunday with arty-farty gloss, but engaged in a reckoning with the recent past, beyond the politicians’ patois of reconciliation.

“We’ve tried to forge a relationship to the Troubles, to face them and deal with them in such a way that overcomes them,” says Martin Melarkey, one of the organisers, “telling new stories in this city, but without forgetting that we live in a haunted place, without insulting the dead and bereaved.”

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