Londonderry to keep its name after British Government rules out change

A campaign by Sinn Fein and other nationalists to change the official title of the Northern Ireland city and drop references to London had been branded sectarian and divisive by unionists who lauded historic connections to “one of the world’s great cities”.

But more than 3,000 supported the change and said “Londonderry” caused social and political problems; reminding victims of atrocities in a city scarred by the Troubles and Bloody Sunday.

Government spokesman in the Lords, Lord Dunlop, said: “The Government, on occasion receives requests to change names of towns and cities.

“At this time the Government does not intend to change the name of the City of Londonderry.”

The London prefix was added to Derry when the city was granted a Royal Charter by King James I in 1613.

A petition said: “The name is a constant reminder to the families of the victims involved in incidents in Derry caused by the British occupation, therefore constantly reminding the families of the incidents.”

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