This tour concentrates on the development of the modern conflict in Belfast.
Hear of the origins of the ‘Troubles’ from the Norman Invasion through the plantation, the Williamite wars, the Penal laws, the United Irishmen rebellion, Act of Union, Home Rule, IRA War of Independence and partition leading to the formation of the northern state.
See the Stormont parliament buildings, home to the unionist controlled government of Northern Ireland and hear of the various political initiatives attempted over the last thirty five years to resolve the political conflict.
See the murals
on the loyalist Newtonards Road and learn of the issues which affected the mainly Protestant unionist and loyalist communities during the troubles including sectarianism, loss of identity, the marching season, fragmentation, the love/hate relationship with the British security forces and changes in demography. Visit the Falls road, the heart of republicanism in Belfast and the area where the British Army first arrived in August 1969.
Hear of nationalist grievances such as gerrymandering and discrimination in employment and housing and the emergence of the civil rights movement. Learn about the major events in republican Belfast during the conflict including the Falls Road Curfew, internment, the effect of Bloody Sunday in Derry, the 1972 & 1975 IRA ceasefires, the criminalisation of republican prisoners and the subsequent Hunger Strikes. Learn of the evolution of the peace process including secret IRA talks with the British government, the 1994 ceasefire, the involvement of the US government and Irish-America, the collapse of the ceasefire in 1996 and the Good Friday, St Andrews and Hillsborough agreements. Visit the Republican History Museum(admission free-donations welcome) and Milltown cemetery where Bobby Sands and his comrades are interred.
Visitors also get the chance to cross the famous peace line into the Shankill road where they can see more loyalist murals in the Shankill estate and see the famous Crumlin Road gaol, where its history of escapes, executions and trials are recounted in detail. Guided tours of the Crumlin Road Gaol can also be arranged (admission charge applies). There will be ample opportunity en route to photograph the murals and monuments as well as the chance to write your own message on the Falls/Shankill peaceline. Along the way you will hear lots of the black humour which characterised Belfast during the conflict. Prices are available upon request.
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