The Irish Peace Process is seen as a model of conflict resolution and has been used as a template in conflict resolution situations across the globe. The conflict was most severe in the city of Belfast. Therefore it was no surprise that many of the key initiatives that kick started the peace process took place in the city. This itinerary covers a range of locations which played a key role in the journey to peace and will give participants the opportunity to learn about all the key themes and events that have informed the peace process since its inception almost thirty years ago.
We begin our journey on the republican Falls Road. Here your guide will use the murals on the International Wall to explain the main events that took place in the area during the conflict before taking you into the Republican History Museum in the Conway Mill Complex where you will see a vast range of artefacts and images related to republican history. You will also have the opportunity to talk to former prisoners who will outline their own experiences of the conflict and their approach to the peace process.
On departure we pass by the Clonard Monastery where the first secret negotiations took place in the late 1980’s between republican representatives and other Irish politicians in the search for a framework to begin peace negotiations.Your guide will outline the proposals that emerged from these talks and explain how these were later incorporated into the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
We then emerge onto the Springfield Road to approach the Cupar Way peace wall to learn the reasons for the continuing existence of peace walls almost twenty years after the signing of the
You will also have the opportunity to write your own message of hope on the wall-a tradition now followed by visitors from around the world.
We then move into the loyalist Shankill Road which also saw significant loss during the conflict. Participants will see the numerous murals that mark key events from a unionist perspective and your guide will also explain the key factors that saw Unionists and Loyalists become involved in the peace process.
Following a coffee break in the cafe at Conway Mill we travel onto the Crumlin Road to learn about the ongoing attempts to resolve the issues surrounding Orange Marches
and to view the former Belfast Courthouse and Prison (known to locals as ‘The Crum’). Here your guide will explain the impact of the Hunger Strikes on republican politics and how the election of Bobby Sands as an MP ultimately saw the beginning of the peace process. You will also hear how the peace process has seen major changes to the policing and justice system to allow acceptance by both communities. (Optional guided tour of ‘The Crum’ also available -for details see.)
Arriving in the city centre, we stop beside City Hall, the seat of local government in Belfast and the scene of US President Bill Clintons seminal speech in November 1995 during his first peace process visit. Your guide will explain American involvement in the process and also outline how local government in Belfast has adapted to the peace process over the last thirty years.
Following lunch and free time in the city centre we continue our journey into the east of the city, passing the Titanic Quarter for a photo stop at the new Titanic Centre before proceeding to Stormont, seat of the new northern power sharing Executive.
Here your guide will explain the major principles underpinning the Good Friday Agreement (which saw this building come back into use as a seat of government) and the key themes that are likely to affect the peace process over the next decade. (Guided tour of the parliament buildings and meetings with elected members of the parliament can also be arranged if requested in advance).
We complete our journey by returning to the city centre where you will have an opportunity to enjoy Belfast’s vast range of traditional pubs, nightclubs and restaurants to bring your day to a perfect conclusion!