Belfast History Trip

01-December-19
Belfast History Trip

As a part of the history course the 5th and 6th year classes went on a trip to Belfast and Derry to see the history of the troubles and meet people directly involved in both the troubles and the peace process. The trip to the north was an invaluable to see real history in action and the actual effects it has on us today.

Everyone met at five in the morning to start the trek up north. Upon arriving in Belfast we met a former IRA member who brought us around republican Belfast, showing notable locations and giving his own personal experience. We then moved on to meet a unionist guide who showed the unionist side of the divisions as well as writing messages on the division wall. Both guides had a lot to say and their experiences provided an amazing insight into what both sides believe and where the conflict arose from.

After meeting the guides we went to Victoria square for lunch and shopping before heading off to Crumlin road gaol, which was shut down in 1996. We saw the prison’s development from a Victorian prison to the modern era. The visit was very helpful to see the conditions that prisoners had to deal with.

We then booked in to the hotel and got dinner before heading off to bowling for the evening, providing a much needed break for a bit. The next morning we loaded up the bus and went off to Derry. We met our guide at the Guildhall to visit the Bogside and the Derry walls. Once again we saw an amazing insight into the republican side and the history of Derry city. We then went to the Apprentice boys museum to learn about their history and belief set. They allowed us to see their meeting rooms, used by other organizations such as the Orange order. It was fascinating to see what they believe and the reasoning behind their traditions. We then returned to the bus and started heading back home. Overall the trip was well worth it, providing an brilliant insight into both sides of the conflict and will undoubtedly prove useful come exams.

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