Northern Ireland tour

Students from Senior history travelled to Belfast and Derry on the 3rd to the 4th of May last to experience and learn more about a topic that they have been studying in class, ‘Politics and Society in Northern Ireland’ from 1949 to the present.  This trip builds on material from junior cert history course when students learned about the Plantations and the partition of Ireland in 1920.

After an early start from Crosshaven, our first port of call was the magnificent ‘Titanic’ museum in Belfast.  Here students learned about the early industrial years of the late nineteenth and twentieth century and the Harland and Wolff shipyard’s most famous ship, The Titanic.

The group then received tours of West Belfast.  The first tour was of the Catholic / Nationalist area of West Belfast from the point of view of a Nationalist guide and then we crossed through the ‘peace’ gates and toured the Loyalist / Protestant area and received a tour from a guide from this area.  Both tours were very informative and provided plenty of food for thought.

We continued on to Derry where we spent the night and the next morning we went on a walking tour of the area.  This tour covered the history of Derry from its early settlers to its recent new found fame as a location of the Channel 4 series, ‘Derry Girls’.  We toured the city walls and viewed the murals in the Bogside area of Derry.

Our final stop was the Seamus Heaney museum in Bellaghy, ‘Home Place’ where we learned about Derry’s famous Nobel Prize winning poet, his life and his works.

An inspiring end to a memorable trip.

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

Seamus Heaney.